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The Series 7 & How to Spot a Fake
Today we take a closer look at one of the world’s best-loved chairs, the iconic Series 7, and also look into how to spot a fake.
The chair, also known as the Model 3107, was first designed in 1955 by architect and designer Arne Jacobsen. It was made using the same innovative technique used to create the Ant Chair three years previously. The chair is constructed using a pressure-molded wood veneer technique, using nine layers of veneer. This technique allowed the seat to be molded to fit the body, creating a comfortable chair which negated the need for upholstery. The chair has a chrome four-legged base with rubber feet.
The Series 7 is now Fritz Hansen’s best-selling design, with over 5 million units being sold to date, and is one of the most recognized chairs worldwide. It was propelled to stardom in the 1960s when model Christine Keeler posed on the chair for photographer Lewis Morley. It has now graced numerous TV shows worldwide including Danish thriller The Killing, British soap Eastenders and Channel 4’s debate show 4thought.tv.
Last year saw the launch of a collection of new finishes and colours for the classic chair.
The chair is now available in 9 different types of wood – Maple, Ash, Beech, Cherry, Oregon Pine, Elm, Oak, Walnut and Dark Stained Oak – and is also available in the following colours: white, light grey, dark grey, black, yellow, orange, red, petrol blue and sage green.
Unfortunately, as with many iconic designs, many copies have arisen in recent years. Copyright laws state that designs are only protected for 25 years after the issue date, compared to the 70 years of cover literature, art and music receive. Cheap fakes and imitations are not something we tolerate here at Nest, so we want to highlight a few common factors that show the difference between a licensed original Series 7 and a fake.
How to spot a fake
- - Fake Series 7s have a much thicker, and less subtly molded, seat
- - The ‘waist’ of the fake chair will be more pronounced than it should be, and will often break at this point.
- - There will be no unique ID number on the underside – something which all licensed originals have
- - Fakes have much less strength and will snap under pressure
The Elle Decoration ‘Fight the Fakes’ campaign is also something we fully support. The campaign, which is backed by notable figures Sir Terence Conran and Sir James Dyson, aims to achieve equal copyright laws for design. Find out more on the campaign here.
The Series 7 in the photographs is made from walnut.
This video by The Republic of Fritz Hansen clearly demonstrates the difference between the real and the fake – the footage speaks for itself. If you want good design that lasts, invest in the original and not a copy.