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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
$4,953
Styles
Materials
Karl Springer Extra Large Vanity Mirror in Polished Steel and Brass, 1980s
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
Meticulously crafted extra large vanity/dressing table mirror in polished steel and brass with magnifier on one side and mirror on the other by Karl Springer, American 1980's. This i...
Category

1980s American Modern Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Brass, Steel

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

Grey Leather & Stainless Steel Karl Springer Style Souffle Ottomans Wheels, Pair
By Karl Springer
Located in Norwalk, CT
Pair of grey leather and stainless steel Karl Springer Souffle ottomans on wheels.
Category

1980s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Chrome

Karl Springer Pair of JMF Chairs in Lacquered Goatskin, 1970s
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
Pair of "JMF Chairs" in lacquered goatskin by Karl Springer, American 1970's. These chairs are meticulously crafted. Reference Karl Springer catalog, red binder, section “seating”, ...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Goatskin, Wood

Mid-Century Modern Table Lamp with String Shade by Karl Springer
By Karl Springer
Located in Toledo, OH
A fantastic table lamp by Karl Springer. This great lamp features three round plaster compressed spheres separated by two Lucite spacers. It has a two light cluster socket with Sprin...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Karl Springer

Materials

Lucite

Karl Springer Set of 4 Swiveling "Onassis Bar Stools" in Suede 1980s
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
Rare set of 4 swiveling "Onassis Bar Stools" covered in calf skin suede with brass footrail by Karl Springer, American 1980's. The Onassis Barstool was rarely made in a swiveling ver...
Category

1980s American Modern Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Brass

Karl Springer Meticulously Crafted Coffee Table with Lucite Legs 1980s 'Signed'
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
"Round Leg Lucite coffee table" with brass stretchers and inset glass top by Karl Springer, American 1980's (Signed “Karl Springer” on brass stretcher). This table is beautifully mad...
Category

1980s American Modern Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Brass

Karl Springer Pair of "Dome Top Art Deco Mirrors" with Up Lights, 1980s
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
Matched rare pair of monumental "Dome Top Art Deco Mirrors" completely covered in beveled mirror panels with up lights inside dome tops by Karl Springer, American 1980's. These mirro...
Category

1980s American Art Deco Vintage Karl Springer

Materials

Mirror, Wood

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Karl Springer Sellers

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