Authentic Wishbone Chair: How to Tell It’s Not Fake

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.

Thanks, Roger

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

Danish Design Store is an authorized dealer
Danish Design Store is an authorized dealer

Only authorized Carl Hansen & Son dealers such as Danish Design Store can sell Wegner Wishbone Chairs. If you buy from one of these dealers, you’re getting the real-deal.

View a list of authorized online dealers HERE.

The Obvious

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.

Label

Authentic Wishbone Chair Label
Authentic Wishbone Chair Label

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.

Carl Hansen Label: Note sticker vs aluminum plate and stamp in wood and initials
Carl Hansen Label: Note sticker vs aluminum plate and stamp in wood and initials
Old version of the metal label
Old version of the label – Image from: http://www.kissthedesign.ch
Old style Carl Hansen & Son label
Old style Carl Hansen & Son label – Image from: http://www.EstateStore.org

 

If you don’t see a label, or if looks suspect, be wary.

Weaving

Wishbone: Flawless weaving
Wishbone: Flawless weaving

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.

Dimensions

Take out the tape measure and make sure they match these specifications:

Wishbone measurements
Wishbone measurements

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)

 

11 thoughts on “Authentic Wishbone Chair: How to Tell It’s Not Fake”

  1. I have 4 1959 wishbone chairs. Two have been beautifully reseated in Rhode Island, one poorly done. Two now need reseating and I cannot locate anyone in NJ who can do them. How can I locate someone who is capable of doing them? Are instructions or plan description available? Please advise and tell me where your store is located.

    thank you, charles taggart

  2. Hi ! I have been given a second hand Wishbone chair as a present which means that I have no seen it until today when it was delivered. It took me just 2 mins to suspect it is not an authentic one. Basically the dimensions are different from the one (authentic) I already have and it has no label or stamp etc. Are these signs enough ? What is the most 100% “safe” sign of a fake one to look for ? I just need to have all fact on hand when I take it back to the store that sold it. Thanks !!

  3. Hello, I have two “old style wishbone” chairs. They have stamps on the bottom from Carl Hansen & son from Denmark. One is stamped with a “7” and the other has a “33” stamp on it. They are in very good condition and I believe must be originak because of the stamps. I would appreciate if anyone can let me know of an estimated value and or a way to market them?

    Thanks
    Frank

  4. Hi Frank, I also have four older wishbone chairs that I think are genuine as well. They all have a 7 marking on the underside of each chair at the base of the “wishbone” area- the part where you will find a sticker on other newer chairs. They were originally found in a estate of a Frank Loyd Wright home. I had the seats re-caned in the original Danish paper cording by a lady here in southern Ca. She is located in Carlsbad Ca. I think I paid almost 200 dollars per chair because she also gave them a gentle cleaning with beeswax. Her business is called Cane Specialties & she is located in Oceanside Ca.

  5. In 1967, my folks bought 6 Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs together with a Teak circular table, which extends to a large oval via a central insert.
    The seats have what looks like a 6 and an 8 under the wishbone. Too old to have metal labels.
    All are still in daily use in my home.
    The piece of wood which goes in a semi circle at the top of a proper Wegner chair will be made from ONE piece of wood.
    I’ve seen expensive repros which had the top semi circle made in three sections.
    Hope the info is useful.

  6. I have a Danish modern rocker that was brought to the U.S from Denmark by Peter Pohlsen in the late 40’s or 50’s.
    I believe it is a Hans J. Wegner, is there any way I can tell for certain?
    It has a light colored frame with the paper cord done in a 4 strand by 2 strand weave. Both the back and seat are done in the cord. Lovely, solid piece of furniture. It does have flat head screws at the necessary support areas.
    I would like very much to know how I can find out if it’s authentic and also the value of this chair.
    Thank you in advance,
    Sher

  7. I don’t have a wegner chair but have a chair with a tag that says “JUM-Stolen patent 60296” Can anyone send me in the right direction to find out more about this chair? It looks like a Wegner wing chair.

  8. We have 6 authentic wish bone chairs and would like to sell them. Do you have any suggestions on pricing and where to do this? We live in San Diego.

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