Petit Seat – Miniature Designer Chairs

Written by on 13th July 2012 in Blog POSTS, Design & History with Leave a comment
Phot from OneFortyThree Blog

Micro chairs by OneFortyThree


 Petit Seat

I have recently become captivated by miniature designer chairs. They are so cute and cool that I can hardly imagine who wouldn’t want one! The popularity of miniature chairs among collectors has not gone unnoticed and in 1992 the Vitra Museum of Design in Germany started a collection of designer chairs covering a period from the mid 1800s to the present. To date, they have taken 80 significant designs (with license agreements) and scaled them down using all the same materials and methods to 1:6 the original size.

Not to be mistaken for dolls house furniture, which is often 1:12 or 1:24 of regular furniture, these miniature chairs offer a quality representation of iconic designer pieces that is anything but kid stuff.

The prices for these tiny thrones are out of reach for most chochky collectors (ranging $100 – $750)….but the buyers are out there.  I easily found Vitra miniatures for sale on eBay and at Gabriel Ross here in Victoria with no effort at all.

One of the main uses for these puny perches, apart from collecting dust on a select few bookshelves,  is as teaching aids or models for design schools and those studying furniture design.  Since Vitra has gone to great lengths to remain true to the historical construction, materials and colours of the miniatures they are indeed useful in this respect.

Check out the tiny museum exhibits at the Vitra Gallery:

But what of other miniature furniture? Of course there are more affordable options available to scratch the itch of wanting one (or ten).  Magic Pony in Toronto carries  some super cute 1:12 replicas for less than $20 each (below):

I also  found these little cuties by Bento Zakka for less than $10 each on Etsy.

So, what’s the verdict on the small seats?…They certainly make a great gift for anyone who is obsessed with design. But in my opinion I can honestly think of many many more worthwhile things to spend several hundred dollars on than a replica chair…no matter how cool.  If anything, I would probably try my hand at an eBay auction for one of the Vitra chairs on the premise that I would get a good deal and know that  it will appreciate.   But maybe I’m OK with just admiring pretty pictures of these mini marvels for the time being.

I reserve the right revisit my verdict and this post closer to the arrival of Santa Clause….if I’ve been good that is!

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