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Karl Springer

American, German, 1931-1991

The Berlin-born, New York–based designer Karl Springer brought a chic, high-fashion sensibility to his coffee tables, mirrors, Lucite lamps and other furnishings. During his heyday in the 1970s, Springer’s work was a favorite of the glamour set, who enjoyed the novelty of pieces finished in rich and striking materials that ranged from exotic hides and skins to lacquer and chromed metal.

In a sense, Springer was a pre-postmodernist. Much as the dull, safe, corporate sameness of late 20th-century modernism prompted Ettore Sottsass, Michael Graves and others to explore new and provocative structures and materials in design and architecture, so, too, was Springer driven to enliven his creations with fresh and alluring energy and sleekness.

Springer came to New York in the late 1950s and found work arranging window displays at the department store Lord & Taylor. He had studied bookbinding in Germany, and, using his meticulous skills, he began crafting desk accessories wrapped in leather as a sideline. These pieces were sold in luxury stores like Bergdorf Goodman and drew a sophisticated clientele that included the Duchess of Windsor.

By 1965, Springer had established his own Manhattan atelier. It was Pierre Scapula, decorator to Jackie and Aristotle Onassis, who spotted Springer's disco-era Onassis chairs — which didn't yet have a name — first commissioned for a private residence in Acapulco, on the floor of the designer’s East 61st Street showroom. Jackie ordered barstools for the couple’s yacht, the Christina O, and dining chairs for their house on the Greek mainland.

At the time of his death, Springer had showrooms as far afield as Los Angeles, Tokyo and Munich.

The chairs, tables, credenzas and other furniture forms Springer created are generally simple, but substantial, and often have robust, rounded lines. The appeal of his work lies in Springer's insistence on exacting construction and, above all, his eye for unusual materials and finishes.

Springer employed Lucite, brass, and gunmetal along with chromed and polished steel, and revived exquisite finishes rarely seen since the days of Art Deco masters such as Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann and Jean-Michel Frank: shagreen (a type of sharkskin), python, goatskin, bone, horn, and lacquered parchment, as well as fabrics that include batik prints. Made of such materials, Springer’s work is by its very nature flamboyant and eye-catching: a suite of pieces will astonish, and an artfully placed side table in exotic hide will add a surprising spark.

Find a collection of vintage Karl Springer furniture today on 1stDibs.

Karl Springer Zebrawood Writing Desk with Stainless Steel and Brass Accents
By Karl Springer
Located in Miami, FL
Karl Springer zebrawood writing desk with stainless steel and brass accents Offered for sale is a highly polished Karl Springer exotic zebrawood writing desk with a stainless stee...
Category

Late 20th Century American Karl Springer

Materials

Brass, Stainless Steel

Karl Springer Octagonal Chrome and Marbelized Lacquer Mirror
By Karl Springer
Located in Chicago, IL
Karl Springer octagonal mirror with 1" bevel, framed in a butterscotch yellow veined lacquer that resembles marble at much less weight. Polis...
Category

1970s American Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Chrome

Monumental Sized Karl Springer Goatskin Credenza with COA
By Karl Springer
Located in Culver City, CA
This piece is absolutely stunning!! A monumentally large Karl Springer custom angular credenza in a creamy, ultra luxurious goatskin. The goat skin hides on the front have a wonderfully matched curvy seem that is just stunning. This dreamy credenza would be an impressive addition to any dining room, living-room console or entry piece and would effortlessly flex into even a more business or industrial environment. We currently have this piece in our gallery paired with a set of Vladimir Kagan serpentine sofas with a Paul Evans coffee table and a Gabriella Crespi console...
Category

1970s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Goatskin

Signed Large Mid-Century Karl Springer Coffee / Cocktail Table, Gunmetal, Brass
By Karl Springer
Located in Stamford, CT
Signed Large Midcentury Karl Springer Coffee / Cocktail Table, Gunmetal, Brass Priced well below site and market value comes this Large and Impressive Glass top Coffee or Cocktail ...
Category

Late 20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Karl Springer

Materials

Metal, Brass

Karl Springer Lacquered Goatskin Mushroom Cocktail Coffee Table
By Karl Springer
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Designed by Karl Springer, a rare and wonderful mushroom cocktail table in lacquered goatskin. The sexy shape and size are perfectly suited for a space requiring a smaller table... t...
Category

20th Century Mid-Century Modern Karl Springer

Materials

Goatskin

Large Dining Table with Stone Mosaic Surface by Karl Springer
By Karl Springer
Located in Atlanta, GA
A glamorous dining table designed and retailed by Karl Springer, circa 1980s. The iconic shape features a beveled horse track-shape top with ro...
Category

1980s American Modern Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Stone

Karl Springer Tessellated Stone Mirror Labeled
By Karl Springer
Located in Palm Springs, CA
A beautiful Karl Springer tessellated stone mirror with a nice bevel. The mirror is quite substantial with a deep angle as it is almost 3 inch...
Category

1970s Philippine Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Bone, Mirror

  • Karl Springer Tessellated Stone Mirror Labeled
  • Karl Springer Tessellated Stone Mirror Labeled
  • Karl Springer Tessellated Stone Mirror Labeled
  • Karl Springer Tessellated Stone Mirror Labeled
H 60.25 in W 36.25 in D 2.88 in
Pair of Karl Springer Soufflé Ottomans or Poufs
By Karl Springer
Located in Middlesex, NJ
Pair of Karl Springer Soufflé ottomans or poufs Note: Polished steel bases on castors - showing reflection of floor on bases.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Karl Springer

Materials

Upholstery

Browse all Furniture from Karl Springer
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Karl Springer Sellers

Lobel Modern, Inc
5.0
Showplace - Luxury - Art - Design - Vintage
4.9
Gustavo Olivieri 20th Century
5.0

Creators Similar to Karl Springer

Karl Springer furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Karl Springer furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of metal and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Karl Springer furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 546 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 13 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Karl Springer were created in the modern style in north america during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Charles Hollis Jones, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, and Harvey Probber. Prices for Karl Springer furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at £294 and can go as high as £96,151, while a piece like these, on average, fetch £6,811.

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