Justin Miller, a thrifter extraordinaire, recently stumbled upon a treasure that’s set to change his life forever. You know how it is with second-hand shopping: sometimes you hit the jackpot, and other times you come up empty-handed. Well, Miller hit the jackpot big time and he’s still astonished.
A couple months ago, the design producer for TV shows was perusing Facebook Marketplace as he often does, when he came across a grand wingbacked chair. Now, this wasn’t just any old chair; there was something about it that caught his eye. He figured it could be worth some cash, so he did some research.
The TikToker that found a $50,000 chair but only paid $50
Turns out, this wasn’t just any simple, generic wingbacked chair: it was a Frits Henningsen chair, one of only 50 pieces ever made. And get this, actress Kirsten Dunst owns one too! Similar pieces had sold for thousands of dollars, so Miller knew he was onto something.
He purchased the chair from a woman who was tasked with selling the unwanted items of a Beverly Hills couple in exchange for a cut of the profits. She listed the objects on Facebook Marketplace for same-day pick-up, which is how Miller was able to snag the chair for a measly $50. At first, Miller was hesitant to disclose the true value of the chair to the seller.
TikTok went bananas for the chair and Sotheby’s could be interested
He didn’t want to take advantage of her, but it turns out she was fully aware of its worth. “This chair’s worth a lot – just so you know,” she told him. Now, Miller’s apartment is too small for the chair, so he took it to his storage unit and began the process of figuring out how much it was worth.
He even considered having the worn-out leather repaired, but was told to wait until a valuator had taken a look at it, as a bad restoration could decrease its value significantly. So, Miller reached out to the prestigious auction house Sotheby’s, who expressed interest in featuring the chair in its Important Design auction in June. They estimated it could sell for anywhere between $30,000 and $50,000, with a reserve set for $28,000. Miller is hoping to receive about 50% of the profits, following fees and taxes.
Some of his followers on TikTok were skeptical about the story, but Miller put all doubts to rest when he posted a video with the chair, announcing that it would be shipped to New York soon. And as for what he’ll do with the profits? He plans on buying a little something to remember the experience and then stashing the rest in the bank.
Follow Miller on TikTok to stay up-to-date with any new developments regarding the famed chair. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next one to strike gold at a thrift store or online marketplace.