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Koken Barber Chair Serial Number List

Koken Barber Chair Serial Number List: A Guide for Collectors

If you are a fan of vintage barber chairs, you might have come across the name Koken. Koken was one of the most famous and influential manufacturers of barber chairs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their chairs are known for their elegant design, high quality and innovative features. But how can you tell if you have a genuine Koken barber chair? And how much is it worth? In this article, we will give you some tips on how to identify and value your antique Koken barber chair, as well as some history behind this iconic brand.

Koken Barber Chair Serial Number List

The History of the Koken Barber Chair

The story of the Koken barber chair begins with Ernest Koken, a German immigrant who moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in the 1870s. He started his career as a porcelain barber supply maker, selling shaving mugs, razors, mirrors and other accessories to barbershops across the country. He soon realized that there was a need for a better barber chair, one that could recline and swivel to allow the barber to shave the customer more comfortably and safely.

In 1881, he patented his first reclining barber chair, which was a success among barbers. He continued to improve his design, adding a swivel mechanism in 1885 and a hydraulic lift in 1892. The hydraulic lift was a revolutionary invention that allowed the barber to adjust the height of the chair with a foot pedal. This made the chair more convenient and efficient, as well as more comfortable for the customer.

Koken's barber chairs became very popular and he established his own company, the Koken Barbers Supply Company, in St. Louis. He also expanded his product line to include other barber furniture and equipment, such as cabinets, sinks, sterilizers and hair dryers. He died in 1909, leaving his son to run the business. In 1926, the company opened its own foundry, which enabled it to produce up to 100 chairs per day.

Koken's barber chairs were considered the best in the industry and were used by many famous people, such as Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Elvis Presley. They were also featured in many movies and TV shows, such as The Godfather, The Untouchables and Boardwalk Empire. However, by the 1950s, the company faced competition from cheaper models and a decline in demand due to changing fashion trends. The company went out of business in the late 1950s and its assets were sold to other manufacturers.

How to Identify a Vintage Koken Barber Chair

Today, Koken's barber chairs are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. They are valued for their beauty, craftsmanship and historical significance. However, not all old barber chairs are Koken's. There were many other manufacturers who produced similar chairs, some of them even copying Koken's design. So how can you tell if you have a genuine Koken barber chair?

One of the easiest ways to identify a Koken barber chair is by looking for the serial number. Most Koken barber chairs have a serial number stamped on the chair frame or on the back of the wood seat cushion. The serial number can help you determine the year and model of your chair, as well as its original color and upholstery. You can find a list of serial numbers and their corresponding information on various websites and books dedicated to vintage barber chairs.

Another way to identify a Koken barber chair is by looking for the brand name or logo. Some Koken barber chairs have the word "KOKEN" or "KOKEN BARBER'S SUPPLY CO." engraved or embossed on the metal parts of the chair, such as the footrest, armrests or backrest. Some also have a metal plate with the company name attached to the back or side of the chair. However, not all Koken barber chairs have these markings, so you should not rely on them alone.

A third way to identify a Koken barber chair is by looking at its design and features. Koken's barber chairs had some distinctive characteristics that set them apart from other brands. For example:

  • Koken's hydraulic lift was operated by a foot pedal that was connected to a cylinder under the seat by a metal rod.

  • Koken's swivel mechanism was located at the base of the chair and had four ball bearings that allowed it to rotate smoothly.

  • Koken's reclining mechanism was controlled by a lever on the side of the chair that moved a rack-and-pinion gear system under the seat.

  • Koken's chairs had porcelain or enamel-coated cast iron bases that were often decorated with ornate patterns or motifs.

  • Koken's chairs had leather or vinyl upholstery that came in various colors and styles.

By comparing your chair with these features, you can get an idea if it is a Koken or not.

How Much are Antique Koken Barber Chairs Worth?

The value of an antique Koken barber chair depends on several factors, such as its condition, age, rarity and demand. Generally speaking, older and rarer models are more valuable than newer and more common ones. Also, chairs that are in good working order and have original parts and upholstery are more valuable than those that are damaged or restored.

The price range of antique Koken barber chairs can vary widely depending on where you buy them from. You can find them online on websites like eBay or Craigslist, where they can sell for anywhere between $500 and $6,000 depending on their condition and popularity. You can also find them offline at antique shops or auctions where they can sell for higher or lower prices depending on their quality and competition.

On average, however, an antique Koken barber chair in very good condition can sell for around $2,000-$3,000. Some examples of recent sales are:

  • A 1910 oak wood Koken barber chair with red leather upholstery sold for $2,750 on eBay in October 2021.

  • A 1920s white porcelain Koken barber chair with black leather upholstery sold for $3,000 on eBay in September 2021.

  • A 1930s chrome-plated Koken barber chair with green vinyl upholstery sold for $2,500 on eBay in August 2021.

Where to Buy Antique Koken Barber Chairs

If you are interested in buying an antique Koken barber chair for your home or business, there are several places where you can look for them. Some of them are:

  • Online marketplaces: You can browse through hundreds of listings of antique Koken barber chairs on websites like eBay or Craigslist where you can compare prices and conditions from different sellers.

  • Antique shops: You can visit local antique shops near you where you can see and touch the chairs before buying them.

  • Auctions: You can attend live or online auctions where you can bid on rare or high-quality antique Koken barber chairs.

  • Private sellers: You can contact private sellers who may have inherited or collected antique Koken barber chairs over time.

Before buying an antique Koken barber chair from any source make sure you do your research on its authenticity value condition history etc You should also inspect it carefully for any signs of damage repair restoration modification etc You should also ask for any documentation or provenance that may come with it such as receipts certificates warranties etc Finally you should negotiate a fair price that reflects its true worth


An antique Koken barber chair is more than just a piece of furniture It is a piece of history art and culture It represents the legacy of Ernest Koken who revolutionized the barber industry with his inventions It also represents the style and taste of generations of barbers customers celebrities etc who used it over time

If you own or want to own an antique Koken barber chair you should appreciate its value and take good care of it You should also enjoy its beauty comfort and functionality Whether you use it for your personal grooming business decoration or collection an antique Koken barber chair is sure to add charm elegance class nostalgia etc to your space

How to Use Your Antique Koken Barber Chair

If you have an antique Koken barber chair, you might want to use it for its original purpose: barbering. Whether you are a professional barber or a hobbyist, you can enjoy the benefits of using an antique Koken barber chair for your grooming needs. Here are some tips on how to use your antique Koken barber chair:

  • Make sure your chair is clean and functional. You should wipe down the metal and porcelain parts with a damp cloth and polish them with a soft cloth. You should also check the hydraulic, swivel and reclining mechanisms for any leaks, rust or damage. If you find any problems, you should contact a qualified repair service or do it yourself if you have the skills and tools.

  • Adjust the height of the chair to suit your customer. You can use the foot pedal to raise or lower the chair until it reaches a comfortable level for both you and your customer. You should also adjust the headrest and footrest to fit your customer's size and posture.

  • Recline and swivel the chair as needed. You can use the lever on the side of the chair to recline it back or forward depending on the type of service you are providing. For example, you can recline it back for shaving or trimming the beard, or forward for cutting or styling the hair. You can also use the swivel mechanism to rotate the chair left or right for better access and visibility.

  • Enjoy the comfort and style of your antique Koken barber chair. You and your customer can appreciate the quality and craftsmanship of your antique Koken barber chair, as well as its historical and cultural significance. You can also share some stories or facts about your chair with your customer to make the experience more enjoyable and memorable.

How to Decorate Your Space with Your Antique Koken Barber Chair

If you have an antique Koken barber chair, you might want to use it for decoration rather than barbering. An antique Koken barber chair can add charm, elegance, class and nostalgia to your space, whether it is your home, office, studio or shop. Here are some tips on how to decorate your space with your antique Koken barber chair:

  • Choose a suitable location for your chair. You should find a spot where your chair can be seen and admired by yourself and others. You should also consider the lighting, ventilation and temperature of the location, as well as the safety and security of your chair.

  • Match your chair with your theme and style. You should choose a theme and style that complements your chair's design and color. For example, you can go for a vintage, retro, industrial or rustic theme that matches your chair's age and character. You can also choose a theme that relates to your chair's history or origin, such as American, German or barber.

  • Accessorize your chair with other items. You can enhance the look of your chair by adding some accessories that go well with it. For example, you can add a barber pole, a shaving mug, a razor, a mirror, a towel or a sign that says "Barber Shop" or "Koken". You can also add some personal items that reflect your personality or interests, such as photos, books, art or memorabilia.

  • Maintain your chair's beauty and value. You should keep your chair clean and functional by following the same tips as above. You should also protect your chair from dust, moisture, sunlight, heat or cold by covering it with a cloth or plastic when not in use. You should also avoid placing heavy or sharp objects on or near your chair that could scratch or dent it.


An antique Koken barber chair is a valuable and versatile piece of furniture that can serve many purposes. You can use it for barbering, decoration or collection. You can also enjoy its beauty, comfort and functionality. Whether you own or want to own an antique Koken barber chair, you should appreciate its history, art and culture. You should also learn how to identify, value, restore and maintain your antique Koken barber chair. By doing so, you can preserve its legacy and pass it on to future generations. 6c859133af


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