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Karl Springer Furniture

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.

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Creator: Karl Springer
Dealer: soyun k.
Karl Springer Pair of Souffle Ottomans in Ivory Bouclé and Brass, 1980s
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
Karl Springer pair of soufflé ottomans with thick rounded ivory bouclé cushions on rounded square lacquered brass bases with caster wheels. The brass bases are in very good original ...
Category

1980s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Karl Springer Furniture

Materials

Brass

Karl Springer "Sculpture Leg" Table in Coral, Brass and Glass, USA, 1980s
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
Karl Springer iconic "Sculpture Table" in rare coral veneer with polished brass cap mounting thick cantilevered glass top. This chic architectural side table in coral veneer is a ver...
Category

1980s American Modern Vintage Karl Springer Furniture

Materials

Coral, Brass

Karl Springer Large Vanity Mirror in Brass and Chrome, USA, 1980s
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
Karl Springer large modernist vanity or table mirror in polished brass and chrome with one side a magnifying mirror and the other side a standard mirror...
Category

1980s American Modern Vintage Karl Springer Furniture

Materials

Brass, Chrome

Karl Springer Freeform Coffee Table in Brass and Black Granite Top, 1970s
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
Karl Springer for Karl Springer LTD exceptional free-form coffee table with polished brass base and black granite top, designed circa 1970. This iconic Springer low table design has ...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Karl Springer Furniture

Materials

Granite, Brass

Karl Springer Large Lacquered Goatskin or Parchment Beveled Wall Mirror, 1970s
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
Karl Springer large exquisite rectangular wall mirror with lacquered goatskin frame and beveled mirror, USA, 1970s. This exquisite mirror has a simpl...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Karl Springer Furniture

Materials

Goatskin, Wood

Karl Springer Rare Pair of Cognac Leather and Brass Club Chairs, 1980s
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
Karl Springer documented rare pair of club chairs in cognac or saddle leather with brass bases, USA, 1980s. This incredibly chic pair of club chairs is more common in the swivel vers...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Karl Springer Furniture

Materials

Brass

Karl Springer Rare Pair of Large Waterfall Side Tables in Black Lizard Leather
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
Karl Springer rare pair of large waterfall side or end tables covered in black lizard embossed leather with brass drawers and original thick glass shelves below. These exquisite pair of side tables are the larger scaled model...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Karl Springer Furniture

Materials

Brass

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Previously Available Items
Karl Springer Lacquered Parchment or Goatskin Console
By Karl Springer
Located in New York, NY
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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 596 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 7 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 Widdicomb Furniture Co.. Prices for Karl Springer furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $428 and can go as high as $75,000, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $8,500.

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