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Chairs - General

The chairs of today developed from primitive benches and stools. Very popular at auction, they range from antique chair styles to modern chairs that wrap the sitter in an organic embrace.

Antique chairs that remain sought- after by collectors and interior designers are the Queen Anne, Georgian, and American Regency styles. One of the earliest chair designs was the Savonarola, or “scissors” chair, which became important to collectors from the 18th century onward. An Italian walnut Savonarola chair dating from the 15th or 16th century in the Cloisters Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a simple yet lavish example. Another collector’s item is the prie dieu, or “prayer chair,” which has been used for centuries in churches and for personal devotion. The prayer chair features a seat for kneeling and a shelf for devotional texts and items. Catalan architect and sculptor Antoni Gaudi created an extreme decorative example of the chair. Carved from thuya wood, the chair stands at 9 feet and is crowned by a stained glass light fixture.

Antique dining chairs may be simple American vernacular pieces or influenced by the excesses of French Rococo and Baroque design. A modern dining room chair may be a replica of more traditional styles or as sleek and unorthodox as the valuable George Nakashima Conoid chairs. Antique barrel chairs can be used either as side chairs or dining chairs. The history of this shape is uncertain, but the barrel chairs designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright for the Darwin Martin and Herbert Johnson residences are the most famous. The George Nelson Pretzel Chair made of curved laminated wood became a rare collector’s piece when it was removed from the market for insufficient manufacturing techniques. The Pretzel Chair is a fine example of mid-century modern design.


Quick Facts

  • A late 17th century Italian Baroque carved walnut prayer chair sold for $875 in a 2014 Bonham’s auction
  • A set of six George Nelson Pretzel Chairs by Herman Miller brought $8,125 at a Wright auction in 2013
  • A set of six Conoid dining chairs designed by George Nakashima sold for $27,500 at an auction by Phillips in 2014

Recommended Items at Auction

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White Adirondack Chairs – Elegant & Weather-Resistant Outdoor Seating Pair
Jul 25, 12:00 PM EDT
White Adirondack Chairs – Elegant & Weather-Resistant Outdoor Seating Pair
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$2716 Bids
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Ultimate Sack Bean Bag Chair – Luxurious, Plush, And Branded
Jul 25, 12:00 PM EDT
Ultimate Sack Bean Bag Chair – Luxurious, Plush, And Branded
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$7016 Bids
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Stylish Papasan Chair With Plush Blue Cushion And Sturdy Rattan Frame
Jul 25, 12:00 PM EDT
Stylish Papasan Chair With Plush Blue Cushion And Sturdy Rattan Frame
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$2614 Bids
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White Adirondack Chairs - Classic Outdoor Comfort
Jul 25, 12:00 PM EDT
White Adirondack Chairs - Classic Outdoor Comfort
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$319 Bids
Hardwood mahogany metamorphic library chair (89 x 42 x 46cm)
Jul 25, 10:00 AM AEST
Hardwood mahogany metamorphic library chair (89 x 42 x 46cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD70- AUD90
AUD1008 Bids
(4) 1970s Cal-style Upholstered Chrome Chairs
Jul 27, 10:00 AM MST
(4) 1970s Cal-style Upholstered Chrome Chairs
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$1107 Bids
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White Adirondack Chair - Stylish, Durable & Comfortable For Outdoor Use
Jul 25, 12:00 PM EDT
White Adirondack Chair - Stylish, Durable & Comfortable For Outdoor Use
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$1007 Bids
CHILDS CHAIRS
Jul 25, 4:00 PM CDT
CHILDS CHAIRS
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$117 Bids
CHILDS CHAIRS
Jul 25, 4:00 PM CDT
CHILDS CHAIRS
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$96 Bids
OAK PARLOR CHAIR, HIP RESTS
Jul 25, 4:00 PM CDT
OAK PARLOR CHAIR, HIP RESTS
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$53 Bids
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FOUR FOLDING TEAK & CANVAS SLING CHAIRS
Jul 24, 10:00 AM EDT
FOUR FOLDING TEAK & CANVAS SLING CHAIRS
by Litchfield Auctions
Est: $100- $300
$703 Bids
CHILDS CHAIRS
Jul 25, 4:00 PM CDT
CHILDS CHAIRS
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$32 Bids
Late 19th century colonial cedar floral carved hall chair (90 x 44 x 40cm)
Jul 25, 10:00 AM AEST
Late 19th century colonial cedar floral carved hall chair (90 x 44 x 40cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD202 Bids
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FOUR FOLDING TEAK & CANVAS SLING CHAIRS
Jul 24, 10:00 AM EDT
FOUR FOLDING TEAK & CANVAS SLING CHAIRS
by Litchfield Auctions
Est: $100- $300
$602 Bids
Mid Century Adrian Pearsall Style Swivel Chair
Jul 27, 10:00 AM MST
Mid Century Adrian Pearsall Style Swivel Chair
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$152 Bids
Cast aluminium bedroom chair, cream and gold finish, comes with seat cushion. 91cm H, 42cm W, 37cm D.
Jul 29, 7:00 PM AEST
Cast aluminium bedroom chair, cream and gold finish, comes with seat cushion. 91cm H, 42cm W, 37cm D.
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD252 Bids
Antique Ice Cream Parlor Table Chairs Godwin Drugstore Pine Level N.C.
Aug 03, 10:00 AM EDT
Antique Ice Cream Parlor Table Chairs Godwin Drugstore Pine Level N.C.
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$501 Bid
Chrome and composite folding chair by Artland (80 x 48 x 56cm)
Jul 25, 10:00 AM AEST
Chrome and composite folding chair by Artland (80 x 48 x 56cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD151 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Chairs - General


Lawsons

Lawsons

Leon Gallery

Leon Gallery

McCurley Auction Company

McCurley Auction Company

Leonard Joel

Leonard Joel