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KARUSELLI chair, Yrjo Kukkapuro, 1964

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Chairs2057 of 2944morris / victorian wood reclinerHand carved barrel seat chair
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    Posted 9 years ago

    (584 items)

    For some time now I've been wanting to share here the pictures of the chairs at both our houses, but the inability of taking great pictures of them -you need a lot of space and a good lights set- has prevented me from doing it. So far, the only chair I've shared here is the white fiber-glass stool for children designed by the Spanish designer Jordi Galí i Camprubí in 1966 (, and that's because it's a small one.

    So... I've made my mind up that that shouldn't stop me from doing it anymore and I'm going to share them using both good pictures from the internet and bad pictures from the same chairs at home. I know it may seem a bit unorthodox but... who isn't a little bit so nowadays?

    The first chair I want to share here is the Karuselli chair by Yrjo Kukkapuro, designed in 1964. It's said to have been molded using Kukkapuro's body print in the snow... It was launched at the Cologne Furniture Fair in 1965 and immediately it was understood as a revolutionary chair in its time. Since then, the Karuselli chair has become an icon of design. It was first produced by Avarte, but this factory has just closed down and Artek -under Vitra management- has just relaunched it.

    And now comes the story of my own Karuselli chair. At the time I moved to my first rented appartment I enjoyed looking for old furniture on the curb... and this is precisely what happened with mine, only I found it twice ;). I found it for the first time one evening in a construction dumpster covered in dust and bricks from a flat refurbishment works next building, but I was in my way to an elegant party with ex No.2, and I was wearing all black, so I decided I would pick it up once I was back home, but it wasn't there when I came back that night :( About a year later I found it again on the street, as someone from next building was using it to hold the parking place left by his van... as I was approaching my place I saw this guy getting into the van, leaving the space it was on, then he got off the van, took the chair from the back and placed it on the empty space he had just left to hold for the space... weird, isn't it? I immediately felt sorry for the guy because I had already made my mind up to take the chair up with me and he would miss his much loved parking space. Poor, poor guy!

    As you can see at picture No.2, the upholstery is not in the best of conditions... not at all! But still it's my Finnish 6516 euros ( design chair I found on the curb, and i love it! I think I should reupholster it sometime soon though.

    Update February 2021

    Yes, the chair was reupholstered. It was difficult as I asked a lot of upholsterers and at the end only one had the necessary tool to do it. And it wasn't expensive at all. Instead of the original dark brown we used a black fake-leather fabric and is looking amazing at the studio. Maybe I should take a pic of it and share it here :)

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    1. DrFluffy DrFluffy, 9 years ago
      It's a fantastic chair and I love it.
    2. SEAN68 SEAN68, 9 years ago
    3. AmberRose AmberRose, 9 years ago
      I can't believe you wouldn't sacrifice some dust for this wonderful chair! :))
      Obviously it was meant for you. I love the story and love the chair!
    4. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 9 years ago
      Thanks geo, valentino, aghcollect, Mani, Amber, Sean, DrFluffy and loves this.
      icollectglass for loving it!!!

      Yes, I really think it was made for me :) Plus it's a very comfortable chair. It allows both spinning around and rocking... my nephews and niece used to have a great time using it as a Merry-go-round. Now they have grown pretty long legs, so I don't let them do it anymore!!!
    5. SEAN68 SEAN68, 9 years ago
      Yes austro this was made for you bigtime!!!! and I love it !!!! your very welcome austro!!
    6. racer4four racer4four, 9 years ago
      Great story! Good design never dates does it? I love the fact you constantly use it - the designer and the chair need that!
    7. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 9 years ago
      Thanks for yur love an ¡d comment, Jay!

      It IS comfy! It's everybody's favourite when friends call in (isn't this a too old fashioned verb?).

      I intended to reupholster it and years ago I contacted Avarte, the original producer, in order to ask about it. I could have sent the shell to finland and have it reupholstered there, but being a collector as i am i never managed to get all the money to do it and so it still looks this terrible way I found it in. By the weay, I was told mine was one of the oldest units because of the way the upholstery is attached to the shell.

      Also thanks for loving it mikel, racer, vanskyock24, ho2cultcha, vet and
    8. Vintagefran Vintagefran, 9 years ago
      Lol, another alien chair eh...your in cahoots!!! Honestly I've never seen anything like it. Its amazing & i would Love this in my house.
    9. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 9 years ago
      Thanks so much Fran :) I admit it's one of the weirdest chairs in the world :)
    10. vanskyock24 vanskyock24, 9 years ago
      mid century modern is bring crazy prices here in indiana
    11. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 9 years ago
      Not only in Indiana, also in Spain :)

      By the way, Vanskyock, I took a look at Muncie on google maps/street view. You've got some amazing old buildings there!

      Thanks for loving it everybody!!!
    12. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 8 years ago
      Thanks for your love EMANUELJAY!!!
    13. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 8 years ago
      Thanks for loving, JEWELS!!!
    14. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 8 years ago
      Thanks for loving FOX!
    15. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 8 years ago
      CHARMSOMEONE, EMANUEL and TOOLATE, thanks so much for looking and loving it!!!!
    16. Effervescentala, 4 years ago
      I have one too, with the matching stool. There is some damage to the arm as well. I’d love to have it reupholstered but I’m afraid to lose the great stitching and I’m not sure if I’d be happy with the result. My brother found it for me in a thrift store for 30$ Canadian ???? I’ll post a pic if I get a response.
    17. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 4 years ago
      Hi Effervescentala! Of course yo should share pics of your Karuselli chair and ottoman!!!

      Actually I got mine reaupholstered four years ago as it was taken to the new studio... It really took me a couple of months to find the guy who did it! I asked at a lot of "fancy" reup workshops (those they talk about in decoration and design magazines and so on) but no one would do the work because they didn't have the required tools to fix the leather to the shell. At the end this guy agreed to do it and I'm so glad he did. The charming fake stitch lines are gone, but the chair looks great even without them :)

      I'm really looking forward to seeing yours!

      By the way, the price to pay for a new set like yours is over 9000 euros ;)

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