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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Jacob & Josef Kohn Chairs

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QUESTION: Good Morning Michael,Here are the pics you requested. I was told by someone else that these were rare and not mass produced. If so would i have 4 of the first ones made? They are numbered on the bottom of there rails 62,63,64, and 65 on all four bent rails. Thank you again for your time.

ANSWER: All of the Kohn chairs were mass produced in a factory, they were the competitor of Thonet. Steam bent  furniture required large steam machines to heat the wood and them bend them in to molds that formed the shapes, This was not done by small craftsmen in a little workshop.  The bottom of the chair looks like a chair that was made circa 1900. The chair shape most common version of the Kohn chairs and was sold in the  several 100,000 examples. They did make versions in small quantities of around 25,000, I think your is manufactured in large quants, but I do not have any documentation concerning the exact amount of chairs that were manufactured. the printing or engraving on the chair seat and back was done by a machine and not hand crafted.  The numbers on the bottom of the rails allowed employees to assemble the pieces in a assembly line. I would estimate your chair to be worth around $150 dollars if you are very lucky, I have seen these chairs sell for as little as $40 dollars in used furniture stores.

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QUESTION: Michael can you tell me what the 2 faces and the harp represent on the back rest? By the way i was scamed by an auctioneer as he said these chairs were worth $1000 a piece. I paid $220 for all 4. Hope i can get my money back. Thank you again for your time. I hope you have a great holiday.

Chuck

Answer
I guess the auctioneer is the lucky one he was able to get you to pay $220 dollars for all four, that is $55 dollars per chair not too far than my estimate of 40 dollars per chair, I don't think he scammed you, she sold them to you for a fair price, there is no way he should give you your money back.  If you would have paid me for my advice before you purchased the chairs it would have cost you more than what you paid. You need to be grateful that the auctioneer did not try to sell them to you for $500 dollars each, then you would have a reason to complain.  

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Michael Andrew Wilson

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I will attempt to answer questions about European Antique Furniture and 20th Century Decorative arts and Design furniture, including 18th century & 19th century construction details, style, period and the craftsmen and manufactures that created them, I will also attempt to answer questions about buying European Antiques and how to become a expert collector, my speciality is French, Italian, English, Irish, Spanish, Belgium, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, German, and Swiss.

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Since 1995, I have been, a professional art, antiques and design advisor and earned an unparalleled reputation for providing select clients: expertise in making informed purchase decisions for antiques and art acquisition from a wide range of categories and eras. Architects, interior designers, decorators, dealers, museums, collectors and private clients rely on me for a wide variety of services. I specialize in finding and facilitating the purchase of some of the most notable pieces in the market today. And because I know the market so well –including the secret locations where the world's best dealers purchase their stock – I are generally able to do this at a significant saving of both time and money. My service includes: creating collecting and acquisition strategy including organizing personally guided buying trips throughout the International art and antiques markets, pre-shopping research, sourcing, analysis of markets, documentation and expert appraisals, handling, shipping and delivery coordination. In short, everything my clients need to be assured of the most knowledgeable, reliable, and pleasurable sourcing, acquisition and collecting experience. My approach is to offer maximum transparency. You can visit my website at: www.mawparis.com

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Moving to Paris in 1989, I worked, for five years as an Interior Design Project Manager for Polo Ralph Lauren where I helped to plan and open more than 60 Polo stores and showrooms across Europe and purchased antiques for one of Mr. Lauren's homes and as a result I oversaw the purchase of millions of dollars of Art & Antiques, this experience gave a unique qualifications to understand the complexities of this market and gives me a rare insight into the professional antique & art market. I also have taught “Furniture Design and Style” at the IESA (Institute Arts Superior) in Paris. and have a personal archive of over 170,000 photos of Furniture and 160 hours of video of the major European art and antiques fairs including: Paris’s Biennale des Antiquaires , Maastricht’s TAAF , and London’s Grosvenor House. Some of these videos can be see at: www.thewilsonreport.tv

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I have a prestigious international clientele of noted business and entertainment figures as well as some of the word’s most important collectors, References are provided for serious enquires.

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