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bertoia slat bench

Product design
- 12 Jun 2014 -
10 posts / 0 new
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Product design

morning- i have the chance to purchase a bertoia bench.i sorta kinda trust the seller,but,well you know. i do not have a photo. i'm familiar with knockoffs of his chairs with double wires,stands welded in wrong spots,etc.can anyone help with some tips? it looks like through the years there were 3 different lengths?the only history i have is there is no knoll tag and it came from a local university. thanks for any help



- 12 Jun 2014

There are recent knockoffs, I think Pottery Barn made one? Imported approximations are all over the place and everyone on the internet is a liar, etc.

If it's vintage, though, and you believe the bit about coming out of the university, I'd imagine it's probably cool.

- 12 Jun 2014

That one actually actually looks authentic but probably refinished... perhaps the slats became warped from exposure?

- 12 Jun 2014

could you elaborate on base...
could you elaborate on base being wrong?

- 13 Jun 2014

That base design is not incorrect; it's just newer than the one with the overlapped ends.

The slats are misaligned, for sure, but I think that's just due to poor disassembly/reassembly. The screws that hold the slats to the base are thin and not very strong, so it's not uncommon for them to break while they're being extracted -- usually flush with the surface of the wood -- especially if a power screwdriver is used. Instead of drilling out the old screws and gluing plugs into the holes, I bet that the idiot who reassembled the bench just shifted the damaged slats longitudinally and sank new screws into them right next to the broken screws.

The odd wear patterns are probably because the slats weren't reassembled in the same order (and/or the same left-to-right orientation) as before they were disassembled.

- 13 Jun 2014

thanks again
you've all been a lot of help again. offered $250 sight unseen let's see what happens

- 05 Feb 2018

Reviving this one for a related question:

I came across one of these at a high end vintage/antiques showroom with plenty of beautiful, authentic examples of 20th century design for sale. It was well weathered and the typical 72" length. However, the weld on the base rods seemed off... were there examples of authentic benches with the pieces making contact with the floor being welded to the outside of the top of "Y", where the three rods converge in the shape? Gotta be a fake right?? (Picture included was taken from a site selling one like this as a Knoll product, with the price point to match... this isn't the bench in question)

- 06 Feb 2018

DWG: I'm no expert, and my bench is the same style as current production: the three rods terminate where they meet. I've always thought that this was a later modification, and that the original design had overlapping ends like the bench in your photo -- that's why, up in comment #6, I described the current-style base as the "newer" one.

I do remember seeing an old Knoll bench with overlapping ends, but now I can't find any photos of a verifiably genuine Knoll bench with that base. So maybe I was wrong, and the base has always looked like the current production, and the overlapping ends only appeared on knockoffs. I don't know.

Perhaps someone who actually owns a book can do better than the superficial surface-scratching I'm able to do on the web.

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