Jean Prouvé Armchair "Direction" collection, 1935
Jean Prouvé Armchair "Direction" collection, 1935

A collector’s chair found in the street sells for US$53,000 at auction

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Sometimes things happen by chance. According to French daily newspaper L’Est Républicain, an armchair abandoned in the street in Nancy, France, was identified as a piece from the 1935 “Direction” collection of the famous French designer Jean Prouvé. It was one of his collaborators who, passing by chance in this street, spotted this treasure. “He found this chair while walking down the street and immediately noticed its particularity,” Sylvie Teitgein, auctioneer at the Antichermal auction house, where the object was auctioned, told the newspaper.

This famous chair, estimated at around 10,000 euros (US$11,000), was finally sold 48,500 euros (US$53,000). It was acquired by a Korean collector, an admirer of Jean Prouvé’s avant-garde design. “In recent years, Koreans have become increasingly interested in Prouvé’s work,” continues Sylvie Teitgein. Last year, several pieces of furniture by the famous designer were auctioned to a gallery owner for Korean art collectors.

Far from being a rare occurrence, finding treasures at flea markets actually happens on a pretty regular basis. You will certainly not come across an Albrecht Dürer drawing or a Pollock painting every day at your local flea market. But by dint of reading and research, you will sharpen your senses. And who knows, you might very well find your own valuable treasures.