The Cesca chair was first introduced in 1928. Since then, it has been a popular piece of furniture due to its neat look, iconic designs, and vintage style. In addition, the Cesca chair is well known for providing high levels of comfort and relaxation.
However, a major drawback is that different counterfeit versions of Cesca chairs are available in the market and often customers pay high prices for the fake brand copies. In this way, their valuable investment is lost, as fake Cesca chair have no market value in comparison to authentic Cesca chair when you try to sell them back.
Therefore, it is imperative to understand the differences between fake and original Cesca chairs. This article will answer the most asked question in this regard: “How to Tell if Cesca Chair is Real” and is going to clear all your confusion about it.
History of Cesca Chair
The history of Cesca chairs trace back to the early 20th century. A Hungarian-American architect and designer Marcel Breuer designed the Cesca chair. Breuer got the unique design inspiration of developing Cesca chairs from his first bicycle which was quite comfortable to sit on and had a strong and sturdy structure.
He wanted to build a lightweight, flexible, and modern chair and this lead him to the development of the Cesca chair. It was first manufactured by Michael Thonet in 1928 and was initially named model B32.
Christopher Wilk said in his book, “Marcel Breuer: Furniture and Interiors” that the Cesca chair became the most famous and ubiquitous seating design since 1928 when Michael Thonet first manufactured it. The original 1928 Cesca chair is still in the Museum of Modern Art. Thonet continued producing Cesca chairs till World War II.
Similarly, in the words of Cara McCarty, associate curator of the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, “It’s among the 10 most important chairs of the 20th century.“
In the 1950s, an Italian furniture manufacturer, Dino Gavina got permission from Breuer and started manufacturing the chairs. Dino also changed the name of the chair to Cesca chair, after the name of Breuer’s daughter Francesca.
In 1968, Gavina Manufacturers was acquired by Knoll Associates, now known as Knoll Group in the furniture industry, which continued to manufacture the chairs. Since 1968, almost 250,000 Cesca chairs have been sold out by Knoll. These chairs are quite expensive ranging from 1000-2000 USD. The original versions of the Cesca chair are even more expensive as they are also vintage.
How to Tell if Cesca Chair is Real?
Many manufacturers in the market have started producing fake copies of Cesca chairs and selling them at the same price. In this way, customers are deceived as they pay high prices for something that will not stand the test of time.
To identify if a Cesca chair is real or not, we have to look for some of its features such as the manufacturer’s logo, the shape of its seat frame, ergonomic curve, consistent tubular frames, the d-shaped legs, and the quality of materials used in its construction. Now let’s explain in detail for a better understanding of the key differences:
Check for the Knoll Tag and Logo
One of the greatest ways to tell if a Cesca chair is real or not is to look for the designer and manufacturer’s tag usually present on the back or bottom of the office chair. Currently, Knoll, an American furniture company, is the only licensed manufacturer to produce Cesca chairs and it acquired the production rights from the Gavina Group in 1968.
Gavina group was an Italian manufacturer’s group that represented the design ideas of Marcel Breuer. To ensure it is an original chair, check for the Knoll logo which is usually in the form of a small circle with the word “Knoll” inside.
Some manufacturers are so adept in fraud that they can even carve the Knoll logo on a fake chair. Therefore, also look for additional details such as material information, registry number, and caution instructions for using a chair to ensure authenticity.
Look for the materials used in the construction of a Cesca chair to identify if it’s a genuine or a fake model. An original Cesca chair is usually made of tabular steel, beech, and cane rattan materials. The frame is constructed of tabular steel to ensure that it is strong and lightweight.
The seat and backrests are made from woven rattan, which is known for its strength and flexibility. Also, original cesca chairs use chrome caps in their construction and they work as protective shields.
Similarly, Beechwood, a durable, flexible, and inexpensive material, is used for making outlines for the back and seat frames. In contrast, fake models use plywood in the construction of chair frames which is a relatively weak material and doesn’t provide elegance and aesthetics to the chair design.
Identify the Shape of the Chair Seat Frame
In addition to the designer’s logo, an original Cesca chair can also be identified through the shape of its rattan seat frame. The seat of an original model does not extend the bend of the steel frame, rather it is slightly bent down towards the consistent tubular frame which gives it a refined look.
Counterfeit models, on the other hand, have seat frames that extend beyond the tube’s bends giving it a rough and shabby look that can be easily identified.
Use of Plastic Protectors
Another great tip to identify a Cesca chair is to look for floor protectors. The original chair has a small plastic or rubber protector under each leg to protect the bottom. As it is a swinging chair, the presence of these protectors ensures that the chair does not damage or shred the floor due to its back-and-forth movement. The absence of these floor protectors is visual proof of the fakeness of the Cesca chair.
The original Cesca chairs have a seamless metallic look with carefully crafted nuts, bolts, and screws. Its edges are properly welded giving it a neat and intricate look to the overall chair’s design as well as your office space or dining room.
In fake models, however, the edges and pipe ends of metal tubes are not properly welded and these models have a rough appearance with different welds and bends. This can be easily identified if you have an active and keen observation.
Image Courtesy : Knoll
Absence of Rear Legs
Original Cesca chairs don’t have any rear legs. It does not indicate that these chairs are weak or can’t hold the body weight of the user. Instead, they have front legs designed like cycles that are rolled back. Therefore, while buying a Cesca chair, make sure that it does not contain any rear legs because their presence indicates the fakeness of the model.
Consistent Tubular Steel Frame
The designer of the Cesca chair, Marcel Breuer once said: “I am as much interested in the smallest detail as in the whole structure.” Therefore, before purchasing the chair, make sure to look for the slightest of details such as the consistency of its tubular steel frame.
Original Cesca chairs are usually made from a single piece of tubular steel without any welds or joints. This is to ensure its durability and strength. It also gives a sleek and aesthetic look to your chair. In case the chair contains any welds or joints in its steel frame, it is a fake model and you should avoid buying it.
You can also determine the originality of the Cesca chair through its design. A genuine Cesca chair has a smooth D-shaped design that slightly bends to the back.
In a nutshell, Cesca chairs are often used as dining chairs in homes and hence it’s natural to ask “how to tell if cesca chair is real or not?” In this regard, look for the brand’s logo usually present on the back or bottom of the chair.
In addition, the design, consistency of the tabular frame, and absence of rear legs also indicate if the Cesca chair is real or not. By paying attention to these little aspects, you can ensure that you are buying an original piece and your money is not going to be wasted.