Canadian mid-century modern, at a good price

Our latest acquisition for the Manse. Great mid-century style – and it’s comfortable too!

We have a new piece of furniture at the Manse, and I consider it something of a find.

Regular readers will know that I am partial to mid-century (mid-20th-century, that is) culture in all its forms, including furniture. (Witness the dining-room table and chairs that we picked up in Warkworth, Ont., this past summer.) So when I spotted this chair in the antiques-and-collectibles section of the Madoc store called Country Treasures, I leaped at it. The price was right (would you like to guess?) and in short order the chair was packed into the back seat of the Toyota and headed to the Manse.

If I hadn’t already loved the chair, this would have sold me. It’s the label giving its provenance and exact date of manufacture: Dec. 9, 1958.

One of the nice things about it – besides the fact that it’s in great condition and is in a nifty mid-century kind of colour – is that its Canadian origin is well accounted-for. It was manufactured at the H. Krug factory in Kitchener, Ont. According to the Kitchener Public Library‘s records, the “H. Krug Furniture Company was founded in 1887 on the corner of Ahrens and Breithaupt Streets in Berlin [renamed Kitchener in 1919], Ontario, by Hartman Krug. The company initially produced frames, dining room sets and rockers, but by 1908 production included all types of furniture, with a specialty in chair-making.”  The company is still in operation in Kitchener, today specializing in office furniture; its nicely done website is here. Anyway, the best part of all is that, as you can see from the photo, we know the exact date on which our chair was made: Dec. 9, 1958. Not long before the ’50s became the ’60s. It was a remarkable time. And, if I do say so myself, this is a remarkable chair.

7 thoughts on “Canadian mid-century modern, at a good price

  1. I saw something similar in the Nanaimo ReStore for about 75 bucks, which I thought was a bit steep. They must know what they’re doing though, because it didn’t last long, despite the desperate need for reupholstering. Yours looks like it’s in great shape!

    But I still say we have the most overpriced ReStore around.

    The auctions you describe make me so jealous…and homesick!

    • The auctions really are wonderful, Valerie, you’re right. Hastings County is definitely an area where the auction is alive and well, which is more than one can say for a lot of places. Raymond used to go to a lot of auctions in Quebec’s Eastern Townships when he had a place there, but they have practically dried up in that area: I guess everything has been sold! But some great stuff appears at Manse-area auctions, and there arw almost always at least one or two per weekend. First thing Raymond checks out in the local papers when we arrive there of a Friday night.

      For some reason I thought ReStores sold only new materials from hardware stores – do they have “vintage” things too? If so, I shall have to look into this! There’s one that we pass in Brockville on our way to the Manse.

      • From what I understand, they sell building and decor items that have been donated. Some of it is brand new, like the antique brass reading lamps that were probably discontinued at Home Depot that I just bought, and some is used like the MCM chair. Contractors drop off extra tiles and light fixtures or ripped out kitchen cabinets and homeowners leave everything from mistints to toilet paper holders. It’s an addictive mix. Definitely worth checking out. I like being able to drop in after work fairly regularly – I feel like I’ve gotten the lay of the land and now catch how things move through. I rarely buy anything, but it gets my newbie DIY self dreaming, anyway.

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