Trashpicking Triumph! 1957 Herman Miller Shell Chair!

Herman Miller Shell Chair

…Or near triumph, anyway. Yesterday, I drove past this 1957 Herman Miller Shell chair in someone’s trash. Got about 3 blocks away and the quintessential midcentury silhouette wouldn’t leave me alone. Turned around. Cast the baby car seat off to one side of the loyal Matrix. Loaded this puppy in (with its original date stamp and mfgr. tag intact) and was off.

Now the question is, how best to restore it? Get the fabulous Philadelphia upholsterer Anthony Cocco to restitch the Naugahyde? Have him replace it with a more contemporary fabric? Strip it down to the cool-textured fiberglas base? The chair is in excellent condition — sound frame, no chips in fiberglas. I can barely stand myself.

Advice, please, oh wise hivemind!!

4 Comments Trashpicking Triumph! 1957 Herman Miller Shell Chair!

  1. Dudley FIsher

    You should receive a mid – century medal.

    I once was driving a car load of relatives in a small Ohio town when we passed a dumpster set in-front of the local Methodist Church school, seems they were remodeling and I saw a set of silver legs and cried out it’s an Eames chair. I dropped the load of relatives off and returned to the dumpster and alas it was a perfect Eames fiberglass side chair.

    After working with a young account rep on Sears business and indoctrinating anyone who would listen about mid – century design. The young account rep left advertising for law school and while walking down the alley behind her apartment in An Arbor she found a chair in the dumpster just like yours. She now lives in the Silver Lake Dist of LA in a house filled with mid century design.

    Now about your medal.

  2. steph

    My vote is a contemporary fabric. It’s lovely. You seriously have a talent. Maybe you should become one of our dealers on 1stdibs! Hah.

  3. Lisa levine

    Answer to your question: If it were mine, I’d redo it in a retro fabric.

    Questions to you: On what street did you find it? And what is the trash day there? I’ve got to get out of Princeton (way too colonial) and start trolling Philly.

  4. lise

    I’m headed for retro.–will post the final selection. I found it in Mt. Airy (trash day Thursday), but Chestnut Hill (Fridays) can also be bountiful. And then, across the river, there’s the Main Line…

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