Ever "found" valuable vintage furniture?

I like a good bump. Keeps these old threads active!

Nice score. Looks like it might be real just judging by that underside. If the shell is in good shape that is a nice find. My brother found a great example of a fiberglass shell one in Orange just in a janitors closet at his school a few years back. Like any good student, he stole it, but unfortunately at some point someone drilled a hole through the seat of the shell (probably to drain water for outdoor use) totally ruining the value of it.

when I first moved to Southwest Michigan I started hearing the stories, one co-worker who had worked in the furniture industry years prior seemingly couldn’t leave the house without someone giving him a piece of design history, but had no luck no matter where I looked. Finally one day last year I was taking my son to the park and saw an Eames shell in a driveway out of the corner of my eye, so I whipped the van around and checked out this garage sale and found there were 3 chairs and took them all home for $28.

Here’s a pic I took while cleaning them up in the drive way

Actually, the way I found it was on horrid condition. Someone painted on top of the fiberglass shell with a thick, off-white, industrial paint. Using a large brush with very noticeable strokes. So with the help of Kate’s (my girlfriend’s) dad, the outer coat of paint was sanded down and coated with a classic orange. The rust from the eiffel legs was also blasted off. I then ordered feet/coasters from a reseller of Herman Miller parts from the UK to complete the chair.

A magic eraser has taken dirt, splatters, and paint splatter off of it as well as most of the permanent marker, but it looks like some of the dye has soaked into fibres below the surface. I’m not sure what will remove/break down the dye that wouldn’t also harm the color of the shell or the material itself.
Funny how much dirt and dust can be on something that you don’t even notice, though, and I already went over it with a soapy cloth.

Found the manufacturing logo, this one has the overlapping triangles from Summit Plastics.

When I lived on the West side of Michigan during my internship and after school I purchased many Herman Miller and Knoll products. There are a ton of antique stops along US 31 and they have vintage pieces. As most of you know the West side of the state is home to Herman MIller, Steelcase, and Knoll so that kind of stuff is pretty norm if you come across it in antique shops.

knoll is in PA, john.

I love that my brother posts in here sometimes, back to the topic…

I like a good bump. Keeps these old threads active!

Eleven months seems long enough… .

I blundered into two Knoll Eero Saarinen “Tulip” Ashtrays at a yard sale earlier in the year. I got them both for $25 and sold them on eBay to a gentleman in Manilla for $1,000 … I feel so, dirty.

When was the last time you encountered an ash tray in a conference room?
Saarinen by Knoll Intrnl.JPG

Nice. Hey, knowledge has value right! In this case, that value was $975.

Awesome score, Lew! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with what you did there. Exercise that knowledge and reap the benefits.

I’m not really feeling too guilty about it; the “buyer” obviously appreciated what he was getting. Perhaps these were all it took to complete his vintage Knoll Tulip office ensemble.

Definitely a once-in-a-life-time kinda score for me. I usually buy high, and sell low… … .

Just wishing I could get my hands on all of my grand-parent’s Stickley stuff that was discarded back in the sixties when they passed on… . :unamused:

This is an entertaining thread…tons of nice finds.

I found a pair of Eames armchairs at an abandoned camp while deer hunting three years ago. I figured they would be pretty haggard from being outside, legs rusted from being pressed into the dirt, etc. but they cleaned up very well.

Several months ago, I noticed that a neighbor had an Eames lounge sans ottoman wasting away outside on their front porch. Sadly I couldn’t shake it loose. I offered them a better than half of what I found similar examples sold for. In my mind a better price then they would get selling it in a garage sale or letting it waste away until it was eventually thrown out.

I don’t believe one shouldn’t necessarily feel bad about getting a bargain. If an owner doesn’t know the value of an item or value it themselves, it is a good bet it isn’t going to be taken care of or appreciated.

This is a great thread. Very cool finds. My eyes are open for stuff all the time and so far knowledge has saved me some money a few times, but it hasn’t made me any…yet.

Like others, I am holding on to the hope that I may be able to find some of the furniture from my past…from before I knew Koll from a hole in the wall. College roommates (still good friends) had a complete Saarinen breakfast set with the yellow seats, the public schools I went to had hundreds and hundreds of Eames fiberglass chairs, my grandfather had a bunch of Herman Miller stuff from his old office, etc etc. Not sure what happened to it, but I still have lines to a bunch of it.

I once snapped up 3 Knoll diamond chairs (red, blue and yellow) that someone left out for garbage. Got a few years of good use out of them but decided to get rid of them after yet another move to a new city.

I actually found the same Electrohome Circa 701 stereo console from the first page. This is the only other place I have seen one like it.

Yes found this really nice set of plastic Kartell drawers at a yard sale. Guess brand new those same drawers are a couple hundred. So good deal at $20 dollars.

It’s in MI. They may have stuff in PA also but it’s from Mi.

I have found a Bertoia diamond lounge, Two sofa’s, two shell side chairs, one shell arm chair in the trash. I got a Naguchi Coffee table for $40 on CL, a twist coat rack NIB for well under MSRP. Also found a Jens Rinsom end table / coffee table for $10. Ricky you need to hit up the H-M scratch and dent shop in Zeeland, and if you know any h-m employee’s they get an even larger discount.

Richard, is that Zebra skin real, and do you still have it?

Stephe, our employee sales have been treating me well.
Running out of room for seating at this point, might have
to start selling some stuff.

Zebra skin is real. I still have it but it’s in storage since it’s kinda dry and cracking. Got a real zebra head in the loft now.


a few more treasures

the chair peaking over the top of the MBP is a John Stuart inc. GR NY - Teak Danish MCM chair I found on
Craigslist for $50.
The frame seems very similar to these chairs on Madmen

other than the backs which are completely different.
I’ve had to glue one of the lower dowels of one of the legs back together about 6 times now, which is why I have not yet
reupholstered it, still trying to decide if it’s worth it.