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For vintage and antique pieces without provenance, it can be tricky to know what an acceptable price range is. Luckily, our co-founder, Xing, happens to have a pretty great pricing-guide built into the back of his head (honed from his years of scouting, buying and selling all over the world!).
Recently, we picked Xing's brain about the value of dining chairs. Here's what he had to say.
Q: Dining chairs! What are they worth?
Antique Dining Chairs in Good Condition: For antique chairs that have provenance and are truly valuable, it’s best to go to a site like Kovels, where all of the factors have been considered by seasoned pros. But assuming we’re just talking about some great old chairs with good bones, about $100 to $500 per chair, is about right—depending on time period and quality.
Antique Dining Chairs Needing a Bit of Work: Depending on age and the quality of the frame, $50 to $200 per chair.
Chairs from 50s, 60s or 70s, In Excellent Condition: With a designer name attached, these are almost never cheap. A single Eames dining chair in original condition, for example, can fetch well over $1000 (again, Kovels can be a great resource, if you’re looking to price out the real deal). That said, there are plenty of bargains to be found if you are looking for great pieces that aren’t attached to a designer name. Look for a range of about $100 to $500+ per chair.
Chairs from 50s, 60s or 70s Needing a Bit of Work: Again, we’re not talking about designer pieces, here—but if the upholstery and/or finish are in good condition and the piece just needs a little TLC, you could still easily be looking at $200 or more per chair, especially since mid century design remains so popular! Something that needs to be reupholstered or refinished could easily be had for less than $100. Range: <$40 to $200+ per chair.
Non-Designer 80s and 90s Dining Chairs in Excellent Condition: This is a bit more of a straight-forward category (though, as more time passes, we are bound to see an increased range here, as well). For the moment, you’re probably safe within the $100 to $200 per chair range!
Non-designer 80s and 90s Dining Chairs Needing a Bit of Work: You’re likely to find these chairs in the range of <$30 to $150 per chair.
In your experience has this held true? Have you found any great pieces that fell outside of these price ranges? Any pro-tips or stories you’d share about shopping for dining chairs?