Today I am putting up for sale this eight-stick comb-back chair that is finished in milk paint. This chair is being sold via silent auction – details of the auction are below. But first, here is some information about the chair itself.
This chair is a new design and is (I think) a successful effort to make a chair that’s ideal for both dining and relaxing. The chair has a newly designed armbow, plus some different geometry for the back, sticks and undercarriage. These changes add comfort without taking away the animalistic stance of the classic stick chair.
The chair is made from red oak, slippery elm and poplar, which are local materials that have been chosen to make the chair both strong and lightweight. The entire chair is assembled using hide glue, which is a reversible adhesive. This allows the chair to be repaired with ease by future generations.
The chair is finished in Sinopia milk paint in Bardini Blue, a non-toxic and durable finish. The paint has been hand-burnished to a low sheen and has a topcoat of linseed oil/beeswax finish. This is a time-intensive hand-applied finish with texture and character. The paint is slightly burnished through in places, and you will see neat brush marks.
Overall, the chair is 39-1/2” high x 25” wide x 25” deep. The seat is 16” x 20”, which accommodates most frames. The seat is 16-3/4” high, an ideal height for most operations and most sitters. And the back reclines at 14°, which makes it suitable for dining, keyboarding and relaxing.
A Silent Auction
During the last few years, I’ve had people ask to purchase chairs for a price far above the list price (two or three times the list). These potential buyers were frustrated with the first-come-first-served way I sell my chairs. I get that. It’s a scramble. But I like to be able to sell chairs at a price that many working people can afford.
So after some thought, I’m going to experiment with some different methods of selling chairs.
About half of my chairs will be first-come-first-served like I have always done it, with prices starting at $900 to $1,500. (As always, prices may go up in the future as supplies become more expensive or the chairs become more labor-intensive.)
The remainder will be sold using other methods. For this chair, I will use a silent auction. Simply submit your best bid to email@example.com before 8 p.m. (Eastern) on Saturday, Dec. 4. There is no minimum bid, and the highest bid wins. The winner will be contacted on Saturday after the auction closes.
(On shipping: You can pick up the chair, or I will deliver it within 100 miles of Cincinnati for free. Otherwise, I can ship it via common carrier to addresses in the continental U.S. This usually costs between $150 and $270, depending on where you live.)
In the future I will also experiment with a raffle. (Anyone who wants to buy the chair at the retail price will have a week to put their name in a digital hat. Then a buyer will be selected at random.)
Please remember that this is an experiment. I am trying to find a way to maintain my dignity as both a chairmaker and a breadwinner. However, I might just tick everyone off. Then I’ll flop and end up getting a day job. So if you see me cleaning up sloth poo at the Cincinnati Zoo….
— Christopher Schwarz
28 thoughts on “For Sale Via Silent Auction: Comb-back Stick Chair ”
I love to watch experiments play out.
Maybe Fitz can run a pool. We can all wager on the final price, and she can keep a cut. She’d need a tough sounding nickname though.
Her nickname is “Miss-fitz.”
And she already has a pool going. If she wins, she gets lunch at Sotto.
Can a mis-creant get in on this pool?
Hopefully the prize isn’t a shovelful of sloth poo.
The last line is just plain poetry.
It needs two more lines that rhyme with “poo.”
Unless it’s haiku.
And writing about sloth poo…
Is not unlike you.
“…animalistic stance of the classic stick chair.” OK, I will bite. What does that mean in plain English?
The angles on these chairs are far more extreme than on typical factory chairs. So they look more like an animal ready to jump or pounce. Some have lots of forward energy, like they are running. Animalistic = like an animal
As opposed to the classic Windsor lighter-than-air-look, stick chairs have a squat fat legged imposing presence that resembles a quadruped animal. Just my general take on ‘animalistic stance’.
Cool system. I like the raffle idea as well!
I think the Roentgen shop did that sometimes? Sounded like a nifty gimmick.
This chair is outstanding!!!
How did you like the Sinopia milk paint? I guess I may be losing my edge, this is first time I’ve heard of it. They have an interesting take not being a mix-it-yourself powered milk paint.
So far I like it. Long shelf life, too.
Actually, I see the main method of this new system is to blame Fitz if something goes wrong. By Jove, Holmes, you’ve done it again!
Someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo. I do believe it. I do believe it’s true.
Whenever someone mentions a zoo, that song plays in my head from when I used to see it on Sesame Street back in the day.
I’d like to suggest a double raffle. Two Digital hats, one you put your name in, the other you put your price. Winner pays whatever price is drawn.
Also, never underestimate the value of a grab bag.
That color is kind of fantastic.
Maybe this place might want one?
Good luck getting that sloth poo job without a PhD in biology with emphasis on animal behavior! LOL
Beautiful chair, BTW. I hope the experiment goes well.
Good point. I’m probably more qualified to shove the poo of the guy who shoves the sloth poo. But you gotta start somewhere. And it’s definitely the bottom.
Good luck, and you’ll have no trouble selling that one! It’s such a stunner. One of those things you see and immediately think, “I have to build that.” And that doesn’t happen often for me. I hope one day drawings (construction, not raffle) are available for this one – I’ll grab them and be at the lumberyard within the hour.
If you’d like to experiment a little further, how about giving your international (non-USA) customers a chance to bid or raffle ..? 😁👍
The shipping price is always the killer.
Then there’s the inevitable officious customs and duties twit adding some sort of value added levy on top of whatever you paid for the price, then the service charges for processing the value added levies.
And the delivery charges on top of the shipping.
You might be better off flying to Cinci to go pick it up and fly it back with you as baggage.
I suggest trying a second-price auction next : The basic setup is similar to the auction you’re using now, but the highest bidder in the auction pays the price given as the second highest bid. (The current auction is a first-price auction.)
Why use a second-price auction?
1. They are rarely used, which might make them cool, but definitely gives me an example for my lectures on auction theory.
2. They are a “truth-telling mechanism”, which means each bidder’s best strategy is to write down exactly what the chair is worth to them, and making people tell the truth is fun. In contrast, bidder’s who know they will pay what they bid if they win will list a price that’s a little lower than their willingness to pay.
I could go on, saying things like “revenue equivalence”, but this is already more about auctions than most people want to know.
This may be something that I should know, but who made this chair, Chris or Fitz or joint effort?
The chair is my design. I built it. Megan painted it. I applied the oil/wax.
I dream of being able to make a chair this gorgeous! (It will likely never happen) All Chris.
Comments are closed.