While it does look cool and vintage "as is", the old paint was uneven and chipping off and you can see how rusted the metal mechanic parts were below the seat.
After about 12 hours of taking it apart, removing the layers of rust, repainting the metal pieces, sanding the paint off the wood, staining the wood, and reassembling, it looks absolutely beautiful...restored to it's more original patina.
The chair is still fully functioning - it raises and lowers, swivels 360 degrees, and even tilts back and forth. Look at the intricate metal pieces below the seat.
The details in the metal work are beautiful and so well crafted...it's lasted all this time and still works like a charm. We're thinking about posting the chair on Craig's List and seeing what we can get for it now that it's totally redone. These antique desk chairs can be worth a lot - I saw an identical model on e-bay for sale for $800. It will be hard to part with it though, after all the hours of effort that went into it. And it looks pretty good in the living room...
Hope we've inspired you to go scout out your local Craig's List postings...it's amazing what you can find on there for really cheap. Recently, we purchased some vintage 1960's light fixtures on Craig's List from an old motel that's being renovated. We're fixing them up now...I'll post the before+after of that soon. -Kristen