It's been awhile since we've been able to open up a new Chair File (about the duration of a quarantine) so we're particularly excited to share this one with you. Luke Newbold is the Leland Little Auctions Modernism & Glass Director, but his infectious laugh and impressive breadth of knowledge spread well beyond the confines of those two departments. True to Luke's enthusiastic form, when we asked him to pick one chair from our Mid-Summer Estate Auction, he ended up picking several, from that auction and beyond.

Luke's first job at 14 was in an auction house, and throughout college at UNC Asheville his heart stayed in the industry. Which leads us to....

LLA: How did you end up at Leland Little?

LN: After I graduated from college in 2009, I attended every single auction at Leland Little and would wait through till the end of the sales to say hi to Leland and ask him if there were any job openings. Luckily he called a few months later offering me a job, despite misspelling his name (he still holds it against me), and eleven years later they still can't shake me!

LLA: If you had to pick one auction category that you could take to a desert island, what would it be and why?

LN: If I had to choose one category of items to take to a desert island it would be decorative accessories. I enjoy cataloguing glass, modernism and furnishings; however, decorative accessories covers so many things, from primitive to exquisite and in every conceivable era!

LLA: Obviously working at Leland Little Auctions is your favorite job ever. What was your least favorite job ever?

LN: My least favorite job was waiting tables. If you know me you know I love food, but man the work can be demanding and the reward is often not enough. I remember getting cussed out over butter, while getting paid something like $3.25/hr - I knew I had to get out.

LLA: Ok, now to the chair(s). Why these?

LN: I am a generalist and I like a bit of everything. I chose a variety of my favorite chairs spanning the current sale and upcoming auctions. From the Mid-Summer Estate Auction is a child's rootwood armchair. I have a three-year-old and one on the way, and I enjoy the thought of my boys sitting in contemplation in a fancy chair just their proportions, but then again, they're children - do they ever sit still? I also liked the group of five antique Thonet bentwood chairs, particularly because they aren't reproductions and the backs are various patterns but of the same set. The pair of easy chairs upholstered in vintage handwoven kilim carpets is unique; you often see the kilim topped pillows, but to have a pair of chairs entirely upholstered in kilims is fantastic.

From our August Modern Art & Design Session I really like the fuzzy Swan chair, which is a reproduction of a chair by Arne Jacbosen. I've never seen one with thick faux fur upholstery - it's too funky not to love. The blonde bentwood chair is an authentic Charles and Ray Eames designed chair for Herman Miller, which is part of a pair. They are a contemporary production, which puts me at ease for every day use. The 'library steps' you see is actually a 19th century metamorphic carved rosewood armchair. It is the best I've ever seen. The thing must weigh an impressive 60 pounds, and it was just reupholstered in ostrich leather. It will be one of our sales later this summer.

When it comes to the chair it seems that every designer or great architect tries their hand at mastering its design and functionality, and the 19th and 20th centuries have seen such drastic formations of the everyday object.
LLA: As you mentioned, you have one little son and a new baby on the way. You also have some of the most eclectic interests of anyone ever. What do you look forward to sharing with your kids?

LN: My mind is always thinking of the next interesting project. The future is a toss up between taxidermy and painting, either way it will be messy, but that's why I cleaned out the garage. I do hope my boys are involved in my interests, and while I won't push them I will share my many passions with them.

LLA: What's been your favorite quarantine snack?

LN: During quarantine I have focused on a healthier diet and must say I am enjoying the Halo brand Keto 'ice-cream' - especially the chocolate peanut butter! It's not the same as Goodberrys, but it's way better than the avocado chocolate ice cream I attempted to make.
LLA: Duke or Carolina?

LN: I'm not a huge sports person, but I say GO DUKE (because my boss is a Duke fanatic).