After losing out at the auction on an amazing set of six vintage Fritz Hansen Grand Prix chairs with wood legs earlier this year, I couldn't believe it when a few weeks ago I was driving up Fort St. here in Victoria and there in the window of the local auction house was another original Grand Prix chair with wood legs. OK, it wasn't a set of six, but to be honest, I'm not sure I ever saw this chair as being my dining chairs or kitchen chairs anyway. I don't know what it is about this chair, but every time I look at it, this chair brings a smile to my face. Maybe because it isn't as common as the Series 7 or the Ant chair, or maybe because I live on the West Coast and the back looks like the tail of a whale. No, it probably isn't for that reason. Anyway, it is slightly awkward, slightly beautiful. The patina that it has picked up over the years is amazing. Every scratch, every mark has a story. I'm pretty sure I couldn't have a house full of vintage furniture, but having a few select pieces can sure add a sense of being to your home.
I guess it's kind of like my latest passion for 65 Ford Falcons. I bought my first Falcon when I was fifteen, before I could even legally drive a car and for some reason, in my 43rd year, I just had to get another one, which has now turned into two. There is nothing like jumping behind the wheel of a brand new car, with great acceleration and stick to the road handling and braking and all the modern conveniences that come with it , but, when you get behind the wheel of an old car, with an AM radio, a noisy heater fan, wipers that smear the water around so you can get a sense of which direction you're heading, well that is something that just can't be described. All of a sudden you're driving at half the speed, you aren't in a hurry to get where you're going, because once you get there, you won't be driving anymore. You even take the long route, just to prolong the experience.
Well, I’m either babbling, or this is some sort of an analogy about the appeal of vintage furniture.
The good news is that during the period of losing out on the set of six chairs and “winning” the single chair, Fritz Hansen has re-released The Grand Prix Chair. It is available as the metal leg version and it is available in several finishes. The other good news is that after more than two years of harassing Fritz Hansen to allow Gabriel Ross to become an authorized dealer of Fritz Hansen furniture, they have finally conceded and we are in the throws of placing our first showroom order.
So, if you have enough vintage pieces in your home and you love this design as much as I do, then you might just want to get yourself one or six, so you can start marking and scratching them. That way, one day, someone else might inherit them, or buy them and then they too will have some vintage pieces for their home.
Merry Christmas & A Happy New year to you!