In this article, we will be discussing a unique collector’s item called the Salesman Sample Lounge Chair. This small version of a normal-sized chair holds a fascinating history and showcases the sleek and smooth design of machine age furniture. Passed down from the speaker’s great grandfather, who worked as a buyer for Gimbels in the late 1930s, this chair provides insights into the world of catalog sales and the evolving tastes in furniture design during that era.
The Salesman Sample Lounge Chair: A Familiar Family Heirloom
The Salesman Sample Lounge Chair was brought back from overseas by the speaker’s great grandfather, who worked as a buyer for Gimbels, a renowned catalog retailer at the time. Unfortunately, Gimbels declined to sell the chair in their catalog due to its high price for what was considered a child’s toy. However, the chair found a new home with the speaker’s grandmother, making it a cherished family heirloom.
The Significance of a Salesman Sample
A salesman sample, as the name suggests, is a scaled-down version of a regular-sized product meant to showcase its design and features. In the case of the Salesman Sample Lounge Chair, it allowed the people at Gimbels to assess the proportions, scale, and intricate details of the chair. This clever marketing tool provided potential buyers with a tangible representation of the product, helping them make informed decisions. It also captured the essence of the machine age design prevalent during the 1930s.
The Characteristics of the Salesman Sample Lounge Chair
Designed in the mid-1930s, the Salesman Sample Lounge Chair exudes a distinct machine age feel. Unlike its predecessors, which were bulky and ornately carved, this chair embraces a sleek and curved design. Its streamlined appearance reflects the growing trend towards simplicity and minimalism in furniture design during that period. However, its popularity was short-lived, as American tastes shifted after World War II towards a newer style called American modern.
Collector’s Interest and Value
The Salesman Sample Lounge Chair holds significant appeal for collectors. Firstly, it falls into the category of salesman samples, which is a popular niche among collectors. The unique history and purpose of these miniature versions make them sought-after items in the antiquities market. Additionally, the chair also appeals to modern furniture collectors. Its timeless and sophisticated design makes it a desirable piece for enthusiasts worldwide.
Determining the Value of the Salesman Sample Lounge Chair
Estimating the value of the Salesman Sample Lounge Chair can be challenging without a proper appraisal. However, based on the information provided, it is possible to make an educated guess. The speaker suggests that a similar chair would have been sold for around $60 back in the 1930s. In today’s auction market, the chair could potentially fetch a price between $2000 and $2500, considering its rarity, historical significance, and appeal to various collector groups.
The Salesman Sample Lounge Chair is a fascinating artifact from the mid-1930s. Passed down through generations, it carries the legacy of a bygone era of catalog sales and evolving furniture design trends. Its sleek and streamlined appearance reflects the machine age aesthetic of the time, marking a departure from the ornate styles of the past. As a collector’s item, it appeals to both those interested in salesman samples and modern furniture enthusiasts alike. With its unique history and limited production, the Salesman Sample Lounge Chair holds significant value in the antique and collectibles market.