A classic Kem Weber-designed airline chair and desk from Disney’s original Burbank Studios is heading to auction at Heritage Auctions on December 9-10.
Weber trained as a furniture designer at Berlin’s Kunstgewerbeschule during the early 1900s, before taking up a position in the offices of architect and designer Bruno Paul.
Kem Weber designed Disney's Burbank Studios, along with all the fittings
His residency in the US began, accidentally, in 1914.
He was in San Francisco building a pavilion for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition when the first world war broke out.
Getting home to Germany was out of the question, so Weber decided to make the best of it. Over the years he built up a well-regarded design studio and was hired by Disney in the late 1930s.
The chair looks set to be the pick of the two pieces, with bidding starting at $16,730.
Weber designed them to be mass-produced, but only 300 were made. Almost all went to Disney.
The desk stands at $5,500. It’s expressly designed for an animator, featuring drawers for materials, a bulletin board and a pair of metal strips on either side for absent-mindedly setting down burning cigarettes.
As it happened, Disney’s animators were unimpressed with the studios or their luxurious fittings. They would have preferred a pay rise – as they made expressly clear in a strike two years later.
Get your hands on a remarkable piece of Walt Disney memorabilia today.
Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about unique item auctions.