We just got a great question over on our Ask About the Wishbone Chair Page:
How can I tell a real wishbone from a fake.
Unfortunately there are a lot of counterfeit Wegner Wishbone Chairs on the market today. To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to spot a fake Wishbone from an authentic Wishbone Chair. If you ever come across a fake one that’s being sold as legit, be sure to contact Carl Hansen & Son.
Things to keep in mind:
Purchase From an Authorized Dealer
View a list of authorized online dealers HERE.
If the price is too good to be true, chances are the chair is too good to be true. Sometimes you’ll know immediately it’s a fake: the authentic Wishbone Chair is solid, sleek, and near flawless. Inspect the wood, the contours, the finish, and especially the seat.
Unfortunately the vast majority of knock-offs are only available online, and disreputable shops use legitimate images to advertise their counterfeit Wishbone Chairs. So if you buy online, insist that they send images of the chair you will be purchasing—of all sides, including the bottom. Also be mindful of the language the site uses to describe the chair: if they say things like “Replica”, “Wishbone-style” or “Wegner-inspired Wishbone Chair”, you’re dealing with something that’s not authentic. We recommend avoiding the trouble altogether, and buying an authentic Wishbone Chair.
Newer Wishbone Chairs feature a label on the underside, at the back, that displays the Carl Hansen & Son logo, Hans J. Wegner’s signature, and the serial number. Other versions of the Wishbone Chair have a sticker label, and even older ones have just a branded Carl Hansen & Son mark.
If you don’t see a label, or if looks suspect, be wary.
The seat is one of the most telling signs of a fake Wishbone. The seat is painstakingly hand-woven from over 100 meters of paper cord. Obviously over time, the seats take a beating and will get damaged. If you’re looking at a new Wishbone Chair, make sure it’s paper cord and not nylon or synthetic, and look closely at the weaving: it should be tight, at near-perfect 90-degree angles and the front left should be exactly the same as the front right.
Take out the tape measure and make sure they match these specifications:
Seat Back Height: 75cm (29.53in)
Front of Top Rail Height: 71cm (27.95in)
Seat Front Height: 45cm (17.72in)
Front Legs Ground Width: 55cm (21.65in)
Depth – From Front Leg to Back of Curved Rail: 51cm (20.08in)