Lookbox Living Issue #58
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Real versus Fake. Is your furniture the real deal?

There are polarising views about owning designer furniture – one camp says the knockoffs are hard to tell; the other camp is adamant about originality and the devil in the details. We get the lowdown from the experts in this trade, who reveal the importance and relevance of owning an original piece. After all, you […]

There are polarising views about owning designer furniture – one camp says the knockoffs are hard to tell; the other camp is adamant about originality and the devil in the details. We get the lowdown from the experts in this trade, who reveal the importance and relevance of owning an original piece. After all, you pay for what you get!

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Herman Miller – Eames Aluminium Group (EAG) (designed in 1958)

Designed by husband-and-wife duo Charles & Ray Eames, EAG is undoubtedly one of the most iconic office seats in the world. This leather and aluminium chair was originally designed for outdoor use, however, it has been adapted for the office environment. In varying leather hues or signature Cygnus mesh, its enduring design makes for an arresting look even for a residential interior.

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Eames Aluminium Group (EAG), Herman Miller

How to spot the real thing!

Amy Auscherman, Corporate Archivist, Herman Miller reveals:

#1 The most common difference between authentic and fake EAGs is the arm shape. Authentic EAG arms form one complete loop. In an effort to save cost on materials and manufacturing, many replicas only include half of the loop (the top and front).

#2 The horizontal “seams” across the seat and back on authentic EAGs are heat-pressed and sealed. Many imitations actually stitch the seams as a way to cut cost, but keep the ribbed look.

#3 On an authentic Herman Miller EAG, the circular aluminium knob used to adjust the tilt-tension is rear-facing whereas most knock-offs position the knob front-facing.

“Buying an original EAG assures you of high-quality materials and, if taken care of, it will last a lifetime (and often multiple lifetimes). Our products are sourced sustainably, and are put through rigorous testing to ensure they hold up for the use they are intended. Though you may save money up front with an imitation, the product will not last and you will not have the long-term value that an authentic, high-quality product will give you.”

 

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Egg Chair, Fritz Hansen

Republic of Fritz Hansen – The Egg Chair (designed in 1958)

The Egg chair was designed by one of the world’s most revered modernist furniture designers – Arne Jacobsen. He originally designed it for the Radisson SAS hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark. Today, it is manufactured by Republic of Fritz Hansen. Its bulbous aesthetic gives it an evergreen look.

How to spot the real thing!

Dario Reicherl, CEO Asia at Republic of Fritz Hansen Singapore, reveals:

#1 Each Egg Chair has a unique serial number engraved on the steel base.

#2 There is also a sticker label at the base of each Egg Chair, which contains the Fritz Hansen name and product details, including the unique ID number, the name of the designer and origin.

#3 The Fritz Hansen “Label of Origin” is sewn into each chair as a sign of authenticity. Products produced before 2010 have a red tag while those produced after 2010 have a brown tag.

“The creative and financial investment that goes into a genuine Fritz Hansen means that our products have no equal in terms of quality, durability and design. While we do our best to halt counterfeiting operations, we often urge consumers to be mindful of telling signs, especially where quality is concerned. We have also taken additional measures to combat counterfeiting by incorporating an “invisible” thread into all our labels, which can only be identified by a special pen held by Fritz Hansen.”

 

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Cassina LC4 Chaise Longue

Cassina – LC4 Chaise Longue (designed in 1928)

Originally conceived by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand in 1928, the LC4 was not put into production till 1965. The most notable part is the polished trivalent chrome-plated steel frame which sits on the seat base. Designed for total relaxation based on its geometic purity and ergonomic aesthetic, it remains as one of the world’s beloved loungers.

How to spot the real thing!

Eileen Tan, Marketing Manager, Space Furniture reveals:

#1 The product has indelible marks such as the Cassina logo and serial number, together with the signature of Le Corbusier’s and Charlotte Perriand’s signature at the base of the chrome frame.

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#2 There is another Cassina logo at the base of one of the leg frames.

#3 Ask about the warranty. Manufacturers such as Cassina usually encourage owners to register their piece to enjoy the warranty and protection for up to 50 years in the case of certain models of Cassina.

“Shop only at reputable retail shops or websites. If unsure, do visit the brand’s website to locate licensed local dealers for each territory. Do not rely only on online images as some replica manufacturers are known to conveniently use the highly stylised photos from the authentic manufacturers to disguise themselves.”

 



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