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Cool furniture, design objects and desiderata

Loathing

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Lol at the people trying to kid themselves that buying worse-quality derivatives is "truer to the spirit" of the originals. I've never seen a reproduction that matches the quality of an original. Rove isn't available in Europe, but just browsing the website some of the Wegner stuff screams low quality.

Prices of these things have ballooned not because they have become status symbols but because prices of every high quality product have outpaced average wages. We're living in a protracted period of wage stagnation and widening income inequality.
 

Van Veen

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Lol at the people trying to kid themselves that buying worse-quality derivatives is "truer to the spirit" of the originals. I've never seen a reproduction that matches the quality of an original. Rove isn't available in Europe, but just browsing the website some of the Wegner stuff screams low quality.

Prices of these things have ballooned not because they have become status symbols but because prices of every high quality product have outpaced average wages. We're living in a protracted period of wage stagnation and widening income inequality.
Wegner is a bad example. It was never designed to be affordable. I am talking stuff like Case Study (made of plywood), Eames shell chairs, Prouve Standard Chairs, etc.

"Jean Prouvé (1901-84) the self-taught French architect and furniture maker, believed that design was a moral issue. He championed mass-produced pieces for the public sector and created chairs, stools and desks for hospitals, schools and government departments."

You're telling me that charging $1k for a bent ply and metal Prouve chair keeps with the original spirit of the designer? According to the article I just quoted, the chair was £355 ($450) in 2013. What has happened in the past 6 years to justify a doubling in price? Even the plastic seat version is more expensive than that today.

ETA: These items can obviously be produced affordably, even by the original manufacturer. McDonald's has Emeco Navy Chairs. I doubt they're paying anything close to retail.
 
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TheFoo

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Wegner is a bad example. It was never designed to be affordable. I am talking stuff like Case Study (made of plywood), Eames shell chairs, Prouve Standard Chairs, etc.

"Jean Prouvé (1901-84) the self-taught French architect and furniture maker, believed that design was a moral issue. He championed mass-produced pieces for the public sector and created chairs, stools and desks for hospitals, schools and government departments."

You're telling me that charging $1k for a bent ply and metal Prouve chair keeps with the original spirit of the designer? According to the article I just quoted, the chair was £355 ($450) in 2013. What has happened in the past 6 years to justify a doubling in price? Even the plastic seat version is more expensive than that today.

ETA: These items can obviously be produced affordably, even by the original manufacturer. McDonald's has Emeco Navy Chairs. I doubt they're paying anything close to retail.
In most cases, the MCM designers failed to make their furniture affordable as intended. The Eames are a great example. They couldn’t produce in the scale necessary to bring costs down, a lot more manual labor was required than originally envisioned, and it’s pricey to QC furniture production when you expect clean, sharp lines and smooth, unblemished surfaces

Often, when you compare today’s prices to decades ago and adjust for inflation, you’ll find a smaller discrepancy than you might expect.
 

Darkside

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Lol at the people trying to kid themselves that buying worse-quality derivatives is "truer to the spirit" of the originals. I've never seen a reproduction that matches the quality of an original. Rove isn't available in Europe, but just browsing the website some of the Wegner stuff screams low quality.

Prices of these things have ballooned not because they have become status symbols but because prices of every high quality product have outpaced average wages. We're living in a protracted period of wage stagnation and widening income inequality.

What low quality characteristics are screaming at you? Serious question.
 

TheFoo

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What low quality characteristics are screaming at you? Serious question.
You can immediately see knots in the wood that would have been selected out by Carl Hansen or PP Mobler.
 

venessian

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You are confusing all mid-century modern furniture for falling under the same "mechanized, production-oriented" umbrella. Common mistake.

[snipped the rest of the usual inanities]
Jeezus you're arrogant, in that typically pedantic cast-the-widest-possible-net manner.

I'm not confusing a damned thing.

But, thank you for reminding me that you were on my (very short) ignore list. Back to it.
 

venessian

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I mostly agree with this, but MCM might not be in style forever. Someday it might be as worthless as a lot of other antiques are now. Furniture is not an investment.

I'm in a smaller market, and there have been multiple Knoll credenzas sitting on Craiglist or Facebook for months for less than $1000 without selling. "Goes for $4000-5500 on 1stDibs!" (Of course, they need restoration, but the fact that flippers aren't buying them is a red flag.)
Bravo.
Thank you for the clear-headed, straight-forward rationality.
 

venessian

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Lol at the people trying to kid themselves that buying worse-quality derivatives is "truer to the spirit" of the originals. I've never seen a reproduction that matches the quality of an original. Rove isn't available in Europe, but just browsing the website some of the Wegner stuff screams low quality.

Prices of these things have ballooned not because they have become status symbols but because prices of every high quality product have outpaced average wages. We're living in a protracted period of wage stagnation and widening income inequality.
Lol at just about everything espoused here above then.

Quite the mash-up gamut, from gross mis-readings, selective denial of context, and the Marvelian super-hero ability to deduce furniture quality solely and possibly instantaneously from a website....

But why did you leave out other factors such as "anti-Keynesian cultural appropriation and quantum inflation as a result of the global degradation of the materia prima market through corporate scavengery, as denounced, and therefore ironically credenced, by certain semi-famous Instagram models who were initially inspired, back when they were pre-teens, by Benetton ad campaigns. Etc."?
 

Van Veen

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Once again, I think most of us can make the distinction between designs that were meant to be handmade vs. mass produced and understand the craftsmanship that goes into truly high-end furniture. But there is an artificiality to prices of iconic MCM designs due to the market and the attempt to maintain a sense of exclusivity (just like there is with high fashion brands).

For example, I would not buy a replica Wishbone Chair. I would buy a replica Eames side chair, or Prouve chair.
 

Loathing

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Lol at just about everything espoused here above then.

Quite the mash-up gamut, from gross mis-readings, selective denial of context, and the Marvelian super-hero ability to deduce furniture quality solely and possibly instantaneously from a website....

But why did you leave out other factors such as "anti-Keynesian cultural appropriation and quantum inflation as a result of the global degradation of the materia prima market through corporate scavengery, as denounced, and therefore ironically credenced, by certain semi-famous Instagram models who were initially inspired, back when they were pre-teens, by Benetton ad campaigns. Etc."
There was no subtle “context” to anything you’ve said. You want something good but you want it cheap. Like scores of cheap people before you have deluded yourself into thinking there is some kind of nobility to your cheapness. “It’s the spirit of the original.” But it’s not. The original Wegner products were made by highly skilled Danish workers in a country with some of the highest wages in the world. In Denmark today, average people can still afford Wegner and nearly all middle class homes are filled with it alongside other MCM classics because it’s a country with a very flat income distribution. Eames products were not that different — they were never cheap and real middle class wages were much higher in the golden age of their products.

The fact you think it’s a super hero ability to assess quality from a photograph betrays exactly how little you know.
 

otc

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I kind of want to find a ratty eames shell chair somewhere just so I can do one of those miraculous restorations with Penetrol and a bit of wet sanding.

I think the secret is out on that though. Flippers won't let a crusty-looking shell chair sit at a thrift shop and the elementary school surplus supply has dried up. I think it is still super easy to get authentic stacking bases for cheap though...the flippers restore the shells on the school chairs and pair them with a more appealing repro base.
 

poorsod

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You're telling me that charging $1k for a bent ply and metal Prouve chair keeps with the original spirit of the designer? According to the article I just quoted, the chair was £355 ($450) in 2013. What has happened in the past 6 years to justify a doubling in price? Even the plastic seat version is more expensive than that today.
I was able to find a Vitra made Prove chair on Craigslist. My impression is that the Vitra version is lighter than the replicas and the metal joinery is better made. After using it for a few months I decided that I preferred a more slouchy chair than the Prouve chair which sat more upright.

Original Prouve chairs are stratospheric in price in comparison to the Vitra reproduction. For example this one sold for $10625

 

Van Veen

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I was able to find a Vitra made Prove chair on Craigslist. My impression is that the Vitra version is lighter than the replicas and the metal joinery is better made. After using it for a few months I decided that I preferred a more slouchy chair than the Prouve chair which sat more upright.

Original Prouve chairs are stratospheric in price in comparison to the Vitra reproduction. For example this one sold for $10625

Original Prouve chairs are collectibles. I feel like everybody is talking past each other here. I don't doubt that the more expensive authentic versions are higher quality, and I'm not trying to discourage anyone from buying them. That's all I'll add to what I've already written.
 

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