1993 Contemporary Craft Rocker by Zachary

Value (2008) | $2,500 Auction$3,500 Auction

My wife bought it in Three Rivers, California, in 1993. And I know the name of the artist-- his name's Zachary-- because it's on the back. And that's all I really know.

Okay, it is signed "Zachary '93" on the back, so she probably bought it at the time that it was made. But in the case of market value, the name really doesn't make so much of a difference on this chair. What really makes a difference right now is that the market for contemporary craft furniture has really taken off in value. Furniture like this by the big names is approaching $40,000 and $50,000 for a well-known maker. Because of that, we're seeing a lot of really strong prices for previously unknown or unrecognized artists. There are several elements about this chair that I like. Typically, the rocking chair is an important form in contemporary craft design today. It's a form that contemporary craftspeople always want to put their own signature on. Unfortunately, what a lot of people have done is they've followed too closely to what some of the other artists have done. George Nakashima and Sam Maloof are two really well known makers, and a lot of people follow too closely in their footsteps.

I see.

This chair really shows that this artist, even though I'm not so familiar with who he is, I know that this artist is fairly sensitive and has found his own voice. He's not following the path of copying another well-known maker. This is made well, but it's also designed well. The backrest here is out of probably what's known as claro walnut. The seat is also walnut. Walnut is the wood that's favored by American contemporary craft makers. And this piece here has a really beautiful, light-colored sap wood around the edge. He's made an asymmetrical shape to the back. These are things that you don't typically find in some of the other really big names. Tell me, what have you been doing with it since 1993?

Well, we use it in front of the TV. We put a cushion on it and watch television with it, because it's comfortable.

What did you pay for it, or what did she pay for it in 1993?

She paid $800 for it in 1993.

Just only months ago, I would say this might not have had enough of a value to be significant, but right now, because the market is such... at a fever pitch and so many people are looking for really strong American craft pieces, I think that we're probably looking at a $2,500 to $3,500 price range as an auction estimate.

That's nice.

I don't know if this artist's work will ever become well known, but right now, I think there's a real strong appreciation for it.

Well, I think I'm going to keep this one.

Okay, good. I'm glad you're enjoying it.

Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Los Angeles Modern Auctions
Sherman Oaks, CA
Appraised value (2008)
$2,500 Auction$3,500 Auction
Palm Springs, CA (June 07, 2008)

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