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History of My Antique Barber Chair

If you’re an antique buff who simply wants to add an amazing find to your hoard or collection of stuffs from years gone by, then an antique barber chair could be just what you need to perk up your collection. These kinds of chairs are certainly a rare find as they are very rarely found in antique shops, they are found on internet and exhibitions. Simply put, if you have an antique barber chair, then you sure are so lucky to have one.

The most important furniture in the barbers shop is the chair on which his customer sits; it should make him feel comfortable and relaxed. A barber's chair has swivels with adjusted heights that help the barber to turn the chair horizontally while cutting hair. It has footrests to raise the patron's foot off the floor, and headrest which can be reclined during washing hair. Earnest Koken invented the first hydraulic barber chairs, which had swivel, a footrest and cushioned headrest. Antique barber chairs are usually made up of hardwood timber, such as oak, Elmwood, rosewood usually having chrome plated footrest and iron-plated hand rest on both the sides of the chair, removable head rest , reclining mechanism handle , which reclines 180 degree , with a gas piston assembly. They have cushioned seats of different colors like black for maximum comfort. Some of the chairs have wheels at the base for easy mobility and some stay stagnant. They are relatively heavier than the modern day barber chairs. To protect these chairs from dust, they should be cleaned with lint free cloth, and high quality wax paste can be used to give it a polished finish.

Antique barber chair industry

Before these antique barber chairs were even considered as a relic from the years past, let’s take a look at how it had began to exist as an industry. Many of the wooden barber chairs of the early 1800s were elaborately carved with ornate designs and decorative plush upholstery. In the 1850s the barber chair industry began to take shape as companies started to make chairs specifically for barber shops. In the 1900s the trends in barber chair styles and materials changed with the times. Slowly the beautiful ornately carved wood gave way to chairs made of porcelain covered cast iron. The first manufacturer of barber chairs was Eugene Berninghaus. Opening his business in 1875, he made barber chairs and other tonsorial furniture and accessories. As his business grew, Berninghaus named his most popular barber chair the “Hercules” models. The Hercules models were made of wood and cast iron with a choice of leather or mohair plush upholstery. Another manufacturer that had pioneered in producing barber chairs is Ernest Koken; he is then considered to be responsible for much of the growth of the industry. Before long, his products became known as a standard and were regarded as barber chairs with the highest quality and the classiest. Centuries after this humble beginning, antique barber chairs had surely come a long way since. Without a doubt, a lot of people would want to have one of these priced chairs. It gives a glimpse of the past and an antique barber chair is certainly a worth to be part of a well-loved collection.

45 Comments to “History of My Antique Barber Chair”

  1. I have a barber chair that belonged to my Great Grandfather who was a barber in Columbus,Ohio. He died in the late 60’s and was 94 yrs.old. The Chair was made by F&F KoenigKramer in Cin, OH and also has Reliance on the footrest. We would like to have the chair “brought back to life”. Do you know what type of oil was used in the chair? All the metal is pitted and will need to be rechromed. the arms and part of the base are porcelain. Any idea where I could find the year it was made? Is it on the chair somewhere?

  2. I have serial # L 20122 koken barber chair i need help 727-460-0425 claude

  3. Ihave koken barber chair L20122

  4. I refinish the metal on Koken barber chairs as well as other brands. Let me know if I can be of assistance. 863-640-0079

  5. Hello,

    I have a Raynor barbers chair which I have refurbished. It reclines, stainless steel foot rest, spring cushioned headrest. I have gone into a number of web sites but none have ever mentioned a Raynor. Interested in its history and its approx worth. Would appreciate any information. Regards


    • Hi Tony,

      I have a Raynor barber chair, it was made in Australia in the 1950″s
      do you have photo’s as mine has a leaver missing and I’m not sure where it should be attached?

  6. I have a Emil J. Paidar Barber chair and head rest. pat,# is 1594408-1594409 I would like to know what year it is please, asap

  7. hi guys,

    i was recently given a emil j paidar barber chair, and was looking for info on finding the serial #. Will I be able to tell the year by the serial #? thanks for any info!

  8. I am looking for the year of manafacture of my E.J. Paidar barber’s chair. It has a spring cusioned headrest/paper roller, porcelin arms, footrest, brake and hydraulics work. On the bottom of the foot rest is the number NS527 and on the hydraulic tank is the number 27264.
    Thank you for your time.

  9. I friend has a Koken barber chair from the early 1900’s. It is in very good condition. It is mostly wood with very ornate metal arms and a very heavy metal base. It raises, rotates and leans back. The black leather padding on the back and foot rest has been redone with fabric. I have many photos. How can I get it appraised?

  10. christian brackett

    I wanna sell my Emil J Paidar barber chair ser no 27760 on the top of the hydraulics. no info under the seat. black leather unless its very dark brown. could be a fade. white porcelain and chrome. how can i find the year and its value?i wanna put it on ebay…if anyone can help please drop me an email cbrackett24@hotmail.com

  11. I want to kno what year and what is the appraisal for a Emil J. Paidar Hydralic Barber Chair with the number NS527 under the footrest it is black leather white porcelain or ceramic and chrome please email me ASAP with details

  12. bill spizzirri what you have here is a very rare koken chair. any chair made with wood is rare, if i can help you in any way, you can e mail me.

    • hello, I’m Looking for information on a Koken with 4 straight legs that reclines only. Wood frame with metal recliner parts and footrest. Back rest has a v-shaped cut out and adjustable head rest. Have pictures that I can email.

  13. I have a KOKEN barbers chair in my barber shop and during my free time i did refurnishing the chair all by my self. My work is a total change of the ORAGINAL LOOK. Like to have a view ?Just view the chair and let me know the year this chair made and how much the price can go. Thank you

  14. I have a wooden KOKEN barbers chair in my barber shop and during my free time i did refurnishing the chair all by my self. My work is a total change of the ORAGINAL LOOK. Like to have a view ?Just view the chair and let me know the year this chair made and how much the price can go. Thank you

  15. I have two barbar chairs one is an Emil J Paidar #42103, also I have a Koken looks like its from 1923 this chair its made it almost all of wood and also its not very tall and doesnt have a hydraulic. Any one had any idea what is the value of this two chairs.

  16. How unusual is it to have a lavendar barber chair from Koken? I believe that I found the serial number which is A 216143, it is under the seat. The barber chair is porcelain and the metal looks like the original paint and it is painted gold. I can send a picture if anyone wants to see it. Thanks for any information you can give me.

  17. I have a Berninghaus Hercules wood and metal barber chair. The height adjustable metal headrest bracket that extends down inside the chair back is broken and most of the length of it is missing. Also missing the spring and lever that mounts on the metal bracket that attaches to the back of the seat back that holds the headrest at the chosen heighth. If you have one or know where I might could find one, please post here. Thanks!

  18. New York based Restoration artist,
    Custom Barber Chairs
    Parts for Koken, Kochs, Belmont, Paider.
    Plateing, Chrome, Nickle,

    • We have 3 Koken barber chairs–everthing is original except we did have all the leather recovered in a great quality red leather.The metal parts are orig and do not look like they need replating, although they do have very minor marks here and there –maybe rust? One of the chairs is missing the top part of the handle, Do you sell such a part and what is the price?
      We do plan to try to sell ONE on e-Bay. Can you give me an idea of the value of these chairs? Thank you DEE

    • I have two chairs. A212986 & 78 225. can you give me any info. such as date of manuf. and how much there worth thank you.

  19. My father purchased an antique chair in Europe years ago and I’ve had failed attempts on getting some info on it for an idea of it’s worth. The brand name is EDRA. Any ideas or direction would be appreciated. Thank you!

  20. I have an Emil J Paider chair. There Is a number stamped on the tank, 19359, not sure if that is the s#. Anyway I have 3 of these and one will not pump up at all. It will raise up about an inch but go straight back down. Any idea what is wrong.

  21. I have a Koken Barber Chair with 523N & 520N on the chair. The serial number is KBS3513. How old is this chair? What is the value? Was it “Frankensteined” ? (with two different model numbers) It has been restored.
    R.M. Holden


  23. I have an all cast iron and wood barber chair. There is a stamp on the base which reads: M. Bartholo Porto Patente No. 8504 If anyone has any info on it I’d like to hear it! I believe it’s a Portuguese chair which dates back to 1859. louliotta@yahoo.con

  24. I just got a old barber chair from a estate. I need to know where to find a model number. I have been unable to find anything but who and where manufactured.
    Emil J. Paidar company Chicago
    It looks to be yellow enamal with metal brackets.
    can anyone point me in the right direction to find out more about my chair.

  25. i have a koken restored babrer chair with the kids seat and the clippers need to know where i can sell this item for the best price

  26. I have a Koken (was told it was circa 1934-37). Would love to find out for sure when it was made.
    I restored it in 1984 and the seat was filled with nylon stockings so I know it had been redone at least once in the mid 50’s…if those stockings could talk!

    Anyone know of a dealer or somewhere I could get a date on it.
    A number on the plate above the hydraulic shaft is A206701.

  27. i have two Behringhaus Hercules Barber chairs in excellent condition. The metal is slightly tarnished but the porcelan is clean. the hydralics work with headrests and foot rests. the Leather seats and back were redone by my Grandfather in the 1950s. I suspect the chairs are from the early 1920s. One of the foot supports has been repaired.

  28. I have a very old Koken chair. The arms are solid oak with ornate carvings and what metal is there looks to be brass or copper. It was in my wives Grandfathers barber shop in Ontario Canada and holds Canadian patent #92320. It is in 100% working condition and has had the leather replaced at some point with naugahide. Any help with appraisal and dating of this chair would be great.

  29. Have a Koken chair from my brother. He claims it came from the Roosevelt Hotel in Chicago (Al Capones chair) says he has paperwork but can’t locate it at the moment….Needs total restoration..It is a Koken Barber Chair with a 520N number on the underside of the seat base…Any help would be greatly appreciated….Thanks Jack

  30. To Tony – Have a Raynor’s barber’s chair also that belongs to my mother who used it for podiatry patients. We have to sell ours. It’s as heavy as! The metal plate on the back has their address in South Melbourne, not far from where we live.

  31. i have a wooden koken barber chair complete from 1800,s what is it worth

  32. Have za Hercules Barrber chair need the head rest and the ashtray or manicure bowl that sits at the end of each arm rest

  33. I have a child booster like barber seat seems old trying to find some info about woundering where to look. It says on the bottom that it is from steel art company limited grimsby ontario! any help would be appreiciated.

  34. Looking for 3 to 4 bottle shaped Presidential antique barber chairs.

    • hello,
      I have two fully functioning Koken President barber chairs for sale if youre interested.
      I live in Traverse City, MI and can be reached at this email or by text or phone at 808-646-0505.
      the chairs are in great working condition and are two toned brown and tan leather.

  35. Hi my name is Greg and my father in law is a barber of fifty five years or more, yeah he is eighty today. He has two antique Berninghaus Hercules model chairs in his shop. They are in good shape and we are going to clean them up. From what I can tell they are worth between 1,000 and 2,000 dollors. I saw one for 2,500 it had been redone. If anyone has info or is interested shoot me an e-mail greg.shirk@yahoo.com Thanks and God Bless.

  36. I have a barber hair I dont know much except the date says 1865. Please get back to me..

  37. Hi there,

    I have an old raynor barber chair that took three men to get out of my barber shop and its under our house. I was wanting to know how much it would be worth.

    Kind regards
    0411 657715

  38. Have 1906 Ritter Barber chair. $7,000. Works great! Was overhauled. Melbourne,FL. 813-892-0284

  39. My Koken President “barrel style” barber chair has the metal plate number: D 21085. I think maybe 1952-1955, but don’t know. Could you please help me with the correct year my chair was born!? THANKS!

  40. I have a Email Padair chair and the number under the seat is 69734 and under the footrest is 527. Can you help identify the year it was made? Someone told me 1935 but I’m not sure. It’s a great chair but it no longer revolves or go’s up and down. It only reclines.

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