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Design furniture and knockoffs

j

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I'm looking at various "design" pieces of furniture, most recently the Eileen Gray adjustable table. They seem to be available new anywhere from $90 (ebay) to $400 (DWR) to $800 (highbrowfurniture.com). I would imagine that the $800 is the most authentic, since I saw reference to the DWR one being a "knockoff". But how bad is it really going to be? Is it basically you get what you pay for? Personally, I'd be okay with a high-Ikea grade piece, so any of them would probably work all right for my purposes. But I'm interested to know how much different the grades of these items would be. I would imagine the cheaper ones might use lesser materials (cheap glass instead of "crystal glass" top, cheaper/thinner steel tubing, cheaper chrome process) or slightly shoddy construction.

Any thoughts? And looking at a used example with no markings, how is one to guess its provenance?

Thanks.

 

itsstillmatt

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The liscensed one is made by Classicon in Germany and is marked as such. You can get them for around $900, so an $800 knockoff probably wouldn't be a great buy.

The cheaper knockoffs have chrome that tends to peal easily. Also, since it is an adjustable table, the mechanism will probably work less smoothly.

It is a nice table, but for my money there are far more stylish classic designs for less.
 

j

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Thanks. I hadn't been able to figure out who had the license. And to be honest, I'm not that big a fan of the design either - I just had a line on a good deal on a pair of them, and liked the function.

Do you know of other similar designs I might look for? I'm looking for tables that can go under the sofa to set drinks on in between people sitting on it. (To put it awkwardly.) I found one called the "Aspen" table by Massaud:



But something squarer would make more sense with my sofa. Maybe I should design and build one myself, it couldn't be that difficult.
 

itsstillmatt

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I love Massaud and think it is a great piece. It would go better with a square sofa than a roundish one IMO. My first choice is always the Saarinen table because I think that it is the single best table ever designed. I have a large one in the dining room and a small one in the entryway. You cant really slide them under a sofa, but the diameter of the top is much bigger than the bottom, so you get the same effect.
The Cappellini Gong table is minimal and pretty inexpensive and does what you are looking for
I have one of these next to my bed, but am not crazy about it.
This is one of the great design classics from the 70s, but either you love it or you don't. I do, my wife does not. It is very cool and functional.
The Op-La table from Alessi is very, very functional, but loos kind of cheap. It costs cheap too
.
Other than those, you could always get a gnome.
 

j

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I like some of those, but the idea of the squarish table was that it would serve the purpose best - i.e. provide a space for drinks or a small snack bowl, and the inevitable remote controls without taking up too much seating space. I can't seem to find one like this.
 

j

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Actually, this is pretty close to what I was thinking, function-wise at least:



Now, to quickly get a career that allows me to drop 400 bones on a small table!
 

Drinkwaters

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J,
We found this great resource for furniture ( Gus ) and have purchased a new Living room set from them. They have a table similar to the one your looking for called Bishop Table. Check out their stuff at www.2modern.com

Gary
 

faust

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J, I'd go with the knock off in a flash. These "classics" have become so ubiquitous that there is no sense any more to pay the extra premium for the name, the store's Soho rent, and the cost of shipping from Italy. By the way, does the idea of the commoness of these pieces not turn you off? Just curious. I'm personally kinda tired of seeing all these Barcelona chairs, Noguchi tables, and such...

By the way, I propose to rename DWR into DOR - Design WithOut Reach, because those prices are certainly not within the reach of most people.
 

LabelKing

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Originally Posted by faust
J, I'd go with the knock off in a flash. These "classics" have become so ubiquitous that there is no sense any more to pay the extra premium for the name, the store's Soho rent, and the cost of shipping from Italy. By the way, does the idea of the commoness of these pieces not turn you off? Just curious. I'm personally kinda tired of seeing all these Barcelona chairs, Noguchi tables, and such...

By the way, I propose to rename DWR into DOR - Design WithOut Reach, because those prices are certainly not within the reach of most people.

I agree, the design classics are entirely ubiquitous these days-much like how Danish furniture was ubiquitous a few years back.

And interesting to think that all of these movements were initially met with derision by the masses.
 

designprofessor

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I have a few knock offs of the classics. It seems to be a hit or miss. They get alot of use, so I was more than happy to pay much less and get tons of use from it. If you shell out the cash for the real deal and the kids start jumpin' on the $5,000 Barcelona chair you'd get a little anxious....
 

faustian bargain

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call me a heretic, but in my opinion the eileen gray table is rickety and best used as a display object in the corner, never to be touched. plus, the hole in the glass is just psychologically troubling. i guess that's part of the appeal for some people. (people without children or dogs or old invalids with parkinson's.)

FWIW i think the grcic sheet metal ones look nice, from the pictures anyway.
 

j

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Thanks for the comment on the utility. If it doesn't do the job, then forget it. I didn't realize they were rickety - never seen one.

As for ubiquity, I don't really hang out with anyone who has stuff like this, fortunately or unfortunately. I'm sure in certain circles all this stuff is played out, so to speak, but mainly, I want something that fulfills the function I need and possibly looks interesting at the same time. I'm not trying to show off how much money I have (haha) by placing knockoff designer pieces. So if it works fine, and looks presentable, it would do for me.

I have designed a table for my needs... I will refine a bit and possibly post it for dissection.
 

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