A Mogens Kold teak chest and how things have changed in the last 8 years
A recent purchase at a small auction revived memories from 8 or 9 years back . I’d been buying mid-century furniture mainly in Denmark , but also from a few local small dealers who had an eye for good pieces of all ages and styles . The 2 Newcastle long established auction rooms were still rather stuck in the past , the grander one had been selling the odd piece of teak for over a year , but many visits to viewings of the other one had proved fruitless . General auctions were not then online , so you had to view in person to see if there was anything . It must have been 2009 or 2010 , when at last there were a few nice pieces of mid-century design in amongst the typical house clearance stuff .
First up was a nicely made small teak chest of drawers . At the view i’d not spotted any labels , but thought it looked Danish . I was the successful bidder at only £5 ! It was when I picked it up , and had it upside down that I spotted the Mogens Kold metal label . Next up was a cute rosewood bar box , which even though I went way over what I had intended to go to , went to a private buyer who had obviously fallen in love with it . I got 1 piece which I now can’t remember then paid £50 for what I thought was a Merrow circular chrome coffee table . It was actually a William Plunkett one after further checking . At the time I was the only local buyer looking for good teak pieces in local auctions . Today there are a few and competition is strong for anything of any note , whether Danish or British . Not only local buyers , but now with so many auctions being online , I can be bidding against dealers and private buyers from all over the world .
My colleague Jonathan was another early local buyer of teak , mainly from markets and charity shops , working from home . I met him when I bought some G Plan on Ebay , and then after a couple more purchases luckily asked if he’d like a job . He started on 3 days a week in 2011 when we moved to our present warehouse , and now thank heavens is here nearly full-time ! Our combined knowledge and continuing research keeps us ahead of the growing competition as Mid-Century furniture has gone from a small niche market to mainstream . As one young local auctioneer has said recently 1960s teak sideboards are now much more sought after than Georgian chests of drawers !
So back to mid 2018 , and what do I spot in a small out of the way auction , but another Mogens Kold teak small chest of drawers . Back in 2010 when I had the last one , I didn’t know that it was an Arne Hovmand Olsen design , maybe nobody did as there is a lot more information out there today . Luckily it was the only piece of teak in the sale , and not surprisingly nobody had spotted the Mogens Kold label so our knowledge gave us the edge . It was a good buy , but not a bargain buy , those today are few and far between .
It’s a lovely simple understated design , and is related to larger Mogens Kold pieces such as their sideboards . These small chests don’t come up for sale very often , so it’s amazing to find another in the north of England . When we picked it up it was in good vintage condition , all it needed was a light clean and oil .