How to recognize an original (vintage) Red-Blue chair?
For many interior lovers it’s the ultimate dream: to own a Red-Blue chair. But unfortunately, because this Rietveld design is so popular, many knockoffs have come onto the market over the years.
So should you come across a vintage Red-Blue chair, it's important know how to recognize an original one. Fortunately, we can help you with that.
First, study what the wood joints look like. The wood connections in Rietveld's furniture were made with large round dowels that are often still visible from the underside of the furniture. Are they hidden? Then the chair is probably not real. Can you still see the joints? Then it's more likely that you are dealing with a real Rietveld chair.
Check the underside
While Rietveld's chairs became known for their iconic design, their production process was kept as practical and efficient as possible. For example, Rietveld and Van de Groenekan (Rietveld's regular carpenter) never colored the underside of seats or railings, so no time or paint was wasted. Because the underside of the furniture is not visible when the chair is standing, it didn't matter to the appearance anyway. It was also common for the chairs to be stained, with the seat usually left colorless or only primed.
With the Red-Blue chair, there is a specific way you can tell if you are dealing with a real Rietveld. For this chair, Van de Groenekan used aluminum brackets that were bent in the vice. As a result, small ridges are visible. There are also small grooves in the seat and backrest, making it fit better on the girders.
Sticker or branding
Often, Rietveld furniture is marked with a sticker or brand mark H.G.M. (Het Goede Meubel) G.A. van de Groenekan De Bilt Netherlands. But beware, false brand marks have also been in circulation and there are also several pieces of authentic furniture that do not have a brand mark or sticker.