Run, Don’t Walk, To This Archive Sale Featuring 50 Years of Vintage IKEA
This summer, an article appeared in GQ Magazine proclaiming vintage IKEA the “cool new design trend.” Typically, when a design trend hits a mass-market publication like GQ, it’s kind of like a last call bell, alerting you that if you’d like in on those good secondhand deals, you’d better work fast. But IKEA is kind of its own market. Have the pieces appreciated in value due to increased interest and awareness, thanks to sites like Bi-Rite? Of course they have (and, yes, you may consider this a companion piece to last week’s vintage reissue investigation). Will an IKEA piece ever sell for the outrageous sums of, say, a Borsani console? Probably not. So it is with great interest that we explored a one-off online archive sale happening this Thursday, based on a private collection of more than 100 discontinued vintage IKEA products.
Called BILLY, named after the best-selling bookcase of course, the sale is the brainchild of London-based artist Harry Stayt, whose interest in IKEA began five years ago when researching the sculptural possibilities of modular and flat-pack furniture at Camberwell College of Arts. Stayt began collecting, and his archive gained momentum when a collection of more than 40 IKEA catalogues, dating back to 1970, were sourced during a trip to Älmhult, Sweden, home of the IKEA Museum.
This week’s sale will feature many of the more iconic items we all know by now, including Verner Panton’s VILBERT chair and Harry Allen’s KILA lamp. But several of the items we had never seen before, including some jaunty, early-’90s candlesticks designed by Ehlen Johansson, an organic sculpture designed by Tony Almen and Peter Gest, and a red BOGEN table featuring tiny balls™️, designed by Tord Bjorklund in 1986 — all with prices starting from £50. Follow along on Instagram @billy.forsale, and good luck on Thursday! International shipping is available upon request.