The Differences Between Vintage and Replica Eames Lounge Chairs

When it comes to identifying an Eames lounge chair, there are a few key differences between a vintage and a replica. The legs of a real Eames lounger are slightly angled, while copies often have a base built with square feet or a steep slope. Additionally, the shell of a vintage Eames armchair must have rosewood veneer both inside and outside, while imitations of Flex chairs usually have a recline mechanism. Charles Eames also wanted the chair to give off the “warm and responsive look” of a widely used first base glove.

The biggest difference between the old imitations and the authentic ones is that the plywood cases of the Eames chair are continuous, without any exposed hardware. Furthermore, Herman Miller's new production of Eames Lounge chairs features thicker plywood cases, the same rough thickness as the old Plycraft reproductions. The best way to know if the armchair you're looking at is a real Eames armchair or a reproduction is to study it closely. Charles and Ray Eames are known for their honest use of materials and exposed structure, but they also believed in elegant solutions to complex engineering problems. In the Vitra design museum, you can see how they are manufactured - a chair takes one day.

If you have an Eames Geoform chair, look for covered screw caps that match the veins of the wood at the base of the part of the chair. Combining soft, cozy leather with the elegant shape of molded rosewood, it was the culmination of the Eames' efforts to create a new club chair using technology that they pioneered years before. If you're looking to repair an old Eames armchair, Herman Miller recommends buying them a completely new set of cases. The design has changed a bit and they told me that the new 7-layer cases don't interact correctly with the old 5-layer ones. However, this is basically the cost of a new chair and it can be quite depressing if all you wanted to do was repair your grandparents' chair, keeping as much of the original materials as possible but making it functional, strong and something that you wouldn't have to worry about.

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