MCM fans...what would you ask for this Poul Jensen chair?

sarahandbrayJuly 27, 2014

My husband and I are both teachers...but he also runs a second-hand store...mainly furniture. He brought home this chair for the WOOD PILE since it has been there for months with a $7 price tag!
We are not MCM fans (upstate, NY, big old Victorian farmhouse), but I recognized that this was probably a piece someone would want. After researching it, these things cost a ton!!
What would you charge for this, as is, to an antiques dealer?
Poul Jensen Z Lounge Chair, walnut (I think), imported by Selig. Structurally sound, but with nicks and scratches, nothing major.

Any help would be great!
Sarah in Selkirk, NY (very thankful to have Hudson, NY right across the river...tons of antique dealers!!)

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    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:09AM
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Front view

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:10AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Are you willing to ship it or are you only wanting to deal with the local market? That makes a difference as to how many people will be in your pool of buyers, thus affecting the price you can ask. It's not just condition and origin.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:37AM
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I guess I figured I would sell it to a dealer in Hudson, NY (20 minutes away) and they would fix it up and sell it to a NYC crowd.
I wouldn't know the first thing about shipping a chair!

Emailed 5 dealers in two interested emails back. Wondering what to ask? I told them I will entertain any "fair" offers...just not sure what that is!!
$75? $150? $300?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:07AM
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Check EBay and Etsy too ....

Next -- go the New York Craigs List site and then go and check out other cities around the country (Los Angeles Dallas Houston etc.) .... just takes a few moments to do this ..... and will give you a good idea of prices ....

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:13AM
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If you get $10 you still made more than expected. :)

You were willing to sell it for $7 ... any picker who saw it would have giggled all the way to the closest MCM dealer, taken $50 cash for a quick profit of $43 and been happy.

Vintage ones seem to be selling for about $800 with decent upholstery. Maybe more near NYC, but online I was seeing $800.

About 10% of the local price will give the dealer some profit after the fixup. If local prioces are about $800, I'd ask $100 and be willing to drop to $75 ... a serious chunk of money goes into good upholstery fabric and foam for those things.

Take an $800 chair: The dealer has to make at least half of the cost as profit to keep the doors open, so that leaves $400 for the chair materials and labor ... if you get $100 that leaves them $300 for some spiffy fabric, foam, webbing and supplies.

If the chairs are selling locally (in NYC ) for $2000, without anything extraordinary like Brazilian cowhide cushions, ask $200 and settle for $150.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:28AM
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It's a Z chair.

The prices for one retail with a good vintage finish are around $2000. This has no straps, and the finish has some issues, but I don't think $400- $500 would be unreasonable for a NYC area dealer --who has to do some work on it-- to pay. They can always counter lower. It's what the market will bear, but in NYC, I've seen them for $3000 + (in very good finish with cushions)

This post was edited by palimpsest on Sun, Jul 27, 14 at 9:36

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:33AM
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I have a few interested in Hudson, which seems to have a direct pipeline to those-who-can-afford in NYC.
I was thinking $200 as is?
Is that unreasonable?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:08AM
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I was hoping to find comparable chairs in city suburbs in similar condition...but haven't found any.
Checked Etsy and EBay and Craigslist and simply Googled. Ugh.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:10AM
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This looks like it .

Here is a link that might be useful: Look at 1st dibs

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:17AM
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I have no idea, but wow, great find!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:22AM
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I found a bunch of local dealers on 1stDibs.
One in Stamford, CT wanted pairs only. She said she picks up pairs for $500-800.
I just can't believe the disparity in pricing! And the number of Z Chair knock-offs that still go for good $$! Like $350-500 for some MCM Z Chair look-a likes!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:30AM
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At the last Rago Unreserved Auction one Z chair with ottoman, good finish, marked but no cushions had and estimate of $200-300 and went for $813. (Probably to the final user, not a dealer)

An unmatched pair, one labeled, one not, went for $868 with an estimate of $500-700.

So on the one hand anything over $7 is great, but on the other somewhere around $300 is not unreasonable.

I've sometimes sold things really low because I hadn't paid much, and then was nickeled and dimed by the dealer buying it, only to be kind of unpleasantly surprised to see what prices they marked them at in their own retail stores.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 11:03AM
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Yeah, I realize this was essentially a free item, and I shouldn't be greedy. But I also don't think $50 is quite enough for this style/designer, based on what I've read. I would think between $200-$250 would be reasonable and still have plenty of room for a profit even after those straps and cushions/fabric are added in.
Found the Danish straps online....they look to be about $15 maybe it needs 8 of them? $120 in straps, $100 in cushions/fabric??

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 11:58AM
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Given the condition it's in, I agree $250 to $300 is within a reasonable range. I see these all the time in vintage shops in LA and they are usually priced anywhere from $750 - $1000 refinished and re-upholstered. The fact that it is an authentic Danish piece makes it more valuable and the wood seems to be in relatively good condition. What a find!

Here is a link that might be useful: CL z chair in LA

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 2:22PM
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Amazing! I have two of these chairs in walnut - and two matching 'loveseats', each with one arm, right and left. They flanked a square walnut table that sat in a corner. The chairs had blue raw silk cushion covers and the loveseats had the striped velvet common to the 70's. I used them for a few years, then put them in storage - where they are now. It wasn't till I went looking for the Vargas straps that I learned what they really are and the value. Sadly the long straps are no longer available, just the short ones. I'm not about to butcher the loveseats by stapling straps to the ends. If I ever decide to take them out of storage and redo them, I'll just use more short straps.

You have a $7 treasure; don't give it away.

Here is a link that might be useful: walnut Z chairs

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 12:27AM
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Thanks for all the help!!
I actually sold it for $250 to an antiques dealer in Hudson, as planned!! I'm driving it down today and getting a nice lunch out of it with hubby. Very stoked!!
If I had a real personal attachment to it, I would keep it. But my big old farmhouse has zero MCM pieces in it and I'm sure someone else will appreciate it more than I do! Dealer promised to send me final pics! :)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:55AM
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Let us know what the dealer asks for it once he refurbishes it! Bet his asking price is a pretty penny. :)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:34AM
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Oh, I'm sure it will be. This antiques dealer/refurbished is AMAZING, even though I'm not a fan of 50's-70's furniture.
His name is Scott Neven at Moderne (Neven & Neven) in Hudson, NY.
I have never seen refinished wood as BEAUTIFUL as his...seriously looks like it is a showroom for current, brand-new furniture.
I'm happy the chair didn't make our wood-pile and that it's going to be beautiful in someone's home! I'm sure the price tag will be upwards of $1000 when done.
Happy he bought it because the other six antiques dealers never got back to me--one lady wanted pairs only, so I'm pretty stoked it's got a new home!
(Plus, my husband got called a "picker," so he's tickled pink--even planned a date day for us to walk around Hudson and check out the antiques dealers...totally worth selling the chair!)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:39AM
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Have been following your story. What a great happy ending, for both you and the chair!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:32AM
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