Learn about what makes a Barcelona chair authentic.

What do they mean by an 'original' or an 'authentic' Barcelona chair?

Free Barcelona Chair Buyers Guide - click here

This section discusses what is meant by an 'original' or 'authentic' Barcelona chair. As will become clear this area is quite murky and we hope this section ensures you make an informed choice when purchasing a barcelona chair, whether it's a Knoll or a reproduction chair.

If these photographs have whet your appetite then please visit our online store at www.iconicinteriors.com to buy this beautiful chair.

Knoll are the licensed manufacturer of the Barcelona chair

There are many manufacturers throughout the world making the Barcelona chair. Knoll are the only company however who can call their chair the "Mies Van Der Rohe Barcelona chair". Knoll licensed the design directly from Mies Van Der Rohe in the 1950's.

In 2004 Knoll obtained formal registered trademark status for several of Mies van der Rohe's furniture designs. Knoll continues to pay royalties on these sales to the Museum of Modern Art - who today own many of the design rights.

Legally, Knoll can sue anyone who uses the term "Barcelona chair". The legal precedent was set in 1998 in the case Herman Milller Vs Palizetti case of 1998. In this case the judges refused to hear evidence in defense of trade dress rights due to there simply being too many chairs in this style in the market. It would not have been feasible to find, much less sue, these numerous manufacturers.

How does the Knoll Barcelona chair differ from the Iconic Interiors' chair

The Knoll Barcelona chair (cost range £2,500 upto £4500) comes with an 'authenticity' certificate. The chair is stamped with Mies' signature on the underside of the chair frame (a relatively recent addition). The Knoll chair is made to an excellent standard and buying from Knoll assures a consistency of quality and accountability. This is not to say however this quality is not achievable by generic/unlicensed manufacturers. We feel at Iconic Interiors that our chair is on par with Knoll's version and is a faithful reproduction.

Bear in mind the quality of the Knoll chair is nothing like the 'original' produced by Mies and Lilly for the Barcelona fair - most changes were made for the better, but does this make it inauthentic?

The Barcelona chair has gone through many changes over the years

Many of the materials used in the early models have fallen by the wayside. This is largely because the chair was not originally made for the mass market. For example the pig skin leather and feather filled cushions were not fit for large scale production.

Which Barcelona chair is best

We at Iconic Interiors would certainly argue that the Knoll chair is difficult to better. As mentioned above, there are a number of manufacturers who produce the chair to the same high standards. Essentially it comes down to good workmanship, quality leather and steel. We feel therefore that the Iconic Interiors Barcelona chair is a fantastic compromise. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate contacting us on 01482 222 283 or email us at info@iconicinteriors.co.uk. We thrive on feedback!

A blue egg web design project