Sunday, December 02, 2007


I love those eBay commercials where the woman comes out of nowhere and catches the auction item for a touchdown. Well that's me!

I swooped in and got these six Krueger armshell chairs for $202.50. (Krueger was an Eames competitor.) I have to say that after giving my dilemma a little thought, I've become very comfortable with the idea of owning the kinds of pieces we like even if they are not the originals - the whole idea was good design mass-produced at an affordable price, right? Well, that's what these are.


Brandon said...

Cheers! When I used to get the DWR e-mail newsletter, I once wrote back to Rob Forbes asking him to explain/discuss the apparent contradiction between modernist ideals and modern furniture prices, i.e., why do Eames plywood chairs still cost $500? It's cheap material used for a mass-produced chair, and surely the cost of the forms, etc., have been amortized. Needless to say, I never got a response, and he never addressed the subject in his founder's preamble.

Especially when you consider that the designers of so many of these classics are long dead, it's hard to feel too bad about the knockoffs. Knoll tries to make you feel like a philistine for considering a knockoff Barcelona chair, but what if the aniline leather and forged/cast/whatever frame aren't worth the extra $3K to you? Not to mention that authenticity is a pursuit that I've mostly left to others willing to subject themselves to its exquisite agonies.

Chris said...

"Exquisite agonies" - that's a wonderful phrase. Studio 360 had a whole bit on provenance yesterday, the difference b/w "real" and fake pieces of art. Awfully fun to think about.

I read this great post about this question on a blog called DaddyTypes when I was looking around for Eames rockers. Seems that even the "new" legit Eames stuff is all "reproduction" anyway - Modernica only bought the molds, but they can't reproduce the actual shell because you can't use fiberglass in this day and age. So you've got to find vintage if you want the "real" thing, whatever that is. (Though I have to say that the fiberglass in the old shells is really much more attractive than what they're selling these days.)

But I'm with you (though certainly there's some financial rationalization going on) - the whole ideology of these designers was to get their stuff out to people who couldn't afford the fancy pedigree of a chair, of all things. So I'm doing "fake" modern on the cheap.

Jake Boen said...

Here's some thoughts on my favorite chair:

Have you ever sat on a "fake" barcelona chair that has been 'squished'? I go into clothing stores that have barcelona chairs and half of them are ruined because the frame didn't hold up to someones weight. To me I wouldn't want to risk this happening to my personal barcelona chair. I guess that is why I don't own one. I can't afford the "real" thing, and yet I don't want to risk the quality of owning a knock off. I think that this is one of the few chairs that require the quality of the original.

lavardera said...

Those chairs look sweet! I love the Eames bucket chairs - have a pair of them myself - but I've never heard of this competitor Krueger? If they were out in the market at the same time its history - don't feel any guilt about a competitor from 50 years ago. They did what was legal in their time, and its a bit of history to the collector now.