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Sources for reproduction modern furniture (Eames, Le Corbusier and others)?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Max Knight, Sep 10, 2001.

  1. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    Hi all,
    I am a huge fan of mid-century design, especially the furniture designs of Eames and Le Corbusier. Unfortunately, my bank account cannot handle the prices that these collectors' items command! I have found one fabulous website, www.steelform.com which sells high quality reproductions of these famous designs, and was wondering if anyone other HTFers could point me to similar sites or stores.
    Thanks,
    Max
     
  2. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    Try DWR.com .. although they are hardly cheap! Yikes. I need to start another start-up just to furnish my apartment. =P
     
  3. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    Yes, I've seen DWR.com, but I think at those prices I could almost be buying originals! I'm sticking to the hunt, and I'll post in this thread if I find any more.
    -Max
     
  4. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    Please do. I too am a big fan and am on the look-out for good deals. Thanks!
     
  5. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    Max,

    I actually rather puzzled by my research into these replications. Does each retailer use the same manufacturer? Or does DWR really use that much better quality materials than SteelForm.com? Also, have you heard anything good or bad about Spacify.com?

    Please chime in guys. I'm about to drop $1500 on tables alone! Thanks.
     
  6. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    The thread has resurfaced!
    Don, DWR doesn't actually build the stuff themselves, but they tend to carry the "authorized" versions. For example, if you buy the Eames lounger from DWR you would be getting the Herman Miller produced version. When buying modern classics I've found that there are at most 3 choices:
    1. Original
    This means that the item was actually produced as a first run, so that would make many of these fabulous pieces 50 years old or so. These are generally SUPER expensive and are bought from special galleries or auctions (or the occassional yard sale if you are really really lucky).
    2. Authorized reproduction
    This is what you would get if you bought the Eames lounger from DWR or direct form Herman Miller. They are not generally called authorized reproductions, but that's what they are. These are just "new" versions of the original, built to the exact specifications (sometimes methods of fabrication have improved, and the new version is a little better than an original).
    3. Reproductions
    This is what I can afford! Reproductions range from Steelform style "exact" reproductions to poor imitations. A good example is the Le Corbusier chaise. I have seen $400 reproductions that look like crap. Cheap leather, bungie cords holding the surface on, etc. Then there are fantastic reproductions that cost about $700 to $1000 (still cheaper than an "authentic"), and are indistinguishable from the "authentic".
    I myself have bought a reproduction Eames storage unit from www.modernwoodworks.com. I love the unit, and you can't tell the difference between it and the 250% more expensive "authentic" MOMA version. In terms of steelform, they seem really nice (you can send the stuff back for a refund if you don't like it). They are not cheap, but they are a hell of a lot cheaper than buying original. I got some leather samples from them and was pleased.
    I've never ordered from Spacify.com, but they seemed to have OK prices.
     
  7. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    One other source I have found is www.roomandboard.com. They sell some Herman Miller stuff, and a lot of original stuff. Very nice quality on the whole. One fantastic find from them was the "Jake" chair. This is a close-but-not-exact reproduction of the Jacobsen chair (a bent plywood side chair). It's not quite the quality of the original (the legs are attached in a cheaper, though sturdy, manner), but at 1/4 of the cost I was actually able to afford the 8 chairs I needed for my dining room table.
    Welcome to my other outrageously expensive hobby!
     
  8. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    No kidding! I'm a big fan of Herman Miller stuff. I've already got their lounge chair and ottoman. Now, I'm looking to grab a Le Corbusier LC6 dining room table and an Eileen Grey side table for the lounge chair.

    Are there licensing issues involved here? So, is there really such a thing as an "authorized version". Or can pretty much everyone with a metal shop in the garage make this stuff?

    Thanks Max.
     
  9. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    The licensing gets a bit fuzzy with this stuff, from what I have seen. In some cases there are are "authorized versions" which will have serial numbers and stuff like that. Those would increase resale value, but then again few people resell this stuff so it could be a moot point.

    All places that sell these items will explicitly state whether or not they are selling authentic or reproduction, and they do this to avoid legal issues. The key here is that many of these beautiful pieces were really done as "design", and not necessairly as "an item I'm going to produce and sell". For instance, Herman Miller has trademarked Eames Chair Configuration and has a "rights reserved" thingy on the word Eames, but a place like Steelform can claim to produce a replica of an Eames design without too much worry.

    To extend the Herman Miller example, the first Eames loungers were (I believe) manufactured by Herman Miller. So therefor a Herman Miller model of the Eames lounger might be thought of as more authentic.

    I personally am more interested in the design rather than the fabrication, so I'm not too picky about who produces my furniture as compared to who designed it (provided of course the quality is identical).

    The LC6 is a gorgeous table, I almost bought one! But it turned out to be too big for my space, so I went with a Tavola from DWR (amazingly cheap, only $450!). What I really want now are two black Mies van der Rohe Pavillion (aka Barcelona) chairs for my sitting area.
     
  10. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    Honestly, the LC6 is way too big for my area too. But at $800 shipped for the 19mm glass one (the highest model), how can I resist?

    I too am not terribly worried about the manufacturer of the pieces....only build quality. That's what makes comparing retailers and prices so difficult on these pieces!
     
  11. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    Ah, I see you are looking at the small LC6. My problem was that the small LC6 was too small, but the big LC6 was too big! I needed one right around 75" or so. That's a really good price on the table!

    What chairs are you thinking of pairing it with?
     
  12. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    No, no. I'm talking about the big one. I have access to non-profit pricing which is why the price is so low. Chairs? Yes well ... I haven't gotten that far yet. =) I'll have to wait 6-8 weeks until my table arrives so I've got some time to browse. Any suggestions?
     
  13. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    The big table for that price?! Lucky man!
    As for chairs, that table would look great with the Mies Cantilever chair in black. That could get expensive fast, however! Something along those lines would be nice I think. Since the table is glass and dark metal I think you need something that will reflect that and lighten it just a bit (the chrome would work really well). Or maybe the Finn chairs
    The Globuswould be nice as well.
     
  14. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    I was looking at the Cantilevers but black/chrome is so typical. I was perhaps looking for something with more color. I might drive into NYC sometime to take a look at some of these things in person. Since you're in the city, any ideas on which showrooms I should hit? Thanks!
     
  15. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    There are tons of good stores in NYC, but a great cluster are down in SoHo. The MoMA has a new store near the corner of Broadway and (I think) Spring st. They have a bunch of great chairs. Some other good show rooms are on Mercer and Wooster near Houston. There is one called B Modern (on Wooster) which is quite nice (and has the coolest wardrobe-type-thing I've ever seen, but at about $7000 I won't be buying it!). There is another interesting show room on that street called Capellini I think (I'm pretty sure it's a C name, but if you look in the windows you can't miss it). Going down to SoHo is worth it for the Moma Store and B Modern alone, and if you wander you should find a bunch of other good places.

    Further uptown there is Conran's which is at E. 59th street practically under the bridge (btw. 1st ave and York). That store is fantastic! It looks small, but it's like an iceberg with most of the store being underground. They tend to sell the higher end stuff, along with random home furnishings, books, china, etc.

    [edited to reflect B Modern's actual address on Wooster]
     
  16. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    Cool! I'm coming into the city for one of the Billy Joel/Elton John concerts at the Garden and I guess I'll do some window shopping as well. Thanks man. I'm amazed that this thread hasn't attracted any more members. I would have thought that this style of furniture would appeal to the HT/tech/geek type.
     
  17. Ray Suarez

    Ray Suarez Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess I'm coming way too late to this thread, however, one additional on-line source for Eames, Le Corbusier etc is http://www.f-u-p.com. Their prices are comparable to DWR but the on-line selection seems limited. They also have a free catalog that may have more items.
    Room and Board is also a great source with good prices. Take for example the Eames lounge chair and ottoman. $2599 at R&B versus $2919 at DWR. I also bought the "jake" chair as a substitute for the Arne Jacobsen original, great price and good quality.
    Ray
     
  18. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    Welcome Ray! Thanks for the link. It looks like their prices, as you mentioned, are just as bad as DWR. Arrghh...so expensive....
     
  19. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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  20. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    Welcome Ray.

    The Rombo is pretty nice, but $400 for delivery? Sounds like they are trying to recoup on their "low" cost with some shipping and handling.

    I'm looking for a nice wardrobe unit right now. I need one that is tall and has both drawers and a rod for hanging clothes. Has anyone found one that has a nice modern feel? I have total lust for the Pulirmo by Jeson unit I saw at B Modern, but at $7000 I can't afford one!
     

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