Modern Furniture, Lighting, and Home Accessories

Always Authentic

GR Shop Blog

  • My Vintage Fritz Hansen Grand Prix Chair

    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.

    The Fritz Hansen Grand Prix Chair is now available in the USA at Modern Planet by Gabriel Ross.

    Merry Christmas & A Happy New year to you!

  • My much cherished Nelson Sunflower clock

    We became a Vitra dealer many months ago and having just purchased an original 1959 Howard Miller - George Nelson Sunflower clock from a client of mine that no longer had the space for it, I was really excited. When I purchased the clock, it was an out of production piece that I am guessing not too many people were even aware of. Known as Nelson's most intricate and complicated clock, it had very low production numbers and very big appeal. It wasn't cheap, even back in the 1950's. Beverly thinks that she paid about $150 to $200 for it back then. That would have been a small fortune at the time.

    So, Beverly's downsizing was my good fortune, as it was more important to her that it go to a good home and to someone that would cherish the clock in the same way that she had for almost 50 years, than to someone that would flip it for a a few quick bucks. I'm not going to say what I paid for the clock, because she knows and I know that I stole it away from her, but I will say that she got 50 years of enjoyment out of it and didn't lose a dime ;)

    So, now Vitra has done a re-issue of this beautiful clock, which is great because with the re-issue, more people will become aware of and more people will get to hang one of these wonderful pieces in their homes.

    If all goes well, maybe I'll live another 50 years before I pass the clock on to someone. I wonder if i will be as generous as Beverly ??

    Only time will tell :)

    To order in the US visit Modern Planet by Gabriel Ross

  • Everyone Needs an 18 karat Bedside Gun!!

    Philippe Starck - Whenever that name comes to mind, I think of my first visit to New York city several years ago. High on my list of Priorities was a visit to The Royalton Hotel. Starck was the designer for The Royalton and it has been a few years since I was there, but it still stands out as one of the most amazing showcases of what he does and how he is the master of pushing boundaries when it comes to design. It has also inspired me to make sure to visit more bathrooms in my travels. I have been cursed with an unusually large bladder, which just so happens to be a bigger curse to all of the people that have ever been on a road trip with me. (I'll leave it at that, except to say, if you ever go on a road trip with me, bring a big bottle if I'm behind the wheel) My point is that this large bladder of mine, means that I very often don't make the trip to the restroom and therefore, I often miss out on seeing some very cool spaces. So, the next time you're in New York, break out your wallet and spend the $20 (give or take) for a Martini and make sure you make a trip to the rest room at The Royalton. Just make sure you remember from which direction you entered.

    Wow, that's a hell of a lead into why anyone would need an 18 karat gold gun beside their bed. So, to the point. Starck recently designed three new lamps for Flos. The Bedside Gun, The Table Gun and The Lounge Gun. They are die cast aluminum with a gold plated finish in 18 karat gold. I personally like them. They just seem so out of place and they have this really eerie feeling about them. They are somewhat classy and somewhat "Holy Shit, that lamp is a GUN !!! Some people are going to like them and more people will hate them, so you'll have to be your own judge. But check out some of the images on the Flos site. They look like they are really nicely finished.

    Let me know what you think. Would you have one in your house. Do you think these are appropriate given the times we live in? or do you think they put a "light" spin on how we perceive this object.

    Until next time

    Flos Gun Lamp


    Flos Table Gun Lamp

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