Selling Out Chandigarh (03) – One Person’s Trash is another Person’s Treasure

Dilapidated-Chandigarh-Chair-2

Dilapidated-Chandigarh-Chair

Dilapidated-Chandigarh-Furniture-on-a-heap-1

Dilapidated-Chandigarh-Chairs

Above dilapidated Chandigarh chairs. Below restored ones

chandigarh-jeanneret-design-restored

One Person’s Trash is another Person’s Treasure

Indian officials had looked 50 years or so to the rather raw furniture designed by Pierre Jeanneret who, in collaboration with his cousin Le Corbusier (Charles Edouard Janneret), had designed the city of Chandigarh. So what happens with old furniture? You try to sell it or you throw it away as trash. Until a clever Frenchman, Eric Touchaleaume, came along who assessed the true value of the furniture and started to buy dilapidated furniture from the local auctions and take it from the various junkyards. He restored the furniture in top condition. He wrote a book about it. Organized various prestigious galleries to showcase his finds and offered the furniture for sale by prestigious auction houses. And there and then it became apparent that Chandigarh was losing an important collection of original design and architecture and started people claiming that he was looting and robbing Chandigarh…other people would call it clever marketing…

More Links

  • Mondo Blogo Who used this subtitle and wrote a lengthy article about the controversy.
  • Patrick Seguin Gallery in Paris has a collection of restored Chandigarh chairs.
  • Chandigarh Design has a collection of photos of the dilapidated furniture from whom I borrowed some. I have a feeling it is the webshop of the French entrepreneur who decided to buy the lots.
  • My Introduction to this series.

Post Alia

When you take a close look at the dilapidated Chandigarh chairs and the mint condition ones you will agree with me that although raw, the design has been exceptionally sturdy. The chairs have survived 50 years of uninterested use and can be beautifully restored.

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