April 18, 2008

Papst Red Ribbon: Vintage Fiberglass Kid Furniture Goes 1 For 2 In Vienna


Last we heard of Walter Papst, the German pioneer in the design of fiberglass furniture, his Rocking Sculpture was being reissued in a limited edition by Wilkhahn. [Also, he was hunting aliens.]

After the Rocking Sculpture won an award at the 1959 Milan Triennale, Papst designed a fiberglass children's furniture collection for Wilkhahn. An auction house in Vienna sold a couple of the 1960 pieces last November. [Not sure about the table, but the chairs were produced in a variety of sizes and formats from 1961-68.]


If they had baseball in Austria, Papst would've been batting .500. Papst's red fiberglass shell kid's chair sold for EUR968, a nice premium over its 400-600 euro estimate.

the rather awesome table
, which looks like it could be made from a single square of fiberglass, draped so that the pointy corners form the legs, didn't sell at all. The table was described as "rare," but collectors willing to pay anywhere near the pre-sale estimate of EUR1,000-1,500, were even rarer.

An interesting aside: At the Cologne Furniture Fair in 1966 [!], the German manufacturer Bofinger introduced what it claimed was the world's first polyester resin chair. In a letter to Form Magazine refuting the claim, Papst pointed to a 1960 patent for a stackable, molded polyester chair by Richard Reineman [of the Brunswick Corporation, makers of find school furniture and bowling equipment in Lake Forest, Ilinois]. Then he added, "For your information, the first table made from a piece of polyester was my design from 1959. Also, my stackable polyester bench is first, from 1962. Both are in production at Wilkhahn, Eimbeckhausen. And so I plant." The Eameses were apparently unavailable for comment.

UPDATE: Looks like you have a second shot at a Papst table. Andy the eBay shark found one for sale in France, that can be shipped worldwide. That is a fantastic design [check out some detail images at the auction or after the jump]. And while the price in euros EUR700 is below the auction price from last fall [it's not the same table, btw], the dollar has plummeted another 10% since then. You're looking at $1230 before shipping.

#254: A rare children’s table designed by Walter Papst in 1960 for Wilkhahn/Germany, est EUR1000-1500 [dorotheum 2007.11.13 via internationalauctioneers.com]
#255 A children’s shell seat designed by Walter Papst in 1960 for Wilkhahn/Germany, est. EUR400-600, sold for 968
Previously: They're Baaack! Walter Papst Rocking Sculpture

Images via eBay seller ChicPlastic. Check out their eBay Store, ChicPlastic is Fantastic, here.





the table is awesome

dude, dude

[whoa, that is why i am still the eBay student and you are the master. -ed.]

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