Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • ON TOUR
  • WATCH ONLINE
  • WEB EXCLUSIVES
  • RESOURCES
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    George Nelson Herman Miller Chest

    Appraised Value:

    $1,700 - $2,000

    Appraised on: August 9, 2008

    Appraised in: Grand Rapids, Michigan

    Appraised by: Christopher Kennedy

    Category: Furniture

    Episode Info: Grand Rapids, Hour 2 (#1314)

    Originally Aired: April 27, 2009

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Chest of drawers
    Material: Aluminum, Wood
    Period / Style: 20th Century, 1950s, Modern
    Value Range: $1,700 - $2,000

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW

    Comment

    Appraisal Video: (2:24)

    appraiser

    Appraised By:

    Christopher Kennedy
    Decorative Arts, Furniture

    EnservioSelect

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: About three years ago, maybe four years ago, we bought the house of the son of the founder of Herman Miller Company, Hugh De Pree, and the neighbor came by and she said that she was selling some Herman Miller bedroom furniture because they were moving to a condo. So we bought a whole bedroom set with end tables and a vanity and a couple of shelves and this was one of the pieces in the set. The house was designed by George Nelson in 1946 for Hugh De Pree, so we thought George Nelson furniture would be great in this house.

    APPRAISER: Well, 1946 is actually quite early, because George Nelson is just beginning to get started replacing Gilbert Rohde, who died as the design director at Herman Miller. Your chest here was designed in 1946, introduced at the Grand Rapids summer market in July 1947. And the first catalogue that it appears in, I think, is 1948. And it was in production for at least ten years, available for purchase right up until about 1958, 1959. It was a really versatile series of pieces, and the drawers could vary so you could have smaller drawers. The depth of the case would always be the same, right at about 18 inches, and you had the option of either ordering it on legs, as your piece has, or brushed chrome legs, or you could have no legs at all and it would sit on a bench system, which was a very kind of new concept in furnishings beginning after the Second World War. Very indicative of postwar furniture. It was great for smaller households. Nice aluminum handles on it. The wood is primavera. Nice, pristine example. This one is not rare but an absolutely wonderful example of the piece, still with the Herman Miller decal. Uh-huh. The decal would put it at mid-1950s. They stopped this label in about 1956. And just a wonderful, pristine example. How much did you pay for it?

    GUEST: Well, the lady who sold it to us, her uncle worked at Herman Miller and gave her this set, and so she knew what Herman Miller furniture was worth, so she charged us $1,500 for this piece.

    APPRAISER: Modest retail value would be in the neighborhood of $1,200 to $1,500.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: With the great provenance behind it, you could add probably $500 to that.

    GUEST: Great, thanks.

    APPRAISER: It's a great piece. Thanks for bringing it.



    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 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.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube