A guide how to buy good copy or reproduction furniture

Like if this guide is helpful

STOP PRESS - 1st January 2017.

In a few days time reproductions of some design classics become illegal for retailers to sell here in the UK so please refer to our web site for a list of items affected by these changes.

Scott Howard has already removed all infringing items from its Ebay shop in line with these new rules.

***********************************************************************************************************************

May 2015.

Mention of the word reproduction or copy furniture, especially if it is from China  and this is enough to raise a very emotive debate and is guaranteed to divide opinions.

Purest's hate them, and yet the vast majority of the public couldn't care less, they want the style without paying too high a price as often genuine items are as much as 600% more than the reproductions.

Like all things in life there is good and bad in everything and here at Scott Howard based in London we are constantly being asked questions on how to avoid purchasing bad copies - so here is a general guide to some of the things we have come across whilst selling both the Genuine items and Reproduction furniture.

Here in the UK any product that is manufactured in a quantity of more than 50 units only has 25 year protection for patent, design or copyright so anything designed before 1990 is now outside protection.

This rule does not apply in the EU so you should check your own country's law which may be different.

As all of the major iconic furniture designs are pre 1986 it is fairly safe to presume they are now outside protection 

Turning to the question of quality we have found at least 53 suppliers in the far east and at the bottom end they are rubbish, made with poor materials and made to budget, however the middle level can easily be compared to european manufacturers and they use similar tools and machines in both regions to produce very similar quality.

Then you have a select few (we think about six) manufacturers in China that focus on being the best quality possible and are aiming to be as good as the world famous names such as Herman Miller, Vitra, Knoll, and Fritz Hansen to name just a few.

Speaking frankly we still think that the originals have the edge on quality, but the top chinese bracket are now very closely on their heels.

So you need to look for "Top end Chinese" products and yes they are deffinately out there ....... we sell them everyday.

You still need to be careful because we have found that some factories and their UK agents will show pictures of a genuine item but supply something completely different, or they will say it is in stock then make you wait weeks or months for delivery. Sadly this happens in all industries and taints the good with the bad , but rest assured there are honest suppliers out there.

Often price can be the give away ..... if you find cheap versions advertised yet looking like the more expensive versions something is often wrong, (in short you get what you pay for) but often the product guarantees are the biggest giveaways. We offer a lifetime guarantee on our "Top end products" and also a 28 days right to return policy and this says how we feel about the quality of our reproductions.

For those who wish to discuss this subject in more depth feel free to visit our shop in the West End - just around the corner from Baker Street Tube station - where you can compare genuine Originals and Reproductions side by side in the shop and you can then make your own decisions as to the quality available on the market today.

We are open Monday to Saturday throughout the year.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides