Barcelona Chair was conceptualized by the great architect and furniture maker Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1929. It was during the designing of the Barcelona pavilion for the world fair and exhibition.
He took the design inspiration from the mid-century chairs used by Egyptian rulers. The chair had scissors-like legs that can be folded.
If you are looking for help to spot a fake Barcelona chair then you are at the right spot, we will take you through a step-by-step approach.
Before that let’s look at the background of the Barcelona Chair.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe made a few changes to the original design and came up with a brilliant chair design. Since it was originally designed for the Barcelona pavilion it was named the “Barcelona Chair”. The Barcelona chair had these features
- Chrome Plated Steel Strip replacing wood or any other metal(Iron)
- Leather Upholstery
- 2 leather Cushions( Bottom and Back)
- Button Stitching
- Leather straps
- No Folding or Collapsible
Read more about the History of Barcelona Chair.
9 Signs to Spot a Fake Barcelona Chair (Replica Chair)
Since the design is very simple, it is very easy for manufacturers to copy or make duplicates of the Barcelona chair. Some replicas are even better versions of the original chair. They are often less expensive but of high-quality material and built quality.
To identify a fake Barcelona chair you have to be vigilant and look at some visible differences that set the fake apart from the original chair.
The first thing to look at to identify a true vintage Barcelona chair is the price. The price for an original Barcelona chair costs between $6000 to $7500.
Some retailers offer 10-20% discount on the price but still, it would be very expensive. If you find the price to be in the range of $700-$1500 then be sure it’s not the original but a fake one. (Replica Barcelona chair).
The cost of a True Barcelona Chair at Knoll is $6300 (Discounted Price), and the regular price is $7412.
The cost of a True Barcelona Chair at 1stDibs is $7600.
The cost of a True Barcelona Chair at DWR is $6300.20 (Discounted Price), and the regular price is $7412.
If you are looking for a Barcelona Chair with all the qualities but cheap then you can get it in the $700-$1000 range. There are many retailers that sell replicas and first companies of the Barcelona chair and the price is within the range.
But f you are looking for an investment value in real design then always go for the original chair that costs between $6000-$7500 per chair.
Manufacturers or Companies
The first thing you should look at is the manufacturer or retailer who is selling the chair. It is crucial that you must know the companies that make the original and the replicas.
Some of the companies that manufacture and market the real and original Barcelona Chair are
In 1948 Knoll began manufacturing the Barcelona chair and other collections of designer Mies van der Rohe under the leadership of Florence Knoll. The Barcelona chair comprised of
- Chrome Plated Legs
- Polished Stainless Steel with a liquid finish
- Leather Upholstery and
- Price Range of $6000-$7000
Knoll started manufacturing a series of Barcelona designs like Barcelona stools, Barcelona Daybeds, Barcelona Benches, Barcelona Sofas, Barcelona coffee Tables, and Barcelona side Tables.
If you come across a Barcelona chair with all the exquisite details and look other than these it might be a fake one.
Companies or retailers that sell replicas or the first copies of the Barcelona chairs are
Every part of the Barcelona chair is handcrafted and every attention is given to designing them so as to give a luxurious feeling while seating.
The aim of the Barcelona chair was to welcome the King and Queen to the World fair at the Barcelona Pavillion.
So if you give attention to the design and every part of the chair you can easily spot the difference between a real and a fake one.
Knoll Studio Logo:
Every original Barcelona chair is handcrafted and handmade. They are tufted, welted, and polished by hand. Barcelona chair bears the Knoll studio logo on the back leg of each chair.
Mies Signature Stamp:
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe signed the chair in 1961 and since then every chair carries the Mies Signature stamp on the back strap and on the back of the leg. See the image for reference,
The first thing you should look at is the cushion. The back cushion and the seat are upholstered with 40 individual panels stitched with a button finish and made from a single cowhide.
If you are unable to see where the 40 individual panels are then check out the image below where we have marked the 40 panes, 20 on the back seat and 20 on the bottom seat.
Straps On the Chair:
Another major thing that most manufacturers fail to match or duplicate is the straps used in the chair. There is a total of 17 straps, 8 on the back cushion and 9 on the bottom cushion that holds the cushion in its place.
The straps are made from cowhide and fastened with aluminum rivets. If you find more than 17 straps or less than 17 then be sure it is not an authentic Barcelona chair.
Dimension of The Chair:
The next thing to look at in a Barcelona chair is the dimension. A Barcelona chair is 30.25 inches in Height, 29.5 inches in Width, and 30 inches in Depth.
The seats and back have square corners and thick padding that is neither too soft nor too tough.
These are standard sizes for an authentic Barcelona chair and if there is a deviation chances are that the chair is a fake or replica.
The original Barcelona chair was made from stainless steel. SS is welded, ground, buffed, and polished by hand to give a mirror finish. Fake Barcelona chairs are welded and polished by machines rather than hands.
The scissor-shaped legs are the true identity of a Barcelona chair. The legs are made from Stainless steel with a chrome finish.
The Barcelona chair was designed by German architect and designer Mies van der Rohe. The chair is often considered to be a symbol of luxury and status and is often found in high-end homes and businesses.
The chair is also frequently used in design and architecture schools as a way to teach students about van der Rohe’s work.
So it is important that you choose an authentic Barcelona chair for your home, not a fake one. Our guide definitely has helped you spot a fake Barcelona chair.