Italian artist and furniture designer Harry Bertoia was 37 years old when he designed the patented Diamond Chair for Knoll in 1952. The Bertoia Bench was introduced in 1951. Date € 1250 / set Collection in person. And his sculptures were better than his furniture. Harry Bertoia’s first chair design for Knoll, the Model 420 Diamond, 1950-1952, featuring molded mesh of chromium-plated steel wire, was an immediate best seller. Broken Welds - The most common structural problem is broken welds, especially on chairs made in the early ‘50s. First of all, by purchasing from the authorized manufacturer you are honoring the designer and getting a piece of his energy. The main points to note are the tapered top wires with supporting rod behind (not on top) AND the "Knoll" inscription on the horizontal support wire near the bottom. Innovative, comfortable and strikingly handsome, the chair's delicate appearance belies its strength and durability. For assistance on authentication of rare or unusual Bertoia chairs, contact the foundation and we will direct you to our expert Bill Shea. Born in Italy in 1915, Bertoia took a random trip to visit his brother in USA in his early teens and stayed there. Chairs, based on steel grid wire forms, were designed by Harry Bertoia between 1950 and 1951 and further developed for production by Harry and the development team consisting of Richard Schultz, Don Pettit and Bob Savage in 1951 – 1952. Bertoia Molded Shell Side Chair - Stacking, Bertoia Molded Shell Barstool - Counter Height, Bertoia Leather‑Covered Barstool - Counter Height, Bertoia Barstool - Full Cover, Counter Height. PHOTO 1: Note the balanced corner radius as well as the thin wire diameter (“mainly made of air”) on this early style side chair. Website by Classic Ink Creative. Second is the base. Most are a response to field failures, structural improvement or cost reduction. This is the authentic Bertoia Chair produced by Knoll. Many manufacturers of knock-offs utilize a “double rim-wire.”  While the double rim-wire was used for small number of 420 production chairs in early 1953, they were quickly replaced with a single larger diameter rim-wire. A sign of authenticity, the Knoll logo is stamped into its base. All chairs made before 1986 are characterized by lightness and transparency. It features a set of legs neatly co-joined, seat and back pads snapped to the frame, and a powder coat finish for possible outdoor use. Bertoia Side Chair Bertoia Side Chair. PHOTO 4: An early double rim wire From shop PEQUETALLERDECO ... Lovely 50s 60s Egg or Fruit Wire Basket Mid Century Modern Design Modernist Harry Bertoia Style matches Eames String danish furniture No1 ZeitreiseFrankfurt. Compare this with the thicker wire diameter of the chair in the next image. Musée national d'art moderne, Paris, no. BERTOIA Chair Cushion bertoia Chair PIllow Cushion pillow Bertoia pads velcro stripe "CIERVO" fabric PEQUETALLERDECO. Construction: Ending 10 Dec at 1:32AM GMT 6d 17h Collection in person. The top corners are perhaps the most critical clue. 2. GENUINE HARRY BERTOIA BIRD CHAIR FOR KNOLL - superb condition rrp £2500 retro. Just keep in mind that all repairs require that the chair be stripped first.. PHOTO 3: The “paperclip type” base connector, angle-cut grid wires, and the front rim wire on top of grid wires in a “waterfall” identify an authentic Knoll Bertoia chair. 2 x Diamond lounge chair by Harry Bertoia for Knoll, 1960s. Harry Bertoia was born into extreme poverty in a barn in San Lorenzo, near Pordenone, Italy, in 1915. Harry decided to adventure abroad with his father, where they travelled to Canada and then on to Michigan, where Harry… PHOTO 6:  Modern double rim wire plus no base/leg € 950 / piece. Spend this time at home to refresh your home decor style! These include: Despite the evolutionary and more revolutionary changes (newer Italian production) that have taken place over the years, it’s surprisingly easy to spot the originals. We look at two places which 99% of the time positively identify genuine Knoll chairs from the knock-offs. As sculptors mould materials to ‘entrap’ the final work of art, so Bertoia moulded his seats to make space and air part of them: creating a floating effect. The items below are available through our Home Design Shops, please call to purchase. For the sake of discussion, one can consider all Knoll Bertoia chairs as being either early style (1986 and earlier) or late style (1986 and later). From Gallery Red, Harry Bertoia, Diamond Chair (1952), Steel, 75 × 85 × 62 cm All chairs of pre-’86 manufacture are very similar and are often only distinguishable by the wire diameters used (close metric diameter equivalent to US standard wire gauges.) Knoll International produced the first Bertoia chairs in 1952 and is still producing them today. The HarryBertoia foundation (harrybertoia.org) can help with history, timeline, design aspects, Harry’s philosophy and non-material questions. They were first introduced in December 1952, and have enjoyed steady continuous production since 1953. Also, the “cell” described by the basket wires (both horizontal and vertical) and the rim wire at the top corner is horizontal in character (very unlike nearly all knock-offs). STRUCTURAL REPAIR. Very few double rim chairs were shipped to customers. KNOLL or HarryBertoia Foundation? Striking sculptural "studies in space, form, and metal," Bertoia's Diamond Chairs are characterized by an airy geometric presence that enhances their surrounding space. £45.00. Harry Bertoia was an Italian-American artist, sculptor and contemporary furniture designer. The Bertoia chairs have a similar same wire grid concept but came out in 1952. AM 1993-1-655. See Photo 5. Harry Bertoia earned enough royalties from it to be able to devote himself almost exclusively to sculpture from then on. Designer Harry Bertoia designed the Side Chair in 1952. £130.00. Designer: Harry Bertoia, 1952 Manufacturer: Knoll Dimensions: 33.5"w | 28.25"d | 30"h | 16.5" seat height. He studied art and design. For him there wasn’t a distinction between sculptures and furniture. Part of Bertoia’s 1952 Wire Chair Collection, this iconic Bertoia side chair with Kvadrat’s ‘Divina’ fabric upholstery is a sculptural structure, with clean lines of black powder-coated steel rods constructing its mid-century modern form. See Photo 2. The authentics are faithful to the designer’s original vision, while knock offs are not. £1,449.00. Eames vs. Bertoia There seems to be some confusion on the Eames wire chair vs. the Bertoia wire chairs. PHOTO 2: Note the thicker wire diameters of the 1986+ Italian made chairs of the late style, and the horizontal nature of the upper corner cells. Finally, the base. If the word “Knoll” is mentioned, it is still no guarantee as to its authenticity. Bill Shea, formerly Senior Industrial Designer for Knoll Product Development, recently retired from his own design, development and engineering consultancy, Shea+Latone, Inc.  Celia Bertoia is the Director of the HarryBertoia Foundation and author of The Life and Work of Harry Bertoia. Bertoia produced his famous line of wire mesh seating, including the Wire Diamond Chair, one of the most important designs in the history of modern furniture. Instead of pairing the desks with themed children's chairs, midcentury-modern Bertoia chairs were added. Below is the Eames wire chair first produced by Herman Miller in 1950. Knoll historian Brian Lutz once said “Bertoia’s paintings were better than his sculptures. At various times, Bertoia chairs were manufactured in Argentina, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland. PHOTO 7: Eames wire chair, not to be confused with the Bertoia wire chairs (photo courtesy Herman Miller). Below is the Eames wire chair first produced by Herman Miller in 1950. Wire Diamond Chair, Harry Bertoia Knoll Style Reproduction. The inside bend radius is very tight on all Knoll chairs. A fairly comprehensive chair history can be found in Celia Bertoia’s book, The Life and Work of Harry Bertoia, 2015, Schiffer. It must be noted that, since foreign-made Bertoia chairs were never imported to the US, that it is very unlikely to encounter them here in the US. Also, the top (horizontal) basket wire is often visually clumsy compared with the Knoll version. Why not get a reproduction that looks roughly similar and costs half the price? Harry Bertoia (1915-1978) moved to Pennsylvania from California to work for Knoll in 1950. Prior to 1986, all Bertoia chairs were manufactured in East Greenville, Pennsylvania, or overseas by Knoll subsidiaries or under license. See Photo 3. A 1/2” diameter dowel should nest neatly on the inside of any base bend (knock-offs have a much more generous bend radius.). all sure signs of a current knock off. Harry Bertoia was a complete and gifted artist. Bertoia Side Chair - Outdoor. Bertoia Side Chair Item # Share This # Harry Bertoia 1952. AM 1993-1-655. On the Knoll chairs, the top basket wire is a fair curve that mimics the curvature of the top of rim wire. Musée national d'art moderne, Paris, no. Another detail on the Knoll chairs is that the grid wires are cut at an angle (some knock-offs have a straight blunt cut of the grid wires). We offer hundreds of upholstery options for your Bertoia wire chairs. His most famous piece is his Diamond Chair. original, rarely found today. Pair of Diamond Chairs by Harry Bertoia for Knoll, 1970s. And his furniture was absolutely brilliant.” Today Knoll carries on Harry Bertoia’s legacy of innovation, inspiration, and beauty with the Bertoia collection, which has been in continuous production around the world since its introduction. Why is authenticity important? Harry Bertoia biography Harry Bertoia was born in San Lorenzo, Italy, on 10 March 1915. Harry Bertoia bird chair & ottoman by Knoll, 1960s. The Bertoia Molded Fiberglass Side Chair is a design of Harry Bertoia, environmentally certified to be safe since it is built with sustainable design materials. Bertoia Leather-Covered Side Chair. We hope these pointers will help you in your search for authentic Bertoia chairs. At the age of 15, Harry had the choice to move to America or remain in drought-ridden Italy. clip connectors, white with short leg extensions, post 1986 with front edge waterfall and thicker wire – all authentic Bertoia side chairs. Eames vs. Bertoia There seems to be some confusion on the Eames wire chair vs. the Bertoia wire chairs. 6 x ORIGINAL 60s Knoll Harry Bertoia Side Chairs - Genuine vintage dining chairs. It must be noted that some Italian made Knoll chairs are made in a similar way but the welds are much neater. See Photo 1 with yellow tags. An artist, sculptor, jewelry maker, and designer. PHOTO 5: From left: 1953 double edge wire, 1953 double edge two tone thick plastic with original seat pad, early black thin wire, another early black thin wire with wide English: "Diamond Chair" (1952) de Harry Bertoia. All knock-offs have a much larger bend radius than the authentic Knoll versions. overlap and an overly generous corner radius; Compare the light and transparent early chair with the thicker-wired form chair post 1986. Anything can break but not everything can be repaired. It’s truly amazing that any company choosing to knock off an iconic product such as the Bertoia collection should be so sloppy in detail and make so many changes that scream knockoff! Large Diamond Chair 422 by Harry Bertoia for Knoll, 1990s. Harry Bertoia worked with Charles Eames in the late 1940’s and was toying with, and making drawings of, the wire grid concepts. Other changes include altering the seat-back angle, the addition of a “waterfall” at the front edge and the use of the “paperclip-type” base connectors. Design Harry Bertoia, 1952 Welded steel rods Made in USA by Knoll Harry Bertoia's 1950 experiment with bending metal rods into practical art produced a revered collection of seating, including the exquisite Bertoia side chair. Harry Bertoia had an unique and distinctive approach to design. Like Saarinen and Mies, Bertoia found sublime grace in an industrial material, elevating it beyond its normal utility into a work of art. Inspired by Harry Bertoia’s 1950’s wire series, at Pash Classics our reproduction designs are faithful to the original Bertoia Dining Chairs and celebrate the ever-popular designs. Descriptive words such as “Bertoia style,” “in the manner of Bertoia,” “inspired by Bertoia,” or “Bertoia reproduction” are a sure tip-off that it’s a copy. Harry Bertoia is known for his art, sculpture and furniture design. Harry Bertoia's first chair design for Knoll, the "Model 420 Diamond" (1950-1952), featuring moulded mesh of chromium-plated steel wire, was an immediate bestseller. Get great deals on Bertoia Chairs. The Harry Bertoia Diamond Chair May 5, 2015. Following a visit to his brother in the … http://www.findmetheoriginal.com Find Me The Original Bertoia Collection Knoll help educate us in what makes this chair so special. There are several reasons to get the real deal when it comes to designer furniture. Here is a link to an excellent video on how to discern the orginal chairs from the fakes. 19 watching. Most obvious was the significant increase in wire diameter used throughout which changed the character of the chairs from transparency to form. The top corner cell is nearly always more square or vertical than horizontal (as it should be). 11 bids. Harry Bertoia Style Wire Chair … An unusually beautiful piece of furniture, it was strong yet delicate in appearance, as well as an immediate commercial success in spite of being made almost entirely by hand. € 895 / piece. He received a scholarship to the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts at 21, and at 22 he was invited to study painting at Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy of Art. Ending Sunday at 6:52PM GMT 3d 10h. NEW. It must be noted that all pre-1986 chair bases consist of two pieces (upper and lower) and are resistance welded in an overlap condition. Bertoia Diamond Chair. While he only designed one series of furniture, Bertoia continued to be involved in the Knoll story by providing … The Bertoia Side Chair is an icon of mid-century modern design. And finally, an authentic designer purchase will hold its value much better than a knock-off. When Harry Bertoia first created his series of wire seating, it was born out of necessity. Eames carried this idea to fruition. The corner radius is neither too “soft” nor too “tight” (compare to above photos of Knoll chairs for a reference). Arri moved to Detroit and became “Harry” — and continued to shine as a student. Only 1 left. Harry Bertoia worked with Charles Eames in the late 1940’s and was toying with, and making drawings of, the wire grid concepts. or Best Offer. Today Knoll carries on Harry Bertoia’s legacy of innovation, inspiration, and beauty with the Bertoia collection, which has been in continuous production around the world since its introduction. Bertoia Molded Shell Side Chair. Fortunately, Bertoia chairs usually can be. While the comments below are specific to the 420 side chair, they generally apply to the others as well. Workplace Collections & Furniture Systems, Considerations for Returning to a Healthy Workplace. © 2020 Harry Bertoia Foundation. The top corner tells a lot. But such is the case. In the 1950s when most chairs were made of rigid wood, the Harry Bertoia furniture line – with welded wire and a springy feel – were totally innovative. € 1875 / set. 0 bids. £65.00 postage. Why is it important to get an authentic designer chair? How to spot an Original Knoll Bertoia Chair? Like so many designers, it was through Harry Bertoia's passion for the beautiful and well-made that he stumbled on furniture design. Early in his career, he lived in Venice, California, where where he worked with … Would you rather have one Picasso or twenty photocopies of a Picasso? Most knock-offs are “butt welded” with no overlap. Harry Bertoia’s oeuvre encompasses sound sculptures, furniture, and jewelry design. Born in Italy, Harry Bertoia and his brother left Italy and moved to Detroit when Bertoia was 15. Harry liked to think of his chairs as being “mainly made of air.”  That changed when the manufacture of the entire Bertoia line was shifted to Italy. Shop at eBay.com and enjoy Fast & Free shipping on many items! A successful designer at the mid-century furniture company Knoll, Bertoia famously designed their “Diamond chair”, a delicate and airy steel-framed chair introduced in 1952 and still sold today. Knoll is the manufacturer and copyright holder of all Bertoia chairs. Most of the comments below are specific to the 420 Side Chair but apply to other models as well. Secondly, you will get a quality product with customer service behind it if you buy the authorized models. Bertoia found sublime grace in an industrial material, creating a design that works with every decor, in every room. Many other minor changes have taken place over the years. £122.00. Bertoia Diamond Chair - Outdoor Designed by Harry Bertoia, 1952. Made entirely by hand, the Bertoia Side Chair featured a frame built out of chrome steel rods bent into a wire mesh, which makes it exceptionally strong. At that time, the collection was retooled and major changes were made. The graceful Diamond Chair is an astounding study in space, form and function by one of the master sculptors of the last century. Others are a response to external forces. Most knock-off side chairs have “soft shoulders”; a much larger corner radius that lacks definition. An even more extensive history of Bertoia chairs is being compiled by Bill Shea right now. We’ve heard horror stories of offices or homeowners buying the cheap versions and being disappointed in the durability and comfort of their purchases. Welds fail and the chairs are simply not comfortable. Eames carried this idea to fruition. 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