Hidden Gems | Vintage

Check Your Attic: Vintage IKEA Furniture Is Selling For Huge Prices

Barneby's / Calvin Teo - Wikimedia

Since the first IKEA store opened in 1958, the Swedish furniture giant has made its mark on the world.

Today we associate IKEA with dorm rooms and cheap, build-it-yourself furniture, but the chain does offer some stylish pieces, and they can last for decades under the right conditions.

In fact, the store has developed a cult following over the last few decades. Which might explain why some people are paying thousands of dollars for vintage IKEA furniture.

Investing In IKEA

As auction website Barnebys co-founder Pontus Silfverstolpe said, "Our records show that there is a huge demand, greater than ever before, for vintage IKEA furniture."

"There has been a big boom within the last year that has been felt in markets all across the world."

It's tempting to think that a chair or table you paid $60 for a few years ago might be worth a bundle today.

But like all kinds of collectibles, there's a reason these specific pieces are so sought-after.

Some were very unpopular, and had limited runs before being cancelled by IKEA.

Others were produced in a small, limited-edition runs, or were created by well-known designers.

Oh, and the furniture has to actually be usable to fetch a high price.

"Unlike many of their items today," said Silfverstolpe, "IKEA's older products were actually made very well and have stood the test of time."

IKEA
Clam chairs.Barnebys

So no, your Billy bookcase will not help you pay off your mortgage, but if you find a pair of 1943 Clam chairs in your crawlspace, they just might.

These vintage pieces sold for $65,000 each at auction. But even recent pieces are worth a small fortune.

Remember These?

While the Clam chairs fetch the highest price of any vintage IKEA pieces, these classics are hard to find.

The company's Ake armchairs from the 1950s also sold for $1,800, according to Just Collecting.

The Ulvo sideboard, a 1960s piece, sells for up to $4,000 today, according to Just Collecting.

Amiral steel and leather chairs by designer Karin Mobring will earn you $1,100 each at auction.

And the classic Nejlika crockery set can bring in up to $1,500.

Their classic teak bookshelves, by the same designer as their famous Billy shelves, sell for up to $4,000.

The company's Bergslagen sideboard table (an '80s classic) fetched almost $3,000 at auction.

A matching Moment sofa from the same era, made by famous designer Niels Gammelgaard, is worth $1,100 according to Just Collecting.

The Jarpen wire chair, another Gammelgaard creation, is still featured in design magazines and worth almost $1,000.

IKEA chairs made by iconic Danish designer Verner Panton sold for around $80 in 1993, but made more than $900 at auction.

The short-lived Ekolsun bookcase is worth $1,000 today, if you can find one.

And even the PS Selma chair, introduced in 2008 and sold for just $399, is worth up to $1,500 today.

The Next Big Thing

In an interview with NBC News, Silfverstolpe warned IKEA speculators that the market may not last long, as art collectors turn their noses up at vintage flatpacked furniture.

But experts at his Barnebys auction company say there may be a chance to make a buck or two from some modern pieces - in a few decades.

Hang on to your Strandmom armchair - it could be worth something in a few decades.IKEA

Everything old is new again, so Silfverstolpe's employees say these IKEA staples will do big business once they stop appearing in the store's catalog:

  • Strandmom arm chairs
  • Raane chairs
  • Gagnet chairs
  • Ypperlig tables

"Some of the furniture is obviously bad material and won’t last," said Silfverstolpe, "but the furniture that are made with good quality so to speak, could definitely be valuable in the future because people wont think about it as things that you can actually sell on second hand market."

Anything is possible. After all, IKEA is selling those ghastly floral couches again, so anything can come back in style.

[H/T: Daily Mail, NBC News, Just Collecting, USA Today]

Do you own any of these valuable pieces?

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com