1961 Robsjohn-Gibbings Klismos Chair

Value (2010) | $6,000 Retail
Watch  

APPRAISER:
I know you have a set of six, but you've only brought us one today. What can you tell us about it?

GUEST:
They've been in my possession for 35 years. I inherited them, fell in love with them, and used them every day until a very dear friend of mine came and said, "Do you know what you possess? "This is a very special design by a man who was considered the premier designer for furniture in Athens, Greece," and basically, that's all I know.

APPRAISER:
This piece was made and designed by a man named T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings He was English, died in '76.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And what made him famous was he reinterpreted classical forms in a modern idiom.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And this is an incredible achievement because modernists love him and classicists love him. He went to Greece and he allied himself with this company to produce these limited designs. They were designed in 1961. Now, I'm going to need your help for a second. If you'll hold this seat.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
I'm going to turn it over so we can look at the label.

GUEST:
All right.

APPRAISER:
And we've got it right here. It's for Saridis of Athens. Tells you the designer, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings. Everything's marked, it's numbered, everything's great. This is what we call a klismos chair. And it is Greek in origin. It's almost a 3,000-year-old design. But Robsjohn-Gibbings comes up with a modern interpretation. On the seat here, he's using a kind of rattan.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And you can tell something immediately when you look at it without the seat, which is you can see the seat blocks. Well, he doesn't want you to do that. It was meant to have a cushion. And that is classically correct. It's made of laminated woods here in the back. You can see this, where they've got the curve and laminated it up. He used a number of different woods to create it. They use a uniformity of stain to achieve a nice color. What sense of value do you have?

GUEST:
My friend did a little bit of research on the Internet and he believes it's somewhere in the area of $5,000 to $6,000 per chair.

APPRAISER:
I talked to all the other modernists here, and we all were looking at these from a slightly different angle in terms of the market. A lot of people think they're really a $3,000 chair.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
My sense is that $6,000 is a good retail number in the current market.

GUEST:
I'm pleased to hear that they do carry that value. I was a little skeptical, but thank you for telling me that.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
J. M. Flanigan American Antiques
Baltimore, MD
Appraised value (2010)
$6,000 Retail
Event
Miami Beach, FL (July 10, 2010)
Form
Chair
Material
Wood

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