'A' for Art 'D' for Decorating Filing Cabinet Office

Jere Urchin vs. Nova Starburst

What do you think about these? The original C. Jere Urchin sculpture has been reissued and is available through Jonathan Adler. The other is called Nova Starburst, but appears to be heavily influenced by the Jere Urchin. I like both and was considering the less expensive set for my office, but I’m not sure.

So, “inspired by” or “knockoff of?” And does it matter to you?

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  • Julie Kirk
    July 20, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I’m always a bit unsure about this kind of thing. I usually feel OK if it’s really obvious that they’re different items – say if one is thousands of pounds while the other is a super-low-budget version. If it feels like the ‘inpsired by’ is trying to directly take custom – I’m not so sure …

    Last year I fell in love with this dress: http://notesonpaper.blogspot.com/2010/06/365-patterns-rabbit-dress.html then only afterwards realised where I’d seen the designs before.

    Now every time I wear it I hear my friend’s amazed comment “you mean that *isn’t* Fifi Lapin fabric?” as it looks so very similar!

  • Nikki
    July 20, 2011 at 11:56 am

    As a designer I feel strongly about supporting other design industries. It’s true that the most original designs have prices that are not proportional to the cost of material and sometimes labor. But you are paying for the idea behind it and the social status that comes with owning the name. Although I make a great effort to purchase the originals, it’s not always in my budget. But if I admire the designer enough then I try to make owning their work a priority and consider buying a knock off a shame to their genius.

  • KatK
    July 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Yes, they’re quite similar in the photos, and the existence of  a cheap one may very well erode the JA brand, but then again, the two may look obviously different in real life.

    I think there is room in the market for both. I assume that you wouldn’t be able to spend $1100 on the JA one, so for you the choice is not between the JA one and the cheap one, but between the cheap one and nothing. So JA is not losing your business due to the existence of a cheap version.

  • Dani
    July 20, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I prefer the original C.Jere. It seems that they have more depth and are more interesting. If in person, they were similar and not obviously a cheapy knock-off, then the huge price difference would likely lead me to buying the inspired Nova scultpures. $1,100 vs. $118 = alot of money saved. I always need to see comparisons in person though. Many times it’s better to buy the more expensive item – better quality, better longevity, etc. However, sometimes the original isn’t great quality either and just marked up for the brand/designer name. This really gets to me – I have spent alot of money on certain items that end up being a bad investment. I paid for the name. Now, if the knock-off is good and the price differential is large, then I have no issue going that way. Extra $$$ in the bank in this economy is a good thing.

  • Claudia
    July 20, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    For me, price always plays a HUGE role in what I’m buying, so I do tend to look for knock offs. That being said, if it’s poor quality, then I just save and wait for the real deal.

  • James
    July 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I found an original C.Jere Urchin at Goodwill for $8

  • Amy
    July 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I think they are gorgeous, but for me personally, the style and design is something I’d put into ‘trend’ versus ‘timeless’. This is my golden rule…trendier items that I may not love and want to display in 10 years, then I go with a cheaper version. Also, brass is so on-trend right now, but is sure to go out again in a few seasons….I’d NEVER spray paint the C. Jere version, but wouldn’t bat an eye at busting out the spray paint on the inexpensive version. Timeless pieces are more of an investment and has collector appeal, in which case I’d spring for the original (like an Eames chair).

  • Eye See Pretty
    July 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I love the starbursts although I find the C. Jere ones to be a bit pricey. I recently bought five of the medium size ones and plan to use them in my office as part of my gallery wall.


  • brooke
    July 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I prefer the original, but there’s no way I could afford them. If a knock off is nice enough and an original (example: Eames molded rocking chair) is completely out of my budget, I will go with the knock off if it is something I feel that I have to have.

  • brooke
    July 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I’ve been looking at these.

  • Kelly
    July 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I think “inspired by” is only ok if you are diy-ing something you can’t afford.

  • thenowstylebook
    July 20, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Ahh!! I have been thinking about these so much lately! I love them and want them in my house!

  • Jaimie
    July 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    It’s hard because you don’t want to rip off the original artist, but when it comes with an outrageous price tag, it’s knock-off or nothing. I agree with some of the other comments regarding how much of a copyright infringement the copy is, if it’s more ‘carboncopy’ than ‘inspired by’ it’s definitely more problematic. Also keep in mind, like the UO outrage awhile back over the state heart necklaces, sometimes the ‘original’ isn’t really very original itself, and those are definitely instances where you should buy whatever version you like and not feel guilty.

  • Nikki
    July 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    The knockoffs are pretty weak. I’d go for the originals – vintage ones preferably. Even though I don’t have a great spot for one in my house it is on my list of dream finds.

  • Lori
    July 22, 2011 at 8:31 am

    I think the Nova sunburst doesn’t look as “finished” up close…I say hold out for a vintage Jere, not a Jonathan Adler re-issue. I see vintage look-alikes or C. Jere originals locally on a regular basis. Anjou & the Little Pear in Burlington VT or Just L in Littleton, NH

  • Dacia
    July 22, 2011 at 9:07 am

    If it’s something you’ve really been coveting for a long time, I would just go with the higher quality re-issue.

  • Jill
    July 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I did and I love them. If I don’t in 6 mo., I can toss em, because 3 sizes cost me $3. Total.
    I use champagne corks (free) and bbq skewers. hot glued picture hangers on the back. I love the feeling a DIY project that turns out great.
    I’m going back and forth about spraying them gold or not.
    They make such an impact!
    Note: I dont have 2 kids to watch so I had the free time. Ha!

  • Yvette
    August 6, 2011 at 4:18 am

    They look great, but if you’re interested in something more affordfable, eco friendly and slightly alternative why not check out these:


    Sets of 10 are also available.

  • Rebecca
    August 16, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Obviously the originals are what we’d all like, but jeez. The expense is just too much for some, me definitely included. It would be nice to find a vintage set, at a good price, but that’s not always going to happen…

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