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Doris, Antiques Appraiser
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 9824
Experience:  Antiques store owner 10+yrs.Best of City Two Years. Collector 56+yrs.USPAP compliant. Member AOA.Founded part of antiques, silver & art collection at local museum.
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My friend has a chair with only Howell, division of Burd on

Customer Question

My friend has a chair with only Howell, division of Burd on the underside, it is a tubular and vinyl chair with padded arms. It bounces slightly due to the design. It is more raised, closer to the height of a Barstool with a high back. Have you any info, or have you ever seen one.? I am frantically searching for one with no luck... I can provide pics.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Doris replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is Doris.
I have been an antiques collector, dealer and appraiser for over 56 years.
I will be pleased to help you.

Please know that I cannot accept any requests for "live conversations" such as phone calls. I must research up-to-date data to give the most accurate answer.
Sometimes a "Chat box" will pop-up asking if you would like a live conversation. Please know it is not from me.

Are you looking to buy another one that matches or are you looking for value of this one?

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Looking to buy another one for myself
Expert:  Doris replied 1 year ago.

I'll see what I can do.

Thank you for the information and photo.

Please allow me time to research the data required by your question, calculate current values and write my answer.

I thank you in advance for your patience.

Kind regards,


Expert:  Doris replied 1 year ago.

I think your chair was inspired, but not made as, by the earlier designs of Wolfgang Hoffmann for Howell. He died in 1969 and yours was made much later than that.

Still I cannot locate your exact chair. Would it be enough for me to give you a site that sells several of his chairs to see if the dealers can locate one for you.

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
please send those to me.
Expert:  Doris replied 1 year ago.

I will but I need some time to check my notes to see if I wrote it down. It's been two weeks since I first heard from you.

Please allow me time to research the data required by your question and write my answer.

I should be back within 40 minutes with the site.

I thank you in advance for your patience.

Kind regards,


Expert:  Doris replied 1 year ago.

History of Howell -

"The W.H. Howell Foundry opened in Geneva, Illinois in 1867, producing casting iron doorstops and stove-heated irons. After electric irons swept the consumer market in the 1920s, Howell was purchased by a pair of foreword-looking entrepreneurs who refocused the factory’s efforts onto the production of steel-framed furniture. Their inventive line of bent chrome-plated tubular steel furniture was a national hit in 1933. Demand for the patio collection was so high that two additional manufacturing sites were quickly opened despite the country’s dire economic climate, and Howell’s designs earned a display at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. After the market crash closed the Cable Piano Company of St. Charles, Illinois, Howell moved into the large factory in 1937.

By the mid-1930s, Howell was best known for employing the talents of Viennese designer Wolfgang Hoffmann. A stylistic contemporary of Miles van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, Hoffmann introduced a fresh breath of the European avant-garde to Howell’s tubular steel. His father was the celebrated architect and designer of consumer goods Josef Hoffmann, a Jugendstil bigwig who co-founded the Vienna Secession movement along with Gustav Klimt in 1897 and mentored a young Egon Schiele during his first exhibitions.

Wolfgang migrated to the States in 1925 and soon picked up high-level private architecture assignments, including the opportunity to develop the color scheme for the 1933 World’s Fair. His work caught the attention of Howell’s top brass, and Hoffmann was hired to helm the small company’s design arm in 1934. He remained at this post until 1942 and left an enduring stylistic imprint on Howell’s designs.

Hoffman’s distinctly European sculptural sensibility — equal parts blocky Bauhaus practicality and weightless El Lissitsky atom splitting — soon placed Howell at the vanguard of modern American furniture design and brought the Illinois company’s annual catalogues of chromed tubular steel and monotone leather furniture to the attention of Art Deco enthusiasts worldwide.

When America joined the Second World War, Howell’s approximate 500 employees redirected a significant portion of their efforts and resources to constructing incendiary and fragmentation bombs, artillery shells, and airplane wings. The Navy commissioned a line of steel mess trays from the company, which must have ranked among the most chic pieces of dining ware in the South Pacific. After the war, Howell’s trendy and affordable home furnishings for the home and office were a favorite among returning GIs and their nascent families.

In 1954 the company was purchased by its longtime supplier Acme Steel, marking the introduction of bronze detailing and plastic laminate tabletops. It is furniture from this era — the post-Hoffman and Acme years — which I’ve been seeing on the local second hand market, and its utilitarian value is self-evident. Howell was bought out for a final time in 1975, and within four years the new owners faced financial instability coupled with a worker strike by members of the International Association of Machinists. Though the strike was resolved in 1979, the factory never reopened and its equipment was sold in 1980."

The following site specializes in chairs. It does have a few Howell chairs in stock.

This is the best site to ask about a search for Howell chairs.

I hope I have helped you.

If I can help you with further questions about this answer, please let me know before you rate me.

I endeavor to give realistic, honest answers in a timely manner.

Please take a little time to give me a POSITIVE RATING NOW SO THAT I AM COMPENSATED BY JA for my time and effort. This is of NO EXTRA COST TO YOU.

Please do not rate me down because of system difficulty.

Please let me know if you have difficulty with the site's rating system. To rate me, you should see 5 stars near my answer. 5 stars gives me the best rating.

Kind regards.


If you would like to use me on any future questions, requesting me expires in a short time. If you put my name (Doris) at the first of the question, that will make sure it gets to me.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Lots of good info... Would like to spread the word that I am looking for one... Can you ask and share the photos with other experts you may know so they can look as well.
Expert:  Doris replied 1 year ago.

We experts read others' answers. If one knows some helpful information, they can respond after I end. Many all over the world will see this question in Google search. If you type in

Doris-dfm925 in Google you will see almost 40 pages of questions I have answered.

Perhaps it would be helpful for you to put some contact information in your reply to my response


If you want to put an email address, then type it with spaces like this -

J o h n D o e at g m a i l . c o m Otherwise it will be redacted.

Please consider giving me a positive rating. It is the only way I AM COMPENSATED BY JUST ANSWER for my work.
You should see five stars. This is where you rate me. Rating me A POSITIVE

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
M a m i a c 1 0 4 @ a o l. C o m
Thank you.. I can't find where to rate you.. Can you tell me where that is?
Expert:  Doris replied 1 year ago.

You should see five stars on this page or your reply page.

Rating me 5 stars gives me the best rating.

If you still have trouble, let me know.

Thank you, Doris

Expert:  Doris replied 1 year ago.

Are you still having trouble rating me?

The five stars do not show up on a cell phone.

You will need to be at your computer.

Kind regards,