You might see one custom high chair from a master woodworker come up at auction, but you hardly ever see two. Rago Arts has these two rather amazing pieces in their upcoming 20th century design sale next month.
First things first, this early (c. 1958) walnut high chair from Arthur Espenet Carpenter [above] is a straightup mid-century modernist classic, ready to pull up next to some sleek, teak Danish dining set. The $5-7,000 estimate reflects a lot of Espenet's brand premium, and very little reality. Because, let's be serious, it's a high chair. But who knows, maybe the market's there.
Designer Michael Elkan might not have the recognition of Espenet, but he sure made the hell out of this high chair. It has walnut legs and an extraordinary maple burl slab seat.
Interestingly, it dates from 1986, which means the kid for whom this was made should be around 30yo. I'd figure a chair like this'd get passed down, or at least be trotted out when the grandkid comes to dinner. But I guess not. Anyway, compared to the Espenet, it's practically free.
Jun 9, 2013, Lot 809: ARTHUR ESPENET CARPENTER, Sculpted walnut high chair, 1958, est. $5-7,000 UPDATE: sold for $11,875. Whoa. [ragoarts]
Lot 832: MICHAEL ELKAN, High chair, $1,200-1,800 UPDATE: sold for $1,200.