Today, an antique barber chair is no longer confined in the premises of a traditional barber shop. With its intricate and high-quality wood carvings and metalwork, it is a beautiful piece that could put character and richness into your home. For antique lovers, an antique chair from a Barber shop supply is definitely a great addition to your collection.
It was not until the early 1800’s that companies started to come out and produce their own patented barber chairs. These antique chairs were built to have reclining back rests, 360 degree spinning capabilities, head and foot rests, wooden frames, metal trimmings, upholstered seats, and hydraulic lifts.
During these times, there were two distinguished manufacturing companies that existed – the Koken Company and the Eugene Berninghaus Company. One is the pioneering company of the barber chairs industry while the other invented the first ever fully-functional hydraulic lift chairs. Which is which?
Ernest Koken was the inventor of the first prototypes of hydraulic-lifted barber chairs during the late 18th century. His famous company, Koken Barbers Supply, was the leading manufacturer in the barber industry from the late 1800’s and went out of business in the 1950’s.
Their stylish products were made from solid wood materials, such as oak and walnut, and had exposed metal frameworks. Both of these structural materials were intricately carved with beautiful designs that often integrate the name of the company everywhere on the chair. These have tufted leather seats, which have black, green, or red color variations just to name a few. The arm and foot rests are also completely padded.
The pioneering company of barber chairs in the United States was the Eugene Berninghaus Company, which started their operation in 1875. Their products were so famous that they even appeared in films, such as “The Great Dictators” that featured Charles Chaplin and also in the film “Time Machine” by M.G.M. in 1960.
Their popular collection of barber r furniture, also known as Hercules, was made from maple, cherry, mahogany, oak, walnut, and Birdseye. The Hercules number 58 has a one-hand lever – conveniently situated on the right side of the chair – that controls its entire mechanical function. This chair can be swiveled, reclined, lowered, and raised. The exceptional detailing of this chair contains elegant wood carvings and upholstered leather seats.
One rule of thumb in antique shopping is that a low-priced barber chair would normally mean that it’s in a bad shape. An antique barber chair that’s in great physical and working condition is priced anywhere from $5,000-$6,000. So, before you buy anything, make sure that you explore your options for a high-quality antique barber chair.