Vitra miniature chairs are a great way to add some midcentury flair to your home and are great collectibles. Midcentury modern furniture and architecture is as popular as ever thanks to shows like "Mad Men" and magazines like Dwell or Atomic Ranch that feature the best in midcentury and modern architecture and furniture. Miniature chairs and accessories have been popular for decades, but it is only in recent years that midcentury design has been scaled down for the collector.
Why collect Vitra miniature chairs?
There are many companies making small scale modern furniture for dollhouses or collectors, but Vitra is head and shoulders above the rest. Vitra is first and foremost an actual furniture manufacturer making licensed versions of many timeless classics. This same skill as a furniture manufacturer is apparent when translated to the smaller versions. Vitra licenses all copyrights and trademarks and then uses the exact same materials as the full size chair to produce its miniatures. This makes for a startlingly lifelike replica. Some models are even developed with the full cooperation of the original designer. The quality is such that many design schools purchase the miniatures as teaching aids.
Many people appreciate midcentury modern design, but for one reason or another cannot have it in their own home. Pets, children, and space constraints may be concerns. Others simply live in a structure that may not lend itself well to midcentury furniture. For these enthusiasts, Vitra miniature chairs truly fill a void. They make a handsome display and great conversation pieces without overwhelming a space. It is a similar reason that car buffs collect scale models of vehicles, but may never own a classic car.
Of course, there are numerous collectors of both miniatures and the original full sized counterparts. Surprisingly, the miniature in some cases may cost as much or more as a used version of the actual chair it is based upon! The Vitra chair line is not for children. These are collectibles that come handsomely packaged and will hold there value. Prices range from just over $100 for simple chairs and approach $600 for complicated pieces like the George Nelson Marshmallow Sofa or Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. This is a clear indication that these pieces are necessarily collected as substitutes for the real thing as may be the case with cars, but are collected for the sculptural quality of their designs.
What Vitra miniature chairs are available?
At this point, it seems more proper to ask what chairs are not available! The lineup is truly astonishing and represents all the great companies and designers. Spanning the decades and encompassing everything from Bauhaus to mod and every great seating design in between. Just some of the chairs that are featured:
- Coconut Chair by George Nelson for Herman Miller
- Lounge Chair by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller
- Tulip Chair by Eero Saarinen for Knoll
- S Chair by Verner Panton
- Marshmallow Sofa by George Nelson for Herman Miller
- Barcelona Chair by Mies Van Der Rohe
- Cone Chair by Verner Panton
- Ball Chair by Eero Aarnio
- Diamond Chair by Harry Bertoia for Knoll
- and dozens more!
The extensive lineup of Vitra miniature chairs can keep any collector busy for years. There are people who have just one and others with dozens. There are dollhouse miniature chair collectors and model makers that use them, too. There is no wrong way to collect these wonderful little chairs. Vitra markets the chairs through fine furniture and collectible retailers and they are popular on the secondary market, too. These chairs can be purchased online at retailers like Amazon. They surface from time to time on eBay and craigslist, but beware of fakes. A Vitra miniature chair makes a great gift for an architect or design student. They are popular with artists, musicians and anyone creative that cherishes good design.