The result of one such deal is coming up for sale at Wendl on October 25-27. On offer is a white Garden Egg Chair with rust-coloured foam rubber interior, also known as a Senftenberg Egg Chair, which is being sold without reserve.
In the late 1960s designers began experimenting with the new material polyurethane, among them the Hungarian Peter Ghyczy (b.1940), then living in West Germany. He was head designer at the Elastogran factory and in 1967-68 he presented his model of a weatherproof, robust but nonetheless comfortable garden chair. The futuristic design incorporates a hinged backrest that folds out from the egg-shaped body.
Elastogran produced only a few copies of the 2ft 4in (70cm) wide chair, before selling the licence to the East German firm Senftenberg near Dresden. Until 1973 some 1000 copies were made there with one third of the production destined for sale in the West.
The price in East Germany was, however, 430 Marks, which was more or less the average monthly wage for a worker – not surprisingly limiting the demand considerably. For many years the Garden Egg was considered to be a prime example of GDR design, until the story of Ghyczy and the true origins became better known.