Direktlänk till inlägg 23 september 2014

Osvaldo Borsani did NOT design a wall mounted coat hanger called Sputnik - Reliable answer from Tecno

Av wanjasvarjehanda - 23 september 2014 22:14

This blog post is about a revolving coat hook/hanger often sold as Sputnik designed by Osvaldo Borsani and manufactured by Tecno. Usually my blog posts are in Swedish but in this case I chose to write it in English too as I think the information is rather important.

Let's put an end to the spreading of false attributions!
(Inlägget finns även på svenska)


In February 2012 I wrote about the coat hanger "Mina" by IKEA 1993, you'll find the post here (written in Swedish). I wrote it because there had been a sudden explosion of those at Tradera (Swedish Ebay), where almost everybody described it as an item from the 50's. The bids often reached around 500 SEK (about 52 Euro). If you tried to tell the seller that it was a 90's item it could in some cases result in the seller editing the ad but mostely you'd just get a grumpy response or none at all.

In May this year (2014) someone asked about a hanger of this kind in a Q&A-group on Facebook. I responded that the model was sold by IKEA (Mina), Karolin Design (Saturnus) and probably by other manufacturers during the 90's and someone else found it at the Swedish auction firm Bukowskis Market (one of the largest auction firms in Sweden) where it was described as "KLÄDHÄNGARE, "Sputnik", Osvaldo Borsani, Techno, formgiven 1961" (Coat hanger, "Sputnik", Osvaldo Borsani, Techno, designed
in 1961).



This was May 10 2014 and I e-mailed the auction firm immediatly, asking them where they got the information about Borsani and telling them that it was a 90's hanger sold by IKEA (and similar by Karolin Design among others). I also wrote that I couldn't find any information what so ever about Borsani making a wall mount hanger similar to this one.
At that point the bidding had reached 650 SEK.

May 13 09:29 Bukowskis Market replied:

"Den brukar traditionellt säljas som Borsani, men det går faktiskt inte att se någon skillnad vad jag vet på ”Sputnik” och ”Mina”. Inte heller har jag funnit någon dokumentation för att det är Borsani som formgivit den, endast att den brukar marknadsföras som Borsani av auktionshus och privata handlare. Jag har korrigerat katalogtexten och skrivit till Ikea. Då ”Mina” verkar vara lika eftersökt, låter vi auktionen fortgå."


In English:
It's usually sold as Borsani, but as far as I can tell there is simply no way telling the difference between "Sputnik" and "Mina". I haven't found any documentation about it being designed by Borsani, only that it's usually advertised as Borsani by auction firms and dealers. I've modified the description and added IKEA. As "Mina" seems to be as sought after, we'll let the aucion continue.

So, what they chose to do was adding "alt. "Mina", IKEA." (alt.=alternatively).

I replied with a long letter about all sorts of wrong attributions and the importance of them only using reliable sources as people in general trust their knowledge. I also told them that the attribution to Borsani probably was the result of a dealer or auction firm noticing a slight similarity to Borsanis floor standing coat racks and started spreading the attribution, and that a correctly attributed item probably never would have gotten so many bids. Also that I simply didn't think an item like that was good enough for them to
sell (they have a minimum limit of 1500 SEK value when they take an item up for auction and those are usually found in fleamarkets for 20-100 SEK/2-10 Euro).

They didn't respond. The winning bid was 92 Euro, plus commission fee 22,5% and hammer fee 5 Euro, which makes a total of almost 118 Euro.

After the auction ended I sort of hoped they would do some research before selling one of those again but my, oh my, May 27 they were at it again:


152 Euro, which means 191 Euro commission fee and hammer fee included.

Oh, please, let it end here!

Nope. The next one was sold June 7:th. Bidding ended at 48 Euro (makes a total of almost 64


In the description they had removed the design year (1961) and instead they wrote it was from the second half of the 20th century. Oh well, that's right, 1993 is the second half of the 20th century but they still had the attribution to Borsani.


A few days ago we were discussing false attributions and descriptions in the Q&A-group on Facebook and I was going to show the coat hanger as an example of auction firms not being reliable sources. I searched for Borsani among past auctions at Bukowskis Market and was going to link to the first one I found. I changed my mind when seeing this one:



"Etikettmärkt undertill" means labeled underneath...

Say what now, labeled? Could it be true that Borsani designed this one for Tecno or has someone really made an effort to commit a forgery? After looking at the picture I was quite sure it was the latter, note the pieces of wall paint/wall paper underneath...

Luckily the company Tecno has a website so I sent them an e-mail (while wondering why I didn't do that a long time ago). I explained to them how often I had seen the coat hanger attributed to Borsani, Tecno and linked to the auction with the labeled one.

This is the reply that I received this morning from Tommaso Fantoni Borsani:

"On behalf of Mrs. Valeria Borsani Fantoni I write to confirm that any attribution of this piece to Osvaldo Borsani or Tecno is completely arbitrary.
The archives which carry all the design and production literature until 1985, until Osvaldo was alive, have no trace of such a piece and no one remember even the most remote form of prototype for it.
The label on the back of the piece you attached is clearly false to us."

This means someone clearly put the label on the IKEA hanger for fraudulent purposes. I find it hard to believe it's just to sell one single item, more likely to show one single proof of authenticity in order to enabling the on going false attribuations to hype the item on the market.

I've googled "Borsani sputnik" and there are many dealers abroad selling those coat hooks, also at Ebay. Among ads at Tradera (Swedish Ebay) there are right now 4 of those for sale attributed to Borsani and 2 sold during the last 60 days (417 SEK and 1200 SEK). One of the sellers also writes that there are not many left of those so the price should be expected to rise... Someone referres to a blogg post where the blogger lists old IKEA furniture which use to get high bids and where it's said that Borsani designed it for IKEA in 1961. Rather confusing. Although, the blogger has done nothing wrong,
as most people she thougt large aucion firms are reliable and look things up before puttng thngs up for sale.

It would be rather interesting to know who started it all and who named it Sputnik.

Ingen bild


22 november 2014 16:13

Förvirringen verkar total. Jag skulle själv försöka identifiera den här, vad-det-nu-är. Ett loppisfynd för 30 kronor jag hittade för några år sedan. Men hittade ingen trovärdig källa annat än denna bloggpost. Här är någon i USA som rör till det ytterligare. Eller?


29 december 2014 18:49

Hej, CHF!
Av någon anledning så har Bloggplatsen glömt tala om för mig att jag fått nya kommentarer, därav mitt sena svar.
I annonsen du länkar till skriver man IKEA Mina, vilket stämmer. Det som är knasigt är att man också skriver att det är en kopia på en hängare av Borsani, som ju alltså enligt företaget Tecno aldrig någonsin ritat en sådan hängare. Tyvärr fortsätter folk skriva att det är Borsani men spridningen av de falska uppgifterna har åtminstone minskat en aning sedan jag skrev inlägget.

    Kom ihåg mig



Av wanjasvarjehanda - 2 juli 2015 08:49

Detta inlägg handlar inte det minsta om några fina möbler, felattribueringar eller knasiga auktionshus, däremot om vilseledande marknadsföring.Idag är jag riktigt arg och besviken.Jag har aldrig haft glasögon men har känt att jag borde skaffa det då ...

Av wanjasvarjehanda - 26 maj 2015 04:02

Detta är en text om saker som jag önskar att alla retro- och antikintresserade funderade på en liten stund, jag skulle uppskatta om du ville ta dig tid att läsa. När vi startade vår verksamhet och öppnade retrobutik i början på 2007 blev jag snabbt...

Av wanjasvarjehanda - 18 mars 2015 15:09

Servisen Lorry från Reijmyre känner många igen, åtminstone vinglasen och starkvinglasen. Det har spekulerats mycket om vem som ritade Lorry: Många hävdar att serien är av Jonny Mattsson, som dock inte kom till bruket förrän 1956 medan Lorry finns m...

Av wanjasvarjehanda - 23 september 2014 22:57

Detta inlägg handlar om en klädhängare som allt oftare påstås vara designad av Osvaldo Borsani, Tecno 1961. This blog post about the coat hanger often sold as "Sputnik" by Osvaldo Borsani 1961 is also available in English.   Ibland tar det tid ...

Av wanjasvarjehanda - 21 januari 2014 04:02

För några dagar sedan berättade en bekant om hur hon blivit nekad att lämna in ett bord till auktionshuset Lauritz. De hävdade att det var förbjudet att handla med föremål tillverkade av jakaranda. Den anställde hade alltså inte ens sett bordet utan ...


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