how to spot fake eames furniture? experts respond in new collector's guide

how to spot fake eames furniture? experts respond in new collector's guide

Introducing ‘an eames of your own’ collector’s guide

 

The Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity has recently launched An Eames of Your Own, a detailed guide to buying vintage Eames furniture and artifacts and curating your very own collection. The publication draws from the expertise of film producer Daniel Ostroff, who is also a longtime Eames devotee and head of acquisitions and research at the Eames Institute. The catalog shares advice on how to distinguish fakes, preserve pieces to ensure longevity, avoid replicas or mix-matched ‘FrankenEames’ models, and more.

 

‘Whether they were created five or fifty years ago, Eames designs remain just as beautiful and useful as ever. Few designs have stood the test of time like Eames furniture has, however with buying vintage items still often being a mystifying process, the Institute’s in-house expert explains what to look for—and what to avoid,’ shares the team at Eames Institute.

 

how to spot fake eames furniture? experts respond in new collector's guide
all illustrations by Catherine Potvin, courtesy of The Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity

 

 

David Ostroff shares eames collector’s evaluation system

 

Mid-century modern design is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, and with that comes a growing interest in collecting vintage designs. Both longtime and newly minted Eames enthusiasts are constantly on the lookout for vintage pieces. However, knowing exactly what to look for—and what to watch out for—requires some foundational knowledge and training. Here’s where the new guide comes in. 

 

To provide a contextual framework for collecting, David Ostroff suggests utilizing a four-part evaluation system. This system includes the categories of Designer, Design, Technique, and Example. The first category pertains to the creator of the item, while the second category considers the prestige of the particular piece, whether it’s a recognized classic like a chair from the Aluminum Group or a less renowned one.

 

The third aspect focuses on the manufacturing methods used for the item. The Eameses employed a range of techniques, from plywood molding to upholstering fiberglass and more. The complexity and variety of techniques used enhance the item’s value, with pieces involving more intricate processes being more prized. For instance, an original fiberglass chair with turned dowel wood legs holds greater value than the same chair with bent steel legs. Knowledgeable collectors acknowledge that Eames shell chairs’ upholstery is often handsewn, increasing the value of upholstered furniture. Lastly, the Example category delves into the specific piece’s qualities, its unique aesthetic appeal, and the historical significance it represents. It questions whether all components of the piece are original to that specific instance. Combining these four assessments assists collectors in appraising the potential value of a piece.

how to spot fake eames furniture? experts respond in new collector's guide
the iconic Eames Lounge (670) and Ottoman (671)

 

 

key points to consider when collecting eames classics

 

To help provide further context for assembling an Eames brood, Ostroff offers a series of key points to consider when collecting. Within the guide, he explains that when collecting Eames furniture, it is important to focus on the object’s history over its style. Each Eames piece has a unique story, and understanding this story can make the piece even more valuable. According to Ostroff, collectors should also avoid making any modifications to Eames furniture, as this can reduce its value. If necessary, they can make only minor changes that will increase the longevity of the piece. ‘I say ‘do no harm,’—meaning resist the urge to make any modifications to the piece. The less a collector does the better, especially if they have a piece in an original condition,’ Ostroff shares. ‘Having something with honest patina is even better than having a piece in mint condition. There’s something about how things age that adds to their appeal,’ he adds. 

 

The guide also notes that is important to be aware of FrankenEames, which are pieces that have been created by mixing and matching original Eames parts. These pieces are not considered to be authentic Eames furniture, and they may not hold their value as well as genuine Eames pieces.  Finally, collectors should become an ‘Eames librarian by reading as much as they can about Ray and Charles Eames and their work. This will help collectors to develop a deeper understanding of Eames furniture and to make informed decisions when purchasing pieces.

how to spot fake eames furniture? experts respond in new collector's guide
the Eames LCW Chair

how to spot fake eames furniture? experts respond in new collector's guide
the Eames Molded Plastic Armchair

spot-fake-eames-furniture-experts-collectors-guide-designboom-full-01

the Eames Rocking Armchair

how to spot fake eames furniture? experts respond in new collector's guide
La Fonda Arm Chair

how to spot fake eames furniture? experts respond in new collector's guide

spot-fake-eames-furniture-experts-collectors-guide-designboom-full-02

Eames Molded Plastic Side Chairs

KEEP UP WITH OUR DAILY AND WEEKLY NEWSLETTERS
suscribe on designboom
- see sample
- see sample
suscribe on designboom

happening now! on its 35th participation at salone del mobile, pedrali unveiled eleven new collections for indoor and outdoor spaces, including brand new collections and extensions of existing collections! 

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999
X
5