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Retro chairs net over $4,000 for Potsdam

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POTSDAM — The bright orange plastic chairs that used to fill the Town Court have earned the town a pretty penny.

The chairs were purchased more than 40 years ago, and their retro ’70s styling could prove to be quite a find for collectors.

The town sold the chairs for $50 apiece to auctioneer Gregory J. Walsh, netting $4,050. Mr. Walsh lived in Potsdam before moving to New Hampshire in 2009.

“I remember sitting in the Town Court and looking at those chairs. I liked their style, their shape and their color,” he said.

He said the chairs are desirable for collectors who want a “mid-century modern” look, furniture that isn’t quite antique but isn’t brand new, either.

The chairs were replaced by more formal court benches in the renovated courtroom at 35 Market St. because of a state code that says court furniture must be affixed to the floor.

Town Supervisor Marie C. Regan said the town might have been able to make a bit more money selling the chairs one or two at a time, but it was worth giving Mr. Walsh a deal because he could buy them all in a batch and move them off the property.

“They came and picked them up. It didn’t cost us a thing,” she said.

The $4,050 will be put into the town’s general fund to help cover unplanned expenses.

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