How to tell if an Eames Lounge Chair is real or fake?

(Dwayne Hopkins) #1

Is there a quick ways to tell if an Eames chair is fake?

A neighbor of mine is moving and selling a bunch of stuff. Among that is a beautiful Eames Lounge Chair. He’s asking $1,200 for it.

He insists that the chair is real, but doesn’t have a way to prove it. I asked if he had a receipt or email and he said he purchased it from someone off of Craigslist about 3 years ago when he first moved in. The guy says he paid about $1,600 for it.

I’m hoping to stop by again after work. How can I know if it is real or fake?


Did you take pictures of the chair? If so, it would probably help if you shared them.

(Sam Solomon) #3

From that price, it makes me think that the chair is a replica, someone doesn’t know what they have or the chair is in bad shape…

If the chair was used when this guy bought it, I think that makes it twice as likely to be a replica. The Eames Lounge Chair is, perhaps, the most iconic piece of mid-century furniture there is. It retails for around $5,000 and holds it’s value very well.

I’m not an expert here and don’t have a real or replica Eames lounger. However, I do know a couple of common things that should instantly tell you if it’s a replica.

1. Does it recline? A real Eames is a lounge chair and does not recline. Many replicas will recline.

2. Pay attention to the base A real Eames has a solid die-cast Aluminum a base with 5 legs. Compare how solid the real one looks vs the Barcelona Design or Manhattan Home versions.

3. Hidden screws The shells of a real Eames conceal almost all the screws. The exception is the arm rest, which I believe has 2 or 3 underneath.

With that said I do think some of the replicas start around $1,000 and may use quality leather. Depending on the condition and how close the above match, you might offer him $500 or $600. I wouldn’t bank on it being real though.

(Dwayne Hopkins) #4

I didn’t take pictures and the chair wasn’t there when I went back to take a look. Someone had already bought it.

Sam, from what I remember, it did recline—so perhaps it wasn’t a real model after all.

(Guy Stein) #5

You can find real ones on Ebay for $1,000 to $2,000. I think a key indicator would be wear.

If it looks almost new and it’s in that price range, it’s certainly a replica.