Trying to identify origin/materials of unique chair

Don-CNYJune 12, 2012

My wife bought the chair pictured below at a garage sale. I really like it but have never seen anything similar. The arms are rough looking because they seem to be constructed from the same thin strips as the rest of the chair but interlaced or weaved together.

What is most perplexing about it is that I don't know what material is used in the construction. It is not wicker/rattan, and although it has a metallic sound when tapped or dragged on a hard floor it is non-magnetic, so not made of steel. I tried to carefully file a thicker area underneath but could not see anything but more white.

I don't know if it is a helpful clue, but there are small holes, spaced about 2" apart around the perimeter of the chair base, the base of the seat and the arms. There are no labels or marks on the chair or cushion. The dimensions are 33' high x 21" wide and deep.

As I said, I very much like the chair so I have no intentions of selling it, but would not mind an estimate of value.

Thank you.

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It's either split cane or rattan....can't tell without a closer look....b ut they are very much they same.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 9:05PM
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Suspect it's resin wicker, but can't really tell by the photograph. I used to do floral wedding designs, and purchased wicker fern and plant stands to be used both inside and out of doors. They were made of resin wicker, and the material looks very much like that in your chair. It's a synthetic plastic composition and that would answer why after you filed it, all you could see is more white. Often furniture made of it is supported by an aluminum frame.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 10:03PM
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I realized after looking at the chair again that I left out some important information. The strips from which this is made are highly stressed - they almost ring when tapped, so the chair is extremely rigid. Also, there is a smooth, white coating over everything that is harder than paint. Also, there is not a single exposed end!

I have added some closeup pictures at the link below. Note the irregular surface (rough was a poor description) of the arm in the first pic, which apparently is from weaving the material together. In the second pic one can see what appear to be brush marks. I know the stain by the hole look like rust, but I rechecked the frame with a strong magnet and there is no attraction.

I also missed pointing out previously that the holes I mentioned occur at every intersection of strips to the outer structure, probably some sort of bracing point during assembly. You can clearly see that in the 3rd pic, which also shows the heavy application of a coating.

I have the impression this was possibly a one-off piece, as it is so unique does not have a manufactured look, and would have been extremely labor intensive to make. At the same time it's a huge undertaking to design for one piece, and I would think an exhibition piece would have been even more finely finished.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mystery Chair

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 8:40AM
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I think Calliope is right....looks like resin.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 10:07AM
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We see this type of patio furniture often here (FL). Below is a link to a set currently available on craigslist. I have to say that the one in the link is priced way too high, compared to other sets of the same type.

Here is a link that might be useful: Resin wicker patio set

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 10:56AM
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SOLVED! - It's made of spun fiberglass, which make sense considering it it both light and strong, and now that I look even closser I see the "fibers" are not flat like real or fake rattan/wicker, but rather more round or square in cross section. It's so heavily coated that I did not realize that the strands themselves were woven. Also makes sense for the arms, which are probably strips of fiberglass fabric. Here are pics of almost identical items.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 1:17PM
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