Fu­ture clas­sics from Ikea

How the flat-pack be­came an auc­tion-house favourite

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - NEWS - Talib Choudhry

If you think that Ikea fur­ni­ture is all just flat-pack fod­der des­tined for land­fill, think again. Col­lec­tors are spend­ing thou­sands of pounds to snap up rare vin­tage pieces from the Swedish fur­ni­ture gi­ant at auc­tion, wildly ex­ceed­ing their mod­est orig­i­nal price.

Åke so­fas and arm­chairs from the mid-1950s a re wor t h 10 t imes what they were sold for at the time, while the orig inal man­u­fac­tur­ing model of the ‘Clam’ chair from the range by Dan­ish a rch itec t Phi l ip A rc t a nder s old for £50,000 not long ago. Al­most as as­ton­ish­ing, a flat-pack shelv­ing unit from the 1970s re­cently fetched £3,000 and a sim­ple 1980s side­board ta­ble went for £2,275. Why the crazy prices?

‘Iron­i­cally the most ex­pen­sive Ikea auc­tion items to­day were al­most al­ways f lops t hat were quick ly dis­cont in­ued due to lack of sales or ex­ces­sive pro­duc­tion costs,’ says Pon­tus Sil­fver­stolpe, co­fou nder of Ba r nebys, a n a r t-mar­ket sea rch eng ine t hat t racks sa les – a nd trends – from 2,000 auc­tion houses.

Big-n a me de s ig ner s ar e a not her draw: Ikea founder Ing­var kam­prad recog nised t he benef it s of col­lab­o­rat ing with lead­ing de­sig ners, in­clud­ing Verner Pan­ton. In 1993, he de­signed the colour­ful, an­gu­lar Vil­ber t chair, priced at £60 but taken out of pro­duc­tion due to dis­ap­point ing sa les. to­day, it goes at auc­tion for up­wards of £700, thanks to the com­bi­na­tion of a well-known name and lim­ited avail­abil­ity.

those of us who aren’t lucky enough to have a f lat-pack de­sig n cla s sic at home ca n do some sma r t shop­ping now. ‘Per­son­ally, I think Ikea’s PS se­ries will be in de­mand in the f uture, and Ilse Craw­ford’s de­sig ns [which were launched in 2015] are al­ready highly sought a f ter in t he auct ion mar­ket,’ says Sil­fver­stolpe.

While most of Craw­ford’s lim­it­ededit ion Sin­nerlig col­lect ion has sold out (I man­aged to bag a din­ing ta­ble), a few prod­uct s a re st i ll for sa le – you should snap up the bam­boo pen­dant l ight s (£40) a nd cork-topped stools (£50) while you can. My other tips are to buy some­thing from the Stock­holm 2017 col­lec­tion (in store now – the cab­i­net is a win­ner) and from Dan­ish brand hay ’s for t hcom­ing I kea col le c t ion, which launches in au­tumn.

Top right Catch it while you can: Ilse Craw­ford’s de­sir­able Sin­nerlig col­lec­tion Above and right Com­ing attractions: fur­ni­ture by Dan­ish de­sign­ers Hay, due for an au­tumn launch The Tele­graph Mag­a­zine | 3 June 2017

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