Is This An Original?
A frequent enquiry we receive here at Aram Store is from customers seeking verification of what they think and hope will be a genuinely iconic piece of designer furniture that they are thinking about purchasing, have inherited or just stumbled across upon Ebay. But, this line of enquiry is almost always accompanied by the common misinterpretation of the term 'original' when applied to furniture design in that it should only be designated to products that were manufactured during the earliest years of their production. We believe that any product that has been produced by the legally authorised manufacturer should be considered an ‘original’, regardless of its age.
In an ideal world, the quickest and most obvious way to tell whether a particular piece of furniture has been produced by the authorised and licensed manufacturer should of course be the reputation and assurance of the seller. But, if you are not sure, there are a further series of checks you can make.
We hope the following tips on what particular features, stamps and references to look for on a selected range of prolifically copied furniture classics will help you to avoid being duped.
By Eileen Gray Worldwide Licence Holder: Aram Designs Ltd
By Le Corbusier, P. Jeanneret & C. Perriand Licence holder & manufacturer: Cassina Spa Ltd
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Licence holder & manufacturer: Knoll International
By Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni Licence holder & manufacturer: Flos Spa
By Charles & Ray Eames Licence holder & manufacturer for Europe and the Middle East: Vitra
The purchase and resale of unauthorised iconic designs in the UK is a long running and very contentious issue. The same problems do not arise in the rest of the EU where designers and consumers are more protected by copyright law. Recently, extra spice has been added to the topic of unauthorised copies with Michelle Ogundehin’s (Editor-in-Chief of Elle Decoration Magazine) campaign to highlight the hypocrisy of this double standard by using the example of Samantha Cameron (who works for Smythson) having a cheap, unauthorised copy of the Arco Lamp installed at 10 Downing Street.
Obviously, here at Aram Store, we stand very firmly alongside the ethos of investing in licenced and authentically produced pieces of furniture and our belief in this stance was summed up in a succinct quote from Daniel Aram (Managing Director) when asked for his thoughts on this issue within a relevant article in Elle Decoration Magazine a few years ago…
‘An authorised version is made by trained, dedicated craftsmen and will last a lifetime. Cheap copies don’t.’
MYLES BROWN ©