Nostalgic Beauty: Unveiling the Age of Your Koken Barber Chair

How to Tell the Age of a Koken Barber Chair


As a subject-matter expert in barber chairs, I understand the fascination and love that collectors have for vintage pieces. One of the most sought-after brands in the market is Koken, known for their craftsmanship and iconic designs. If you are lucky enough to own a Koken barber chair or are considering purchasing one, determining its age can be a valuable piece of information. In this article, I will guide you through the process of identifying and dating a Koken barber chair, offering expert insights and tips along the way.

Serial Number

The first step in determining the age of a Koken barber chair is to locate and decode its serial number. The serial number serves as a unique identifier for each chair and can provide valuable information about its age and production details. On Koken chairs, you can typically find the serial number either on the back of the seat frame or underneath the footrest.

Once you have found the serial number, refer to the table below to decode it:

Serial Number Format Year of Production
B 1930
V 1931
G 1932
A 1933
M 1934
B 1935
H 1936
J 1937
K 1938
L 1939
M 1940

Note that this table only covers the years 1930-1940, as these were the most popular years of production for Koken barber chairs. For chairs manufactured outside this timeframe, you may need to consult additional resources or reach out to experts in the field.

Features and Design

In addition to the serial number, examining the features and design elements of your Koken barber chair can also provide clues about its age. Koken chairs went through various evolutions and design changes over the years, which can help place them within specific production periods.

Here are some key features to look for:

  • Headrest Design: In the early years, Koken chairs typically had a headrest made of porcelain or Bakelite. Later models introduced headrests with upholstered padding.
  • Footrest Style: The design of the footrest underwent changes as well. Early chairs featured a foot-operated, single-pedal design, while later models transitioned to a double-pedal, lever-operated system.
  • Upholstery Material: The type of upholstery used can indicate the chair’s age. Leather was commonly used in earlier models, but vinyl and other synthetic materials became more prevalent in later years.
  • Embossed Logos: Koken chairs often displayed the company’s logo or name on various parts of the chair. The style and placement of these logos can provide insights into the chair’s age.

Documentation and Research

Aside from the serial number and physical features, conducting thorough research and examining available documentation can greatly assist in identifying the age of a Koken barber chair. Look for vintage catalogs, advertisements, and other publications that showcase Koken chairs from different decades.

Online forums and communities dedicated to vintage barber chairs can be an excellent resource as well. Engage with fellow collectors, share pictures of your chair, and ask for their expertise. They may have encountered similar chairs or possess valuable knowledge about specific production details and timelines.


Identifying the age of a Koken barber chair can be both challenging and rewarding. By decoding the serial number, examining the chair’s features, and conducting thorough research, you can gain a deeper understanding of your chair’s history and place it within its proper production period. Remember to consult experts, engage with fellow collectors, and enjoy the process of unraveling the fascinating story behind your Koken barber chair.






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