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People Are Selling Their Old IKEA Chairs For £15,000

Ali Condon

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People Are Selling Their Old IKEA Chairs For £15,000

Featured Image Credit: Ikea/Shutterstock

Ikea is the go-to department store for reasonably priced furniture, but what if we told you the DIY chair you just bought for your living room could be worth a small fortune in a few years?

Yes, just last week a new world record was set for a piece of Ikea furniture when a Cavelli armchair sold for a whopping £15,500.

The rare armchair, of which only five were made, was designed by Bengt Ruda and originally sold back in 1959 for just £20. What a profit!

Some Ikea chairs are being auctioned off for big money. Credit: Unsplash
Some Ikea chairs are being auctioned off for big money. Credit: Unsplash

The Cavelli armchair was just one of the pieces that sold for big money at leading Swedish auction house Bukowskis on 17 May.

And it wasn't the only chair that sells well, either.

The Åke armchair, manufactured in 1952–1956, originally costing £8, sold just last month for an impressive £2,863.

Meanwhile, the 'Impala' armchair designed by Gillis Lundgren, originally sold for £80 back in 1972, recently sold at an auction for £2,000.

The Cavelli armchair sold for over £15,000 last week. Credit: Bukowskis
The Cavelli armchair sold for over £15,000 last week. Credit: Bukowskis

Pontus Silfverstolpe, antiques expert and founder of Barnebys, said the auction rates of vintage Ikea pieces 'continues to surprise the auction world'.

While we might typically associate Ikea with simple, inexpensive, assemble-yourself furniture, the company often produce pieces that inevitably become collectors items.

But you can't just auction off any old Ikea desk or shelving unit and expect to rake in the cash. There's a very specific style of Swedish flat-pack furniture that's selling well among collectors.

Mr Silfverstolpe explained: "It is especially designer furniture from the 1950s and 1980s from Ikea that costs more and more on the second-hand market.

The Åke armchair sold for over £2,000 last month. Credit: Bukowskis
The Åke armchair sold for over £2,000 last month. Credit: Bukowskis

"The furniture that is most attractive to collectors and design enthusiasts is that they are innovative designs for their time, made of good materials and in a limited edition or manufacturing period. 

"Some of these famous Ikea designs by leading artists can be considered collector's items and have become a hard currency at auction. It would not surprise me if in time some of this furniture ends up in one of the world's major design museums."

He continued: "Ironically the most expensive Ikea auction items today are almost always Ikea's flops, which were quickly discontinued due to lack of sales figures or expensive production costs."

The 'Impala' chair originally sold for £80 and is now worth £2,000. Credit: Bukowskis
The 'Impala' chair originally sold for £80 and is now worth £2,000. Credit: Bukowskis

And it's not only abstract chairs that could skyrocket in value. Ikea also has a history of collaborating with well-known artists for prints and paintings that are sold as decor in the store and become valuable in the years following.

When artist Lars Norrman created some limited-edition works for the furniture giant in the 1960s and 1970s, her piece 'The girls go to the ring' was sold for a mere £2. But recently, the piece sold at an auction for £290.

So if you've got some old-school Ikea bits in your house, it might be worth your while to do some research!

Does anyone have the number for a valuator by any chance?

Topics: Home, News, Money

Ali Condon
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