eBay, 1stdibs, and the rise of online auction catalogs have given birth to a growing league of collectors who know how to spot the good stuff, making it nearly impossible for the rest of us to snap up limited-edition, original decor.
From Left: Jean Prouvé's the Standard and the Fauteuil Direction
Thankfully, contemporary-furniture companies are digging up and reissuing discontinued mid-century chairs that have been unobtainable for decades. Last fall, the New York City showroom M2L acquired the rights to a selection of pieces by Brooklyn native—and sectional-sofa inventor—Harvey Probber, including a 1960 Architectural Series boxy walnut chair, seen here (from $5,200; m2l.com). Switzerland–based Vitra launched unlimited production of two of Jean Prouvé's most collectible examples—the Standard and the Fauteuil Direction—while Howe brought back the playfully splayed Tongue chair by Arne Jacobsen. The best part? No eBay alerts required.
Arne Jacobsen's Tongue chair
The most expensive mid-century chair to ever sell at auction is Finn Juhl's 1949 teak-and-leather Chieftan armchair, which fetched a staggering $674,099 when it hit the block at London's Phillips last September.