Wendell Castle Molded Furniture, ca. 1970

Value (2013) | $6,000 Auction$9,000 Auction
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GUEST:
My husband about 30 years ago was working for Wendell Castle in his woodworking studio. And then my husband and his cousin broke off and started their own company. And it was called Fibertech, and what they did is fiberglass work. And then Wendell approached him to make the chairs for him. So he did all the manufacturing of Wendell's chairs.

APPRAISER:
Terrific. We don't see that much modern furniture at the Roadshow. They're certainly wonderful examples of 20th-century design, and very interesting in Wendell Castle's work. As you know, Wendell Castle is one of the preeminent American wood furniture craftsmen. But we might say that that doesn't quite do him justice in that he's really taken it to a new level of artistry. And as you mentioned, he's best known for his wood furniture. These were something made for a very short period of time, isn't that correct?

GUEST:
Yes, mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
When was your husband and Wendell working together?

GUEST:
About 1969, 1970.

APPRAISER:
Considering that they are a factory-produced item, I don't think a huge amount were made. So there is a pretty good market for these today. And there's increased interest in post-war design in the marketplace. I'm particularly fond of this chair. This chair is called the molder chair. It's got this wonderful molder-like shape. And then this yellow example is called the castle. And I think it would be interesting to point out this rubber gasket along the bottom, which is an original detail. And there were some knockoffs made in the '80s, and there may even be some illegally made now.

GUEST:
Oh, really?

APPRAISER:
But since you acquired these directly from the maker, we know that these are original. Let's just tilt it up and take a look underneath, just to see that it is a pressed fiberglass construction. I would say colorful examples are probably about $1,200 to $1,800. The black one, maybe a little bit less.

GUEST:
Wow.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Doyle New York
New York, NY
Update (2013)
$6,000 Auction$9,000 Auction
Appraised value (1998)
$3,200 Auction$4,800 Auction
Event
Rochester, NY (August 08, 1998)
Period
1970s
Form
Chair
Material
Fiberglass

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