Why is used furniture not always cheaper?

Written by Klassik Copenhagen the

Used furniture is not necessarily cheaper than new ones. But how can that be?

Our selection of original vintage furniture is a good example of the existence of many different types of furniture. Old, new, rare, and some mass-produced. It can be a circus to figure out what is what, but our selection always has that in common, that it is original. Let's begin by giving you an overview of how we divide our furniture into our three main categories:




Category 1: ORIGINAL
This is an original, unique item. It is particularly rare, due to the materials used, the patina, the stamp, or the item's limited production run. Pictured is an PK 31 armchair from the 1950s in original, patinated leather from its first producer, E. Kold ChristensenFind the category here.






Category 2: VINTAGE
This is a second-hand item that appears new, is naturally patinated, or can be customised according to your wishes. Pictured is a reupholstered 'Egg' chair by Arne Jacobsen, in like-new condition.

Find the category here.




Kategori 3: LIVING

This is a newly produced item which, in addition to our new KLASSIK STUDIO brand, complements our assortment of pre-owned, classic Danish furniture. Pictured is Poul Volther's King's Chair from 1952, which was recently relaunched by KLASSIK STUDIO. Find the category here.



THE RIGHT PATINA


Talking about furniture in our 'ORIGINAL' category, these are rare pieces of furniture, which is often produced in a small number, is an early version, or has a great patina. A small production and early editions perhaps justify the price itself, but some people wonder why very patinated furniture is in a high price range. The reason for this is first of all the leather quality on patinated furniture. Good patina always means high-quality leather and leather, which has been treated very well. It's not easy to find a furniture classic with +60 years behind with high-quality leather, that has been well cared for.


This is also the reason why we recommend aniline leather for Danish furniture classics. If you are prepared to take care of the leather, the change of keeping the value of your piece is good.

 



THE MANUFACTURER IS ESSENTIAL


Who made the furniture is crucial to the price! Back in the days, Danish design became known for our skilled cabinetmakers' understanding of quality and our skilled designers' modern approach to the art of furniture. The high production quality is one of the cornerstones of why Danish design became world-famous, and most of the furniture was made by hand at the carpentry workshops around the country. However, the license for the production of the furniture has occasionally changed ownership, and some have seen a profit in making the furniture and production more industrialized, i.a. by moving the production out of the country, where they have the opportunity to reduce the price significantly. Therefore, one can hardly compare a carpentry piece of furniture with an industrial piece of furniture - even if it appears to be the same piece of furniture. Because it is certainly not the same.
The early, handmade furniture is of an extremely high quality, which is why their lifespan are often higher than today's produced ones.

Sometimes the price difference is high and other times it is smaller, but if you are interested in maintaining the value of your furniture, then we will always recommend that you acquire a cabinetmaker made furniture piece. Another thing, of course, is the climate issue, which we have written more about here.

 



WHEN SECOND-HAND IS CHEAPER


However, the early, used versions are not always more expensive than the new ones. A good example of this is Arne Jacobsen's iconic Seven’ chair (model AJ 3107). It was designed in 1955 and has always been manufactured by the furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansen, who started production at their factory in Allerød, but in 2012 moved their whole production to Poland. The chair is made of molded veneer and is a further development of the classic chair The Ant’ chair.

If you compare a new ‘Seven’ chair in a cognac-colored semi-aniline leather with a used 'Seven' chair that is newly upholstered in the same leather, you can experience a saving of about DKK 6,900,-*. In other words, you can get the same chair, from the same manufacturer, in the same quality, at a cheaper price - which is also Danish-produced, which we think is important when talking about Danish design.

The earlier versions were also produced in exotic woods such as rosewood and teak, which due to their rarity can be more expensive. 

So when you find a used piece of furniture at KLASSIK, where the price sounds rather high, then it has something to do with its rarity, patina, designer, manufacturer and/or version.


*Compares the ‘Seven’ chair in a semi-aniline leather.
Newly upholstered, used chair at KLASSIK: See product  (price: DKK 4,500)
New chair at Fritz Hansen: See product  (price: DKK 11,400)