Brayton International Mystery Executive Chair
Hello wonderful design peeps -
I hope you can help me with a question that is breaking my skull!!
Two years ago, I found a gorgeous executive chair by the side of the road in Brooklyn, ready to be sent to the dumpster. I picked it up without knowing anything about it only because I loved the lines, the color of the upholstery and also because I needed a desk chair for my home office since... well... COVID, working from home and all that.
Eventually, as I developed a new found love for furniture design and vintage pieces, I got curious about its origins. Upon further inspection (by which I mean: kneeling down and looking below the seat) I found a plaque from Brayton International Collection that said the chair was manufactured in the U.S. but I still didn't know if it was special in any other way beyond its looks: like when was it made, who designed it, etc. Then, after tons of Google Search adventures, I found out that Brayton's website did not work anymore because they had been bought by Steelcase in 1987. I emailed Steelcase, and a very helpful Product Specialist asked me for a photo of the label in order to help me identify the product.
Well, it turns out that my chair is a model called the Maestro, designed by Rolf Grunow in Germany.
But, unfortunately, they couldn't help me identify the year it was designed or manufactured because that information wasn't on the label. I've spent weeks trying to find out more about Mr. Grunow, only to discover he did design other pieces for Walter Knoll in 1956, like the Sessel 369 , and this minimalist daybed.
Beyond that, I have come up empty! I would really really love some help in learning how to investigate further to find out the year my chair was design or made, or the first year it was put into production. As of 2012, you could still order the chair from Coalesse, which now owns Steelcase, Brayton and Metro International.
I would also love to know more about Rolf Grunow, since there is nothing on the internet about him besides his name in the Brayton catalogue, and those two links I shared above. There are a couple of books written by a Rolf Grunow but I'm not sure if they are the same person.
I thought that because this is a European forum, I'd have more luck finding some assistance from other curious members, maybe some from Germany who could help? haha just kidding, any info from anywhere helps!
How would you guys go about researching this? I'd love some pointers about where to look.
Thank you!!! Pics are attached!!!