Useful Information about barber chairs

Antique Barber Chairs, why collectors love them

Historical evidence suggests the production of the first barber chair dates as far back as the 1800′s. However, discovery of some rare hand crafted versions may date back even farther. The vintage barber chair genre is fast becoming a major antique dealer item and the collecting popularity of the chair continues to reflect a steady and rapid increase.

Considered a collector’s hidden gem some antique barber chairs bring exorbitant sums of money at many prestigious auction houses. There are several factors for determining the value of an antique barber chair. A chair in well-preserved condition generates higher values. In addition, the age of the object will stipulate the importance and rarity factor. The older the chair the higher the possible generated auction price may be. Another important value aspect considered when evaluating the item is the intricate adjustment features. The more detailed and sophisticated, the more in demand the chair is to collectors.

The Saint Louis based Archer Company patented their chair in 1878 and it is this particular version, complete with reclining lever and foot and head rests that today’s chairs are adapted from. Two prominent producers of the nineteenth century implemented design improvements such as a swivel component. Chicago based Theodore Koch and Cincinnati based Eugene Berninghaus manufactured barber chairs updated with these additions.

If you are lucky enough to own an original Koch or Berninghaus antique barber chair produced by either of these manufacturers; also including well-known designer Ernest Koken you may be sitting on a small fortune. Ernest Koken is memorable for adding hydraulic features to the chair and enjoyed induction into the Barber’s Hall of Fame. Collectors consider antique barber chairs originating from any of these individuals to be “Holy Grail” of chairs.

The timelessness of antique barber chairs include many value-increasing features not found in today’s styles. The amount of original material adds to the rarity. Many valuable chairs provide stunning etched designs. Hand crafted artwork may be found on the chrome-plated footrests as well as the iron-plated hand rests. Quality wood materials of oak, elmwood, mahogany and rosewood are distinct features. Furthermore, collectors inspect antique barber chairs for the unique reclining and elevating systems, which are often gas-piston operated. Collectors and auction houses look for a chair with minimum or no restoration; original seat cushions may be soiled or torn but provide a higher selling value than a restored seat cushion.

There are avenues available for individuals interested in evaluating the current worth of their barber chair. Several on-line websites provide dealers who specialize in collecting, selling and evaluating this particular genre. Although many on-line bidding sites provide opportunities for auctioning a valuable chair, it is recommended procuring the services of a professional, reputable and knowledgeable auction house or antique collector. This is a smart investment for securing your item throughout the entire buying and selling process.

If you are looking to invest in an antique chair or sell an existing one, it is imperative to research the antique dealer for authenticity. It helps if the dealer belongs to a reputable body such as The Antique and Art Dealers Association of America. Before meeting with a reputable dealer, research the individual’s background thoroughly. If they are reputable, the internet should provide a wealth of important information including business associations, customer reviews, industry awards and years of operation. Additionally, research your barber chair thoroughly. Familiarize yourself with the objects features and compare them to a similar item. Whether seeking to own an antique chair or you would like to know the value of your investment, the strongest advice is to implement thorough research.


41 Responses to “Antique Barber Chairs, why collectors love them”

  1. Diana Yepez says:

    I have a Belmont Antique Barber chair from the 1950s 1960s that belonged to my father in his barbershop on Staten Island, NY for sale. I have pictures and video fully working, leather in good condition, mount is a little rusty, swivels, reclines.

    If you can find a buyer for me please call 732-277-6215

  2. Denny Blanford says:

    We have a F&F Koenigkramer(Reliance)barber chair in our museum in Warsaw, OH. The head rest is broken where it inserts in the chair itself. If there anyway to purchace the apparatus that is broken.

    Appreciative,

    Denny

  3. cindy jewell says:

    my friend has a takara belmont series barber chair fully restored in beautiful condition everything works its vintage not sure what year have serial number 402707039 would like to know its worth

  4. Jana says:

    I am trying to figure out the value of a Theo-A-Kochs barber chair. I not sure of year, it’s white leather with chrome. I have pictures but not sure how to price it to sale. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  5. Angelo Cipriotti says:

    I have 2 antique barber chairs I would like to sell one koken circa 1905 and one Koch circa 1908 both are natural wood oak.
    I have photos call 818 304-2189

  6. James Britt says:

    We have an old Koch’s barber chair that appears to be in pretty good condition. I don’t know the exact model or year but I understand it to be from the early 20′s. We are interetsed in selling the item. My email is james@hairlabs.com and phone 615-646-1299.

  7. Donald says:

    I have two Reliable barber chairs. They are in good condition. I have the serial numbers and was wanting to know where I can find out more about the chairs. I have owned these chairs for 34 years. I am a barber and used them for my shop. Please let me know any information ….Thank You

  8. I am selling a CLIMAX barber chair, personally restored, maintained and fully functional. For pictures and details please visit MidwestAntiques wordpress com after adding 2 dots. The sale is local to LA, as the thing is very heavy.

  9. Lori Dalrymple says:

    We have 2 matching 1926 Koken Barber chairs. Everything is original except the seats were recovered in the 40′s or 50′s. My in-laws owned a barber shop in Okla since the 40′s and they were original in the shop they bought. The hydraulics work, have the feet rest, head rest with the holder attached to head rest that still has the old paper in it to pull over the head rest. They also come with the original childs seat. We would like to get a value and then sell them. any help is appreciated.

    Contact: aoc.com[at]gmail[dot]com

  10. trey roebuck says:

    I have a very old chair. Never restored but no markings. My father met a man in 1984 who owned a collection of chairs and he guessed the age to be OVER 100 years old then.the chair was not designed to have a headrest. The back reclines and there is a slide bar to help raise the back up. Chair did elevate at one time but does not function now. Looks like something coboys in the old west would have sat in. Steel armrest overlaid with porselen. I know I have something special I just don’t know what.HELP. Its for sale. Everything is. But would love some history on it. Call me or text for pictures and more info. 205 363 4091

  11. Benet says:

    I have an older emil j paidar barber chair For Sale. It lacks the head rest but is in very decent condition overall – porcelain and red leather. I have pictures for anyone who is interested and emails me (benethaller@comcast.net)….I live in the nw side of Chicago (with 6 miles of where the chair was made!)

    Benet Haller

  12. Matt Smith says:

    I have a Koken chair that is more like a dentist chair or medical chair. It is entirely porcelain and brass. It raises and lowers like a barber chair but it has stirrups in addition to the footrest. It reclines and the footrest adjusts all the way up so it is parallel with the floor. I can’t find any info on it. It has different stampings on it and the Koken brand is stamped on it. If anyone can point me in the right direction, send me an email at matthewjamessmith1982@gmail.com. I’d like to sell it if I can.

  13. mark sainsbury says:

    I have a wooden Koken barbers chair with leather trim .. domed around the border of the leather. It is a recliner on a round metal and wood base. Stamped under the base is 349-B.. can anyone tell me what this means or the approximate age of the chair. I’m in New Zealand so I don’t know if thel chair came here originally or was imported sometime later. Cheers Mark

    • Hugh says:

      Hi Mark,
      I just saw your post! I’m in Devonport where we’re doing a fundraiser for Vauxhall School and need a barbers chair for our haunted house! We’ve planned a room with a Sweeney Todd theme (I don’t know if you know the story?). Anyway we desperately need a barbers chair. You wouldn’t be willing to loan us one would you? Please? Or do you know anyone around Akld who might have another one? Talk soon, Hugh

  14. Donna Brown says:

    We have a Antique Koken Barber Chair handed down from a relative. great condition. We would like to sell. Please email or call. Located in North Missouri.

  15. Wanda says:

    I have a koken I am trying to sell. Fully restored if interested email me at

    Ball.meagan@yahoo.com

  16. Mike Naegele says:

    I just purchased a mint condition Koch.s barber chair stamped Oct. 5 1909 at an auction. Its oak with black leather and chrome on the dual foot rest. The main foot rest says “HYDRAULIC” and then “Koch’s” is on the extended foot rest both in chrome. It is fully functional and has a the headrest. Just wondering what the true value might be?

  17. Tony says:

    I recently picked up an older Belmont Chair. I cannot find any numbers on it to help identify its age. Looks like it came from the 60′s or 70′s. All functions work and none of the metal is bad. I am missing a couple of trim pieces that I would like to find. Anyone knowing of a good place to find parts please let me know, also any information on the mechanics would be appreciated, I cannot figure out how to stop it from swiveling.

    I would post a pic if I knew how.

    Thanks Tony

  18. Michael Beddow says:

    My father picked up an antique Koken Barber Chair and we are having a bit of trouble dating it. From the research I have done, it seems to be somewhat rare. If someone could help me out with dating it, I would be very appreciative. I have several pictures that I could email to you, including a picture of the only set of numbers/letters I could find under the seat. My email address will be listed below if someone thinks they could help me out. Thank you all and have a great day.

    Mike B

    Wrasslincat@hotmail.com

  19. Herman says:

    I have a 1900′s Emil J Paider, vintage barber chair that I would like to sell. Original functioning parts, very good condition.

    I too would like to find out if there are reputable antique dealers and or auction houses in the Atlanta, Ga. area.

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

  20. Louis says:

    I have a lochs babbler chair looking to sell. Mint green good condition, missing head rest. Contact me @ alessiolou21@yahoo.com for pictures.

  21. wade rhule says:

    i have a chair i would like to sell..text me your # and i will send pics!517 599 4899

  22. Marsha says:

    Hi, we have another Antique Horse head for a Childern’s Barber Chair, believe may be French. Can be seen at, yes it is for sale, http://carouselworkshop.com/xcart/product.php?productid=17860&cat=23&page=1

  23. John Nelson says:

    Hello, I’m searching for the door/top/cover for a Kochs Parts Tensioner Recliner Assy. It is part #316. Do you have one available and if so how much would it be?

    you may call me at 303-601-6344 thanks, John

  24. chris says:

    I have a barbers chair made by SMR could I get some information on this company and the quality of there chairs……thank you

  25. Ronnie says:

    Angelo

    Please send me pics of your chair

  26. Ronnie says:

    MIke Naegele

    Please send me pics of your chair.

  27. jerry says:

    I have a E.J.Paidar car or at least 30 years but have not used for a year it will not pump up/down or rotate but will recline. How do I fix and get blue prints? Also the value.Chair #570 Factory#76414 dated April 22 1939. Thanks Jerry 515 2773434

  28. Rob says:

    Selling a Koken barber chair. Take a look at the Craiglist ad:

    http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/atq/4219912247.html

  29. Rich Bennett says:

    Hi, I just found this website and see several folks posting they have chairs for sale. I am interested in an old chair in good condition. I live in Iowa so I’d drive a couple hundred miles to pick up depending on the chair. Feel free to send me an email with pictures and a price. Thanks, Rich

    bennett1997@gmail.com

  30. Donna says:

    I have a several piece set pink vintage belvedere for sell

  31. Norman Stepney says:

    I have an chair that’s about the late 1950 w/missing right chrome armrest piece,headrest,razor,&about rip in seat cushion PLEASE CONTRACT ME IF WANTED…

  32. john harrell says:

    Just bought two old Koken barber chairs from an old barber shop that went out of business. Gonna miss the place, got my first haircut in one of those very chairs.. Have a question on how to read the serial #’s to date the chairs (A258476 & A258477). Any information would be helpful.
    V/R
    John H.

  33. Allison says:

    Emil J Paider black, chrome, and nickel barber chair. Hyd. work. Head rest intact. Looking to sell for the right price. Upstate New York

    Allison.midwest@yahoo.com for questions or picture requests.

  34. John says:

    I have a non hydraulic barbers chair, it has “Army-Navy” on it and is very old, I have not been able to find anything (yet) on the internet about this chair….. any suggestions would be appreciated (I am in Australia)

  35. Dan Chapman says:

    I have a 1950′s Belmont barber chair in ment condition. One owner my father. I n great working order. Need serious buyer. Will send pictures.

  36. Edmilson araujo says:

    ola, eu tenho uma cadeira de barbeiro muito antiga, e bem conservada, quero vende se alguem interessar.
    email: loyaraujo2013@gmail.com

  37. amy says:

    I have a Hercules barber chair. Pat may 1901. Would like to sell

  38. Jim L says:

    I have a fully restored CLIMAX 1863 barber chair.
    Downsizing and would like to sell. Has been nine for about 40 years.
    Not cheap.
    Anyone with interest please email for pictures

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