Antiques Roadshow guest startled by value of wooden chairs Might want to sit down!

Antiques Roadshow: Mark Hill values a pair of chairs

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Collectables expert Mark Hill had the pleasure of explaining to a guest on Antiques Roadshow that his set of 1960s ancient Greek-inspired chairs were worth more than he could ever imagine. The guest, who bought the chairs purely for their “elegant look and comfort”, could not believe his luck.

Mark, 46, was amazed with the “superb quality” of the chairs which were designed by renowned British-born architect and furniture designer T.H.Robsjohn-Gibbings.

He was presented with two chairs during the episode, but his guest explained he had another two back at home. 

Mark said: “There’s always an exception to every rule and this pair of chairs by T.H.Robsjohn-Gibbings is typical of that. 

“While everyone was looking at Scandinavian designs, and plastics, here Robsjohn-Gibbings looks all the way back to ancient Greece.”

Mark then asked his guest if he saw himself as an exception to a rule as well, similar to the designer. 

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His guest replied without hesitancy saying, “absolutely” while nodding. 

He said: “I love that you brought the Greek [aspect] into it too as that is was I see. When I see these chairs [there] is Ancient Greece.” 

Mark explained chairs of that style appeared in ancient Greek pottery Robsjohn-Gibbings had seen. 

“He was very unusual in his day, so he became perhaps one of American’s most influential and most important designers in the 1930s and 1940s,” Mark added. 

He ended up valuing the chairs at £4,000 each, meaning the set was worth a total of £16,000.

Mark and his guest had carried on admiring the craftsmanship of the chairs together and found the designer’s name engraved on the bottom of the items. 

Mark explained: “They really are superb quality – they are made out of walnut with this great quality leather webbing on top and they were designed in 1960 and if we look underneath them you’ll find a label. 

“Was it the comfort or the fact they look so elegant that made you buy them?”

His guest explained both elements compelled him to purchase the vintage set of chairs and he told Mark that he’d bought them at a lot as well as some other furniture. 

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When learning he bought them at a lot, Mark was curious to know how much he paid for them. 

The guest said the chairs probably cost him about £1,000 each. 

Mark then told him to take a seat as he “might want to be sitting down” for the next bit of information. 

“They are fabulous quality, they are supremely stylish, they make a statement and as we can both see they are extraordinarily comfy,” Mark explained. 

 

“My feeling is that they’d do much much better in America than over here, but I think they are worth about £4,000,” the expert added. 

His guest hesitated for a moment, stunned, and asked if that meant the chairs were worth £4,000 each. 

Mark replied: “You’ve got it – [that’s] £16,000 worth of chairs.”

The delighted guest replied: “I’ll take that, that’s amazing. That’s really, really good.” 

Classic Antiques Roadshow episodes can be watched on BBC iPlayer or new episodes are on BBC One on Sundays at 7pm.

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