Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Retro chairs and advertisements from House and Garden 1974

Ye olde Tessa. Very cool stuff, isn't it? And it looks so comfy. When was the last time you walked through Freedom and the like and saw furniture with this cool design and individuality? Sometimes modern furniture seems so safe, so been there, done that. But I am biased as I am a true vintage and retro lover...

I would love this as a feature chair for our main loungeroom. We have a mint early 1970s Fler velvet modular suite and we need a feature chair to brighten the room up a little. Something manly, for Justin. Something bright, for me.

The things that have cracked me up while reading House and Garden 1974 - you had to write away for brochures or to order your product. That Tessa ad doesn't have a phone number, just an address. And then they give you two -----dotted lines for you two write your name and adress. Musn't have liked phones back then! I remember not having one until I was at least eight - we all used the one at the local milk bar before that :)

The chair on the bottom was manufactured by Friss of Denmark and was available at David Jones stores for $499.00 - expensive for 1974!

These are all imported from Norway and were available from David Jones in NSW. The one on the left was $295, the middle one $280 with an extra $160 for the stool and the one on the right I have partially chopped off was $280 and also available from Myer.

The top fawn one is an imported Norwegian number on a swivel base. Blonde timber frame with genuine hide cushioning. $280.00. The other three are on chrome bases and range from $200 to $260.00.

Chrome was huge in that era! The middle one is a black leather with chrome frame by Top Hat of Melbourne and available from Elegante Ineriors in Cremorne NSW for $366.

I might try and learn how to use our scanner (J is a computer geek so why should I learn how to use it all when I can call on him LOL) - there's some fab bread recipes and instructions on how to make your own modular lounge....ooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh.....


  1. We had that Tessa furniture when I was a kid. We had it in orange velvety/cord... it wasn't ribbed like cord, but not as soft as velvet if you know what I mean. We had the table too. In fact, I think my Mum still has the table but it has a wooden top on it now, not glass, as one of her ginormous dogs broke it. All that stuff was dismantled and stored in my mum's roof up until a couple of years ago. I told her recently she'd probably get good money for it now, if she'd kept it.... but she didn't. Don't you HATE that!

  2. LOL - yes, I was only thinking the other day (or rueing the other day) why on earth I gave away my massive collection of smurfs and Nintendo Game and Watch's and my Lego collection! I wish my Mum had kept her turquoise blue plastic swivel chairs. I still have the white round table but it is so marked I can only use it in the garden...:( - but she was never as funky enough as your parents to buy Tessa!!

  3. We came out from Germany in 1971 - I think the Germans have a different aesthetic to Aussies, plus my parents had money to burn on all new furniture. I have a photo which I will try to scan which shows one of the tessa footstools and the white colour tv my dad brought over from germany (and me with our puppy!)

  4. You are so right - I think lots of Europeans have a different aesthetic to Aussies. I think it has lots to do with history and culture. I would love art and design to become so much more appreciated in Australian schools - not just the obligatory arts theory, but the real study of form and function.

    White colour TV? How cool!!

  5. Cool. I love that mags back then expected people to have some basic know how when it came to making stuff. Imagine making your own lounge. I picked up a British magazine pitched at people who made things and it was pathetic. Here's how to make a woven God's Eye and ridiculous camp craft I wouldn't even inflict on my Girl Guide unit.

  6. Here it is... quite a mix of styles going on in this room :-)


  7. As I said to Andi, Tessa are still making furniture, check out the website for more, it's just gorgeous, David Jones in Sydney stocks some of it - very limited range though.

  8. My sister had 2 of these chair and footstool, just divine!! I used to always admire them. Then just this hyear the leather was really worn out and she chose NOT to get it recovered, I nearly expired!!
    She gave them away to a charity. There is a cool shop in Fortitude Valley in Brisbane that sells furniture of this ilke with beautiful new fabric upholstery...