75 vintage Krueger tulip chairs for sale — and I archive all my Saarinen tulip table and chair stories

saarinen style fiberglass tulip chairs by kruegerMy fascination with vintage Saarinen style tulip chairs has become a full-fledged continuing saga. Yesterday, I spotted “75 vintage tulip chairs” for sale on ebay. I was mesmerized by the photo alone (above), and had to find out more. Where did this sea of Kruegers come from? Why were they being sold? Can we help find them happy, new homes? Read on, and see some more sea-of-tulip-chair photos –>.krueger tulip chairsFirst, an outline of my Saarinen saga:

Now to the 75 vintage tulip chairs for sale on ebay

The listing says these Krueger designs from the 1970s. They look to be in excellent shape. Interestingly, Krueger is a company that is still around, based in Wisconsin. I bet if I asked, they would send me archival information Another day.

I contacted the lister of these chairs, and it turns out they are being sold to support a good cause — the Susquehanna River Archeological Center of Native Indian Studies. Executive Director Deb Twigg responded very quickly to my request for more photos — love! — and provided the following information:

Hi Pam. Thanks for your interest.  The chairs are being used in our lecture hall at SRAC in Waverly, NY. We are a nonprofit, and a local healthcare system had bought these back in the day for some waiting areas.
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krueger tulip chairs vintage 1970sThey sold a ton on eBay in 2007 and donated the rest to us. Since we are a non profit and economy us hard on us right now, we have decided to see if we can sell the chairs to help us pay our bills.
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We also have around the same amount in light blue tulip seats but the bases are different…here is our lecture hall with these chairs that are on eBay right now…

Feel free to call me with anything else you might want to know about- and thanks for helping us spread the word.

– Deb Twigg, Executive Director, email me at: Dtwigg [at] sracenter.org

You’re welcome, Deb, thank you for the photos and information, and good luck with your sale!
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Disclosure: When you buy anything from these ebay carousels or after you click into ebay here, it nets me a teensy commission.
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Readers, if you want tulip chairs authentic from back in the day, these look like the real deal to me. Obviously, if you can get to Waverly too see what you would be buying, that is always preferable. The Buy-It-Now price is $300 per chair, or start your bid at $250 per chair. Some price comparisons:

  • An authentic Saarinen tulip chair like the ones shown, purchased today new from Knoll looks to start about $2,300. Price list here a big difficult to decipher for an amateur like me.
  • Modernica’s fiberglass shell chair does not offer swivel base or upholstered seat. $299. Very pretty, though, and a wide range of colors. You can even get these as bar stools.
  • I paid $225 for my vintage set, then about $600 to Shawn to repair, repaint and clean the set. One of the chairs had a ding in it — he filled the fiberglass. Greater experts than me say: Go for fiberglass that is in perfect shape, as repaired damage may not hold up to daily use.

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Comments

  1. nocoretro says

    Wow! So beautiful! I recently picked up 4 tulip chairs off of craigslist, I knew they were knock offs, but that’s what I wanted. I didn’t know the manufacturers name (and haven’t bothered to look on the chairs). But HOLY SMOKES! I bought four for $120.

  2. retrosandie says

    Pam, I, too, love the pedestal bases and was lucky enough to find a beautiful Chromecraft set, Saarinen style. I have just listed it on ebay because I moved into a 550 sq foot apartment and this set JUST DOES NOT FIT!!! I need to let it go, because I won’t have room for my furniture still in storage. It’s in my living room right now, but alas! no room for my hutch, curios, retro sewing table/chair, etc. I would love to show the listing on your site, but don’t know where. Just love your “new” set!!

  3. Pamela says

    Pam, this is so cool! I have 3 original Burke Vecta tulip chairs left of my set of 4 (fully upholstered in orange fabric) with a tulip table with white leather formica top. The base broke on one chair (after 20 some years and nobody could repair it) so I abandoned it. The other thing that was special was the set is “cocktail height” great for us 5’4″ folks. Just started looking for tulips with blue seats!!! Found your blog, got all excited: 75 available and I only need 4! Went to ebay and found there was only one bid, but can’t tell if all were sold. Soooo, if you know if the good cause has any left, I would dearly love to buy 4. Thanks!
    PS: Just found Deb, spoke with her and may get these after all.

  4. says

    OH MY GOSH! I can’t believe I missed this post from three years ago, but my Dad worked at Krueger Metal Products my entire childhood, up until he retired! And because we could get a discount on chairs, we actually had this EXACT chair in our house in the 70’s! Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Pam! :)

  5. Jim Grolemund says

    RE: 75 vintage Krueger tulip chairs for sale

    Posted by: pam kueber • August 3, 2011

    Just a heads up for everyone….
    So, I needed one of these to use as a parts donor for a set I recently acquired. I took a leap of faith and contacted Deb Twigg to see if by chance they had any broken ones. Lucky me, they have one with a cracked base that is perfect for my needs and I am picking it up this coming week.

    So, anyone looking? She told me there are still some there but I don’t know how many. Could be your opportunity to score a set. See her contact info earlier in the blog.

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