Real Vs Fake

Whilst searching for your favourite designer piece of furniture you will probably notice the huge price variation between suppliers. It may be tempting to pay in the region of £500 instead of £5000 for an Eames Lounge chair, for example. But you would almost certainly be buying a copy. Does this matter? Well it depends on your point of view. If you want to enjoy its every detail and admire it every day you may well feel let down in buying a copy. And if you want to keep the chair in your family for many years and pass it on to future generations, a copy is unlikely to be for you. It's unlikely to last the distance! An authorised version is made by trained, dedicated craftsmen and will last a lifetime. This is combined with decent-length warrantees as well as the available of parts and a repair service if required further down the line. A copy is an unauthorised version, made with inferior materials and without the designer's permission. The rule is simple: if you want a design classic, buy authentic and you won't be disappointed.

In this section you will find a few examples of how to spot an Authorised Original for some classic pieces.

Barcelona Chair

Real VS Fake Barcelona Chair

It would not be an exaggeration to say that this is one of the most copied chairs in the world. We only sell the Authorised Original Barcelona chair and footstool. This is distinguished from a copy in several ways.

How to spot a genuine Barcelona chair. The signature of Mies van der Rohe is stamped into the base of each chair and every piece is labelled with an individual production number. The cushions are upholstered with 40 individual panels cut, hand-welted and hand-tufted from a single hide, using only high quality Spinneybeck leather in a choice of hundreds of colours.  A reproduction Barcelona chair uses one large piece of hide and the piping is added later. Seat and back cushions adapt to fit the curve of the frame. The sides and edges of upholstery straps are dyed to match the individual upholstery colour.

For more information or to buy the Barcelona Chair please click here.

Bertoia Chair

Real VS Fake Bertoia Chair

How to spot a genuine Bertoia chair. There is a Knoll stamp on the back of the frame and Knoll is printed on the fabric under the seat pad, which is visible by looking under the chair. Another key point when comparing the real thing vs. a copy is that each individual vertical wire strut sits on top of the wire frame. Most manufacturers of copies have changed this design, which is more difficult to achieve. Instead they use a horizontal piece of wire at the top which covers up all the vertical struts.

For more information or to buy the Bertoia Chair please click here.

Fritz Hansen

Real VS Fake Fritz Hansen Egg Chair

On all upholstered furniture there is a red Republic of Fritz Hansen label to guarantee that it is an original. This "label of origin" creates added value to the furniture and even includes the year the product was manufactured. This measure took effect in 2006.
All pieces are labelled Fritz Hansen. All the most exclusive new Fritz Hansen furniture also has a unique number engraved in the frame when it leaves Fritz Hansen; the number is replicated on a card, which you will receive with your new furniture. Fritz Hansen are taking steps to try to protect their customers should it be stolen. This is regrettably no guarantee that the furniture will not be stolen. However, should this happen (and once you have notified your local police), we recommend that you register your stolen furniture on Fritz Hansen's website. If somebody attempts to resell the furniture, a potential buyer will be able to check on the website whether the furniture has been reported stolen and act accordingly.

To view the Fritz Hansen range please go to our Fritz Hansen section.

Lounge Chair

Real VS Fake Lounge Chair

How to spot a genuine Eames Lounge chair. Only Vitra have the rights to manufacture Eames furniture in Europe. So the genuine article will have a black Vitra sticker with the Charles Eames signature on the base. The chair should have a five-star base; some copies only have a four-star base. The ottoman has four legs. There are 5 plywood veneer options for the seat shell: Santos palisander; cherry; black pigmented walnut; white pigmented walnut or black lacquered ash. The leather upholstery is totally removable using a discreet zip-system. The chair and ottoman has a die-cast aluminium swivel base, which is available chromed, polished or black with top edges polished. The under-side of the seat and ottoman will have a plate like the one shown here. Finally, these chairs are made in Germany; most copies are made in Italy or China.

For more information or to buy the Eames Lounge Chair please click here.

Tulip Table

Tulip Table

How to spot a genuine Saarinen Tulip Table. The table has a chrome plaque underneath the table, inscribed with Knoll Studio, as well as Eero Saarinen's signature and the year 1956. The base is heavy, made with moulded cast aluminium protected with rilsan. The top is available in a wide choice of marbles, wood veneers, and white laminate. The marble top is 2cm thick; white laminate is 3cm thick. These tables are available round or oval in a large range of sizes. If this entire range is not available to order from the stockist you are considering, or the plaque isn't there, it is a copy. Many of the fake marble tables use Carrera marble, which is typically used for butcher's blocks in Italy. It is around 30% cheaper as a raw material and has a fuzzy grey vein design that is a poor comparison to the Arabescato from Knoll. Finally, all Knoll marble Tulip tables have a special polyester coating, which makes the table a practical choice in a busy home. The polyester coating is now available in a choice of classic, which has a polished mirror-like appearance or satin, which is almost completely matt. Each table has four separate coats of the special polyester layer, which prevents staining, thus ensuring it will cope even in the most hectic home with young children and pets.

For more information or to buy the Saarinen Tulip table please click here.

Join the Couch Club

See our latest promotions, product launches and events, and enjoy a discount on your first order (above a minimum value). 

By joining our mailing list, you agree to receive our monthly newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time.