I recently decided I needed some chairs. The dining suite I have, a 1970's era Swedish Modern style, has a leaf table in fine condition, but all but one of the six chairs have either broken or come apart. I think they were under-designed, as they have not had a lot of use, although they may have been abused before I got them.
I am not interested in holding dinner parties, I just wanted some chairs to be functional as chairs and not so flash as to be expensive or a worry to look after. Just something to sit on, dammit!
My mind went back to my youth, when many church, sports club and school halls commonly had numbers of a simply styled, functional, stackable chair of tubular steel frame with a simple seat and back of curved plywood sheet riveted to the frame. I recall a brand-name Nest-A-Chair.
An internet search found nothing that I remembered, not even on TradeMe, New Zealand's answer to E-Bay; there was an English equivalent which differed in having the tubing continue down the legs, across the floor and up again. (See Left.) £55 = NZ$117, a bit pricey for me.
Then, on the way to work I passed an antique shop, and enquired within. They were familiar with what I wanted, but had none. I was directed to another shop round the corner, where there were none either, but the young man there directed me to another shop run by someone he knew, and where he believed they had some of the chairs I was after. This was along the road from where I work.
At lunch time I raced off to check the shop, and sure enough, in the arcade, opposite the shop, were displayed eight examples. (See Left, taken when I picked mine up.)
I had a look through them, they sorted into two slightly different seat shapes, four of each shape, one set newer looking, which I settled on. I thought I would seize the day, as they were exactly the chairs I remembered. The lady wanted S45 each, and at $180 for four, I offered $160. She refused to discount the price, saying that they were hard to get in Auckland, and she had to pay freight to get them from the South Island. I felt the price was reasonable considering new chairs go for a lot more, and agreed to buy the below: -
Click "Read More" for restoration and final result. (12/05/15: - Not yet, restoration just begun!)
I am an extremely intelligent, witty and fascinating guy.