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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 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, he had established his own Manhattan atelier, and at his death he 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. He 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.

Average Sold Price
$5,122
Styles
Materials
Karl Springer Large Lacquered "Kyoto Box" 1980s
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
"Kyoto Box" with hand lacquered shagreen and bone motif with hinged top by Karl Springer, American 1980s. The interior is covered in suede. This can be used as a side or occasional t...
Category

1980s American Modern Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Lacquer, Suede, Wood

Karl Springer Pair of Table Lamps in Green Shagreen and Bronze, 1980s
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
Pair of exceptional table lamps in green shagreen and bronze by Karl Springer, American 1980's All 4 sides are covered in shagreen. Meticulous craftsmanship and the finest materials ...
Category

1980s American Modern Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Bronze

Set of 4 Karl Springer Onassis Bar Stools
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
Set of 4 Karl Springer Onassis bar stools. The stools' frame is lacquered wood with fabric covered cushioned seats. The stools have a nice lacquered finish.
Category

1980s Modern Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Wood, Fabric

  • Set of 4 Karl Springer Onassis Bar Stools
  • Set of 4 Karl Springer Onassis Bar Stools
  • Set of 4 Karl Springer Onassis Bar Stools
  • Set of 4 Karl Springer Onassis Bar Stools
H 39.75 in. W 23.75 in. D 20 in.
Karl Springer Set of Four Goatskin "JMF Bar Stools", 1979
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
Set of four "JMF Barstools" in lacquered goatskin with steel footrests by Karl Springer, American, 1979. This is an elegant springer design with unsurpassed craftsmanship. Reference...
Category

1970s American Modern Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Goatskin

Karl Springer Rare Sea Shell Mirror, 1970s
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
Rare wall-hanging mirror covered with sea shells arranged in a beautiful arc top pattern by Karl Springer, American 1970's. As with all Springer pieces, this is meticulously crafted ...
Category

1970s North American Modern Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Shell, Wood

Set of 8 Goatskin "JMF" Dining Chairs, Karl Springer
By Karl Springer
Located in Hollywood, FL
The famous Jean Michel Frank Model in cream goatskin- superb condition.
Category

1980s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Goatskin

Signed Karl Springer Side Table with Cantilevered Glass Top
By Karl Springer
Located in Stamford, CT
A gunmetal and glass cantilevered cocktail table designed by Karl Springer. Singed at foot of base.
Category

1980s American Modern Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Metal

Karl Springer "Round Leg Coffee Table" with Artisan Etched Glass 1980s 'Signed'
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
"Round Leg Coffee Table" in gunmetal and chrome by Karl Springer, American 1980's (signed on bottom stretcher “Karl Springer”). Art Deco style etched circular motifs on tops by glass...
Category

1980s American Modern Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Nickel, Chrome

Browse all Furniture from Karl Springer
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Karl Springer Sellers

Lobel Modern, Inc
5.0
Gary Rubinstein Antiques
5.0
Sold Gallery
No Reviews Yet
Pilati Interior and Design
No Reviews Yet
Fat Chance Los Angeles
5.0

Karl Springer furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Karl Springer furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our Karl Springer collection of furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular.. We have 476 vintage editions of these items in stock, while there are also 10 modern editions to choose from. Many original furniture by Karl Springer were created in North America during the 20th century in the modern style. Many customers also consider furniture by Mastercraft, Charles Hollis Jones and Paul Evans if you are looking for additional options. Prices for Karl Springer furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at US$795 and tops out at US$120,000, while pieces like these can sell for US$7,500 on average.

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