1945 Finn Juhl Chair
Appraised Value: $4,000 - $6,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:26)
Rago Arts & Auction Center
GUEST: A friend of mine's father passed away and I helped him clean out the house. And it was one of the items that he didn't want to keep. So he asked me if I'd like it and I took it home, and there it sat for a while. And my wife saw a picture, one in a magazine, so we sort of knew it had some value and we wanted to find out more about it, and that's why we brought it to the show here.
APPRAISER: Great. What you have here is a very interesting chair. It's made by a gentleman named Finn Juhl. It's called a '45 chair. He actually, kind of interestingly, he started designing it in 1941, and didn't really finish it up till 1945, when he presented it to the world. Finn Juhl is often considered to be the best Danish designer of all time. What's really interesting and, I think, very powerful about this chair, is this chair helped change the entire way the rest of the century would look. Before the '45 chair, his furniture was heavy and it was clunky. It didn't have the grace or the charm that this chair did. So when he came out with this chair, it was almost controversial. It was one of those things that smacked people really hard and people had to rethink the way they looked at furniture. He also began the use of teak, and it became very popular with Danish furniture makers. The 20th-Century Movement is on fire. Prices are going up all the time.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: Oh, it's unbelievable. And one controversy that's kind of going on that's still evolving-- we haven't worked our way out of it yet-- is the notion of condition. And your chair obviously has some condition issues. Now, some people would immediately refinish this. They would immediately reupholster this. They'd immediately respring and refoam this chair. Now, this chair is in bad enough condition where I think you could do it without hurting the value at all. Matter of fact, any money that you invest in this chair would be well spent as far as I'm concerned.
GUEST: I see, very good to know.
APPRAISER: It's seen a little bit of wear, but it's still a really wonderful chair. Is this leather on here right now the original?
GUEST: No, I don't think so.
APPRAISER: No, I think somebody has redone this. Probably was maybe a more tobacco color, something a little browner. Something a little bit more natural, in keeping, again, with the organic nature of the chair.
GUEST: Yeah, it wouldn't contrast so much with the wood.
GUEST: Exactly. I understand.
APPRAISER: As far as value goes, a chair, '45 chair in this condition at auction is probably worth between $4,000 and $6,000.
GUEST: Wow. I wouldn't think so.
APPRAISER: Yeah, that's what it is.
GUEST: That's wonderful.
APPRAISER: If you did reupholster this chair, it would probably increase the value to probably $6,000 to $9,000. As far as cost goes, it might cost you $500 or $600 to get it reupholstered.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.