Skip to main content

Search form


Quittenbaum’s Forged Mark Niels Vodder Chieftain Chair

- 28 Nov 2017 -
11 posts / 0 new

Here is what only appears to be a Finn Juhl FJ-49 Chieftain chair marked by Niels Vodder. Quittenbaum auctions sold it back in 2013 for 16 thousand euros. That is a lot of money to burn on a fake, even if it was a small price for what a real chair would have sold for.

The mark looks a lot like a real Niels Vodder mark, but it is not. Compare the letter spacing and such.

The chair looks a lot like a real chair, but it is not. Here is the big tell. In the 1980s, Niels Roth Andersen re-released the chair, and innovated the curved joint at the top of the leg, underneath the horns. Niels Vodder made his last Chieftain chair, with a square joint there almost 20 years before that. So this chair references the Chieftain design as it was made no early the 1980s.

There are a couple of other less obvious major flaws that show the chair is not authentic. The seat is attached to the frame with brass clips in ALL authentic production through the years (Niels Vodder, Ivan Schlechter, Niels Roth Andersen, Hansen & Sørensen/OneCollection). The armrests are attached with bolts through the wooden underarm and the nuts hide underneath a little cover strip sliced off the bottom of the underarm. The wooden underarm here is one piece, no little cover strip at the bottom. So the armrest is attached through some other means.

There are a lot of other little flaws if you look closely.

Quittenbaum’s Forged Mark Niels Vodder Chieftain Chair


- 28 Nov 2017

An additional change in the design of the Chieftain occurred when Ivan Schlechter took over the license in the early 70's. The backrest of the chair was made longer, and the swooping gull-wing "S" curve along the bottom of the backrest was greatly abbreviated. You can compare that in the image of the fake chair and genuine Vodder chair. All of the subsequent makers after Vodder used a backrest design similar to Schlechter's, and the fake chair does not use a backrest shell that is shaped like anything Vodder did. But, as Leif said, the curved joinery at the horn of the chair is enough in itself to show that the Vodder stamp on this chair is forged.

Also, the armrests do not resemble anything Vodder ever produced, and actually do not, to my eye, really correspond to the armrests of any of the licensed Chieftains.

- 29 Nov 2017

This is an example of an Ivan Schlechter Chieftain, showing the change to the backrest design. While I am partial to the original design as executed by Niels Vodder, I find this to have been done in a much more graceful manner by Schlechter's chair than what is expressed by the fake chair. Niels Roth Andersen's chairs also expressed it in a way that is entirely pleasing.

- 29 Nov 2017

Ivan Schlechter also did a very nice leather upholstered underside. I guess it shows that he is an upholsterer.

- 29 Nov 2017

Auction prices for Chieftains were very strong in 2013, so the chair selling for only 16000 Euros is a pretty good indication that knowledgeable bidders recognized its many problems, and took no interest in it. Although 16000 Euros is nothing to pay for an authentic Vodder Chieftain, it was a steep price to pay for this chair.

- 30 Nov 2017

Yes, in the 1950s Niels Vodder AND Baker made licensed authentic chairs. Baker's market was exclusively the USA. Niels Vodder also had distribution in the USA. The Lunning owned Georg Jensen franchise in New York for one.

It is my personal opinion regarding this Chieftain that it was NOT originally made to deceive, and later fell into the hands of someone else who applied the forged Niels Vodder stamp, whose intent was to deceive and profit. I have a variety of reasons to support this, but the most fundamental one is that if someone can make get as much right as, then the person could have done it perfectly, if his intent was to deceive.

Log in or register to post comments