Monthly Archives: November 2015

Meyer Furniture

Meyer Furniture, not Myer. Got it? Good!

Mid Century Australian
Not a bad stance.

This chair is interesting to me. Why? Well because of its construction. From the front it appears to be your typical steel/iron rod chair. However once you see the underside you quickly realise that the frame isn’t welded together. It is in fact bolted together using various  clamps and fasteners. These hold the timber armrests (covered in plastic) / the back support and the seat all together (see photo below).

Mid Century Dining Chair
Early ‘Flat Pack’?

It really is quite amazing, and I would imagine of been more time consuming in the final assembly stage. I am curious why a company would go away from the traditional method of say, welding the frame together to the method described above?

Now I’m only speculating, but one reason I can think of is space saving for transport, just like Ikea’s flat pack furniture. You may of been able to fit say 20 of Meyer’s fully assembled chairs in the back of a delivery van, you break them down and that number could probably triple or quadruple quite easily. Another would be the ease of manufacture of each separate part off the production line.

So just who are ‘Meyer Furniture’? Searching on-line wasn’t a great deal of help, however trove brought up limited results. One was a news article from the 25th of September 1958 which read  –

The Sydney firm of Meyer Furniture successfully tendered for the supply and delivery of steel framed cafeteria furniture for the cafeteria to be located on the fourth floor of the new administrative Building at Parkes. The furniture comprises 90 tables, and 360 chairs, and deliveries are to be completed by November 17. The accepted tender price is £2,593.  

Another was a great image of their furniture stand at the 1960 Furniture Exhibition from the NSW State Library website – which I’m pretty sure shows the exact chair up against the rear wall.
Meyer Furniture Stand 1960

Unfortunately that’s all the info I can find right now, however as with most things the search never stops, it just gets put on ‘hold’ until some new information/pictures/furniture comes to light!

Auction Watch # 21 – Summertone Buffet

Tonight I thought I’d log a few images as reference of a Summertone buffet/sideboard currently listed on eBay.

1950's Sideboard
eBay listing for a Summertone Buffet

Condition is OK, but work is needed, and with a starting price of $500 I think it’s pushing the envelope a little. However I think it’s worth noting as Summertone pieces have a great design and seem to be a little harder to come across! Nice shot of the makers label – which is different to other (earlier?) versions I have seen which appear to be more so of a badge.

To find – search for ‘Summertone Buffet’.

George Doukoff

I’ve had a hard time over the last few weeks finding anything of great interest to share with you for my ‘Auction Watch’ blog posts. Tonight whilst trawling all the usual haunts again I was less than impressed (hey – maybe it’s me!) however a chair listed for sale on eBay caught my eye.

1950's Chair
1950's Mid Century Chair
Silky Oak

The similarity between it and my ‘Warwick library chair’ which I posted about here almost 3 years ago reminded me that I needed to post an update about the said chair in question.

I was contacted by Dean from Australian Modern and he referred me to an article he had written about the designer – George Doukoff. It’s well worth a read, and you can find that article here –

Re-reading back through Georges history myself, there is every chance that the chair currently listed on eBay (search for Atomic Wooden Silky Oak Mid Century Chair – Buy It Now $75)  is an early version/prototype that was discussed in the article of the eventual ‘Volkschair’.

The A-frame legs and its curves looks very, very similar along with those little arm rests sitting atop. The materials used are right for the period in question (early 1950’s) and the location of the chair (Strathpine QLD) is just 20km’s north of Brisbane, where George had his store and workshop.  Could these factors just be a coincidence? Possibly, and without any hard documentation or makers marks it’s just speculation! I’ll leave you to make up your own mind.

Side by side!