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Wassily Chair

anonymous (not verified)
- 13 Jun 2003 -
52 posts / 0 new

I recently bought a used Wassily chair. The leather upholstery is pretty thrashed and I'm hoping I can replace it. Does anyone know a source to get replacements? I'm hoping I don't have to go to a leather shop for custom work.


anonymous (not verified)
- 18 Jun 2003

wassily chair replacement slings
Contcat for your closet Knoll dealer, they will be able to stear you in the right direction. If that is, you have an original Knoll Wassily chair.

anonymous (not verified)
- 24 Jun 2003

Is it a Knoll?
how do you know? how can you tell?

anonymous (not verified)
- 27 Jun 2003

Knock Offs
My chair is definitely a Plummers knock off. That's why the leather got thrased so quickly. As attractive as the prices of knock offs look, I'm gonna pay the extra and stick to originals for the quality and wear.

anonymous (not verified)
- 10 Jul 2003

a real knoll has marcel breuer's signature and a serial number stamped into the base. you can probably verify the number with knoll, but almost none of the knock-offs go to the trouble of stamping. so if it's there at all it's likely the real deal.

mark (not verified)
- 17 Jul 2003

wassily chr "signature"
I have 2 very vintage models; one was purchased used in 1968 and the other was purchased from the Knoll showroom in NY in 1969. The first is signed with the Gavina sticker only. The second has the Gavina sticker plus the Knoll "Park Avenue" label under the arm. Neither is signed on the base as you describe. I believe base signing is a relatively recent signature innovation. The most important features to screen for is the "solid-like" CAPLESS tubing on the front to rear tubing and then be certain that the Knoll measurements correspond to your chair. All three need to match within reason.

david (not verified)
- 05 Aug 2003

wassily purchase
I have just seen a pair of 'Wassily' chairs in a small London shop asking price £280 (sterling) the pair - I have not had a chance to look at them closely as per some of the comments posted I will look for the stamps as mentioned but has any one details of the dimensions that would varify further `I am concerned that these are good copied 'grade 3' leather was given as a bonus by the vendor

- 14 Sep 2003

Found Two Wassily Chairs
To anyone out there. My partner and I just found some Wassily style chairs at an antique dealer and can't figure out if they are originals or high quality knockoffs. The measurments are pretty accurate except the height is 28" in the back. The straps are really old tan suede, and they have Holloway, with a serial number hand written on the bottom of the seat.

anonymous (not verified)
- 02 Oct 2003

wassily chair replacement straps
If you don't have a Knoll chair (a lesser quality repro) can you replace the straps?

anonymous (not verified)
- 04 Oct 2003

wassily chairs
i am in need of total replacement leather for my wassily chairs. i've had them since 1981. i live in nyc. where can i have this done at a reasonable price?

sarah (not verified)
- 11 Oct 2003

Where did you see these two chairs?

Ken (not verified)
- 22 Oct 2003

set of six
I bought what i believe to be a set of six authentic chairs from a bank director's estate...not sure how to signature but worn stickers on base..they seem much more solid than some new chairs such as sold at design wihin reach...any help appreciated

- 17 Mar 2004

Longevity of leather
Thinking about purchasing a Wassily Chair, but concerned about how the leather holds up after much wear. Knoll does not recommend replacing the slings.
Can anyone provide info on how the leather stands the wear and tear of time and use? Many thanks.

- 17 Mar 2004

So far so good
Mine are about 5 years old. Got them through DWR, they are a good quality repro. Leather is good and thick. There are scratches from my cats and peoples belts, jeans rivets and such but nothing too nasty. The leather has stretched some but only enought to make the chairs more welcoming to sit in.

- 11 Apr 2004

Mies Furniture
There were also 2 German companies who produced Mies' furniture before Knoll. I forget the names, His real early stuff like Barcelona chair, table etc...
They don't have knoll stamps. I believe they do have other stamps or stickers... I'm just forgetting who they were at moment.
Point being: IF it seems really old, it could still be original rather than repro.

- 11 Apr 2004

leather is not as long lasting as some fabrics,contrary to popular thought.

- 12 Apr 2004

b, please expand!
How long did the leather last for your Wassily chairs? Or are you talking about leather in general? I am just curious as to what time frame I am looking at for replacing the slings, if I purchase the chairs.

- 13 Apr 2004

this may be a bit of a...
this may be a bit of a cheapo solution i know, but what i did with mine is that i wedged .25" diameter black rubber hose pieces in the back between the leather and the steel. you can't see the rubber hose, but it makes the leather tight. i bought my wassily's used for a very low price. they seem to be from the 70's (not capped, but maybe not knoll). in any case...i'm on a budget, can't afford to replace any parts of the chair...and found this to work very well. i simply bought the rubber hose at lowes (an american hardware store) by the foot and simply wedge it.

- 30 May 2004

Value of knockoffs
I recently bought two used Wassily knock offs (capped, no signature, serials, or other markings, not seamless). The leather is in great condition however the chrome is in rather poor condition, there are many scratches and chips in certain places (near the seam on the bottom middle). I have no idea how old they are or who the manufacture is. I bought two at a very reasonable price, what do you think they are worth? I do not plan on selling them, I am just curios if I paid too much.

- 02 Jun 2004

wassily comfort
Is it just me, or is the wassily uncomfortable. I don't like them with new leather, bc it seems way to firm. I prefer a good worn is nice and stretched, making it mreo comfortable, and IMO better looking.

- 02 Jun 2004

mreo is dumbass for more...
mreo is dumbass for more...

- 06 Nov 2005

Strap replacement!
I have two black Wassily chairs and need to replace the staps. Has anyone found a solution?

- 06 Nov 2005

W spike
I dont think anyone will say its the most comfortable chair they ever sat in(or they have some more livin to do).I agree with you 100%....

- 29 Jan 2006

Great. Now I inherited one...
Great. Now I inherited one and need it reupholstered too. It looks like no one ever found a solution.

- 05 Feb 2006

mine have been difficult to repair
I picked up two wassilys from a posh advertising agency when it shut down years ago. While functionable, the straps were coming unbound in places. I've taken the chairs to two leather shops and they tell me the straps cannot be repaired. I haven't given up, but have thus far been surprised it is SO difficult a task... I hope to hear a good report from someone else soon!

- 06 Feb 2006

I had the "arm" straps on my chairs (knock offs) redone, after I saw how good they looked I had the rest of the chairs done. I had a guy who mostly does leather work for bikers (seats, saddle bags, etc.) do them and it was very reasonable....maybe I need to start selling them.

- 06 Feb 2006

Wassily straps
I brought a handful of damaged straps to several shoe repair places in the city; many of whom shook their heads because the straps were too badly damaged, or else too thick for their machinery.

Finally, I found a place in downtown Manhattan who gave it a shot for around $20. The workmanship wasn't great, but the armstraps are functional, and I reversed them so that the repaired areas are hidden toward the back of the chair.

In my opinion, you might get the better results by having new straps crafted, rather than repairing old straps. The previous post sounds promising. Online strap suppliers seem a little pricey.

- 30 May 2006

any canvas straps available?
any canvas straps available?

- 08 Aug 2006

identifying marks
I have been searching the web, trying to find info on identifying a pair of Wassily chairs I have found in South America, they seem to be correct, but I do not think that they are knoll.

They have numbers on the base, where the tubes join, either side of the two slot head screws, one has the number 6 twice, the other chair a single 8.

They are slung with a vinyl, which I presume was a replacement, because, the chairs look right, they have some age and enough wear to be at least 60's, if not earlier, the tube is fine, not heavy and they have allen type fastners on the joints.

I don't know the original measurements, but they just look correct, even with the vinyl...

Any ideas?

- 06 Sep 2006

Signature in the Leather of Backrest

I have two Wassilys which have the Marcel Breuer Signature stamped into the Leather of the Backrest. Does anyone know if this was practice at Knoll before stamping the Base of the chairs? Or has Gavina stamped them into the leather?
Any suggestions are appreciated.

- 23 Oct 2006

where did you find the straps??
i just read the post about your wassily strap replacement. i have 4 old ones, and no one can replace or fix them. some guy wants clost to $1000 to do it! yikes!

- 24 Oct 2006

I came across these straps on Ebay.
Who know the quality?

Edited by DA [ broken link removed ]

- 16 Jan 2008

My Wassily knockoff
I bought a (probable) knockoff for $200.00 from a local store. It's in mint condition, but besides having black leather straping, it also has a black crinkle metal finish.

Who the heck knows who made it? But since it's a fakeroo, I bought a Chinese knockoff Eileen Gray metal and crome table to go with it!

- 16 Jan 2008

The original commercial manuf...
The original commercial manufacturers of Wassily chairs were Standard-Mobel (1927) and then Thonet (as the B3)(1930) - I believe Knoll started producing them in the 60s and they and other manufacturers have made them ever since, the biggest giveaway between the pricey Knoll versions and the rest being the quality of the leather. The signature is a recent innovation presumably to distinguish Knoll ones from the numerous other makers.

- 17 Jan 2008

mine is a dumpster-dive...
mine is a dumpster-dive find. an obvious knock-off. the little label underneath on the chrome says
'made in italy'. but it is the thickest leather and can't imagine it ever stretching or breaking down.
tight and solid. bridle leather.
i wish the label had more info.
that is who i would seek out replacement leather...
i should look clearly at an original, but i think the leather should be thick and firm.
the chair design allows for so much give in the tubing design.

- 17 Jan 2008

paulann the originals and...
paulann the originals and knoll have a polished welded end cap that is very nice , a lot of the repoductions all have just plain caps that pop in to the end tubes, the repos for some reason have a very card board leather , that is not comfortable for some reason this chair looks good. and i own two but it is not a comfortable chair for sitting in, It looks good but not comfy at all, and i am kinda sorry i bought them,

- 18 Jan 2008

My (probably fake) Wassily
Here's mine...bought for $200.00

- 25 Jan 2008

I am trying to sell my two Wassily chairs that have been in the family for a while now, but I cannot find out any more information on where they came from. They both have a sticker on the bottom stating 'Sans Sorci' or something to that affect and 'made in italy'.

Any suggestions on what else to look for or how much to ask for them?

Thanks for any advice.

Edited by DA [ broken link removed ]

- 15 Jan 2009

cheap solution
try putting shoe polish on the leather a few times evetually a color begins to cover the faded areas. i did this to my chair and it looks great. warning try it if u are considering replacing them or try it on a location where it wont be notice before applying to the entire chair. By the way if anyone is selling im a looking! for another chair.

- 31 Jan 2010

Sicilian Leather Guy In NYC Restored Mine
There's a Sicilian guy on the UES in Manhattan who resewed the seat of my Breuer chair. He was listed in New York Magazine some years ago as a top leather restorer. It wasn't expensive (under $100). He did a superb job. Made it seem easy. Mine were labeled Knoll with a sticker when I bought them but I'm not really sure. The leather is very thick and the chairs are surprisingly comfortable. I'm only thinking of selling them because although comfortable, I find that you sit back so far in them that they are better for an office than for personal use. It's not a chair for lounging in, but how, really, do you explain these chairs? They are works of art. They are works of architecture. Sitting in one changed my notion of chairs forever.

- 01 Aug 2010

Marcel Breuer Stamp
Hello I see you posted your question some years ago but was left without any reply. I am today in a similar situation so I would be most grateful if you could tell me more about the signature stamped on the leather back is it or not an Knoll?

Thanks in advance


- 11 Oct 2010

Marcel Breuer Stamp
Hi Marko,

i am now in this situation:
i just bought a wassily chair from a "official" knoll shop in germany and my chair only has the Marcel Breuer Signature stamped in the leather on the underside of the seat.
There is NO Knoll Stamp in the metal anywhere to be seen, no serial number and no Marcel Breuer signature stamped in the metal frame either.
So i find it very confusing to buy a chair at a Knoll shop and later find different information on the Knoll homepage.
Where did you buy yours?
Did you already find out more about the "originality" of your chair?



- 16 Sep 2011

information about what I have
Hello All,

I just bumped into this great thread,

I recently obtained two chairs,

The craftmanship and quality is there in every respect,

the chairs are sturdy.

I bought the set for $1,200 US, I was told the lawyer paid almost $2,000 each for use in his office.

The only marking on the chair is a gold sticker that says made in Italy.

Thank you in advance for any information on the value and make of my chairs.


- 17 Sep 2011

You posted in another...
You posted in another thread a similar question, and I gave you an answer, but you have provided more background detail here and more questions. Please see the other thread for the complete answer and identifiers to check.

You never mentioned where you were located at, but my answer was based on you being in the US.

In this post it seems your concern/ question is if your chair is particularly valuable and based on the info you have provided so far I would say no. The Wassily chairs considered valuable were produced by Gavina (early 60's to 1968) and then by Knoll who bought the rights and have produced since. Wikipedia has a informative article on the org producers of the chair and the years produced.

Today, buying a Knoll Wassily brand new chair costs over $2,000. Most of the older Knoll Wassily chairs, in good condition, range from $1000 to $3,000. The ones produced by Gavina can fetch somewhat higher prices in good to excellent condition - esp if the straps are a rare color or material. (I'm not even going to detail the original 1920's canvas Wassily chairs by Thonet - those are museum pieces and beyond rare - but if you are interested in valuable those are by far the most valuable.)

The biggest issue with yours is there only being a "made in italy" sticker. Made in Italy by who? The higher end chairs should clearly state the manufacturer. If its Gavina - it should say made by Gavina in Italy - the sticker will appear on the back seat chrome bar. For Knoll wassilys the "knoll" sticker is on the underside of the leather seat, however, these knoll stickers have been known to come off, as have the Gavina stickers.I believe the modern Knoll chairs have there named marked on the metal and a label - but you can confirm that on the official Knoll website.

If you intend to post photos the main parts that need to be seen are close ups the of the screws and caps, or lack of, on the ends of chrome frame on the seat base.

But if all your seeing is a "made in italy" sticker is probably not a chair by Knoll or Gavina. I cant tell you much about the quality or value of the many knock -offs out there - some are of good quality, some are hideously cheap and nasty. A quick search showed me a Wassily chair, with the only identifier being a "made in italy" sticker being sold on ebay for $102 yesterday. Other reproductions range from $100 to $500 on eBay, but you can by a reproduction chair brand new for that price range too.

- 03 Oct 2011

Great Chair
What a great chair. Simple, effective and a classic of modern design


- 03 Oct 2011

Yes, it's a beautifully designed chair and
surprisingly uncomfortable, too.

- 25 Feb 2012

Gavina #7104 in brown leather
Picked this up on Craigslist in 07 because it looked pretty cool and filled a space. After researching, I realized what I had. It's truly in great condition; some minor scuffs here and there on the leather, but no tears or wear spots, and only slight "buttprints" with no real sagging. What's this worth?

- 27 Jul 2017

Hi, first time posting!
I found a Wassily Chair but it needs to have all the straps resewn. It has some unusual details that I don't see repeated on many other examples. I did find one other Wassily chair online that looks exactly like mine but is in better shape, here is a link to it:

Here are the unusual details that make me unsure if it's original (see picture):
• The stitching doesn't go all the way around.
• There are washers between the tubes where the bolts are.
• There are track marks that must be from the sewing machine (this is only on the back of the straps).

The details that make me think this is could be an original are:
• The leather seems to be high quality.
• The ends of the metal frame are solid and polished flat (not capped).
• Also, the bolts are black.

Let me know what you think and if you have any info I would love to know about it!!

- 01 Aug 2017

Hi: just to add another tidbit: We bought a new pair of these around 1968 (our first modern furniture acquisition):
- they only had the Gavina (Knoll) paper label and no signature in the metal
- the leather was quite thick
- solid metal ends (not obvious caps)
- good proportions

We loved them for many years but then the stitching on the arm straps started to go. We thought of "restitching" them ourselves as most leather workers would not guarantee to use only the old holes. But we also found some vintage B35s Breuer chairs and had to decide which to keep. Although both were comfortable and since our niece loved the Wassily ones, we gave them to her and will use the B35s in our future tiny NYC apartment.

mandu2: could you tells us the UES Sicilian chap who repaired yours. Many thanks.

- 02 Aug 2017

Interesting thread - more questions than answers though! Here's my 'Jox Interni' labelled tan leather, black frame purchase - *Might* be missing side straps, although there are a few on the internet without them.


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