WHY DOESN’T THE SAME PIECE COST THE SAME??
We often hear that very question, and for good reason. Because even supposedly the same piece of furniture can have a very large price difference. But why is this?
Some of the furniture and lamps you can find with us have been in production since they were designed and launched in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Others, out of production for years, have since been relaunched. Their designs are identical, or may have slight modifications. Dining table heights, for example, may have increased. After all, the average human is taller today than back then. But prices can still vary enormously.
The First Manufacturer
Should the furniture in question have a change in manufacturer, the original furniture will almost always be more expensive (much more so) than the new one. The piece may no longer be handmade by the original craftsman, rather mass-produced in a factory. The original vintage/old furniture is a collector's item and is available in limited numbers.
Take for example The Tired Man armchair, designed by Flemming Lassen (Mogens Lassen’s brother). This extremely inviting piece, upholstered in lambskin, was launched at the Snedkerlaugets Furniture Exhibition in 1935. The characteristic chair with its teddy bear shape attracted just as much attention then as now. In Flemming Lassen’s own words, sitting in this chair should feel “as warm and safe as a polar bear cub feels in his mother’s arms in the middle of the ice cap”.
The chair was named The Tired Man and an early copy of the armchair, produced by master carpenter A. J. Iversen, reached a staggering hammer price of DKK 1.42 million at Bruun Rasmussen auction house in 2015. It became the most expensive design chair in Denmark to date. The chair is produced again today by By Lassen , where it costs approximately DKK 55,000 new.
The rarer the furniture the more expensive
You will typically be able to buy the older furniture cheaper than the new if the furniture has been manufactured at the same factory throughout its lifetime.Take Arne Jacobsen’s chair Syveren. Designed in 1955 by Arne Jacobsen, it has always been manufactured by the furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansen in Allerød, chosen by Arne Jacobsen himself because of their steam bending wood technique. This type of molded veneer chair was initially developed for the classic chair Myren , which is the best-selling furniture in Fritz Hansen’s history.
Depending on its condition, by purchasing an older model, you could save approximately DKK 6.900,-* on the very same chair. Since this chair has been produced in huge quantities over the years, they are relatively easy to get hold of.
On the other hand, Syver chairs were produced in rare woods (and are no longer in production). The Rosewood model for example, will be significantly more expensive than newly produced Syver chairs in other types of wood. This again underlines the fact that the rarer the more expensive, completely in line with the general theories of supply and demand.
Remember that if you have a furniture classic and are in doubt about the manufacturer, age and value, please feel free to contact us for a non-binding assessment.