What was so special about it? pieces that you won’t want to miss, Sell your Eames vintage furniture on the An authentic Eames Lounge Chair should measure 32 inches from the floor to the top of the headrest. Never miss new arrivals matching exactly what you’re looking for! Up step the traditional four-legged chair (DAX, DSX), one with conceptual ‘Eiffel’ style (DAR, DSR) even a wooden dowel base (DAW, DSW), maybe a rocker (RSR. It is also well worth pointing out that the finished Lounge Chair (and Ottoman) was a true collaboration within Eames Office personnel, with their go to guy Don Albinson a chief protagonist. It was essentially the Eames’ first foray into producing luxury design, something that would be coveted, invested into and desired. Quite simply, an eames chair could be any chair, designed by the now legendary American mid-century designer Charles Eames. Miller was once again initially utilized as the distributor, creating the advertising, the marketing and exclusively selling the pieces through their network of stores country wide. The centuries old saying ‘a face that launched a thousand ships’ may have originated from Greek mythology, but more contemporary uses of the phrase tend to be aimed at originators of work or models of beauty etc. So, what was it that thrust the Eames fiberglass chairs into every room across America? Privacy Policy. John, Paul, George and Ringo would go on to ‘conquer’ America with their music as part of ‘The Beatles’ during the 1960’s. This is part of the chair's unusual design, as well as its weakest link, as the shock mounts have been known to tear free, causing collapse and damage. Labels were located under a cushion or on the underside of the chair. They were able to manufacture the chairs in plants around the US, in Chicago, LA, Cincinnati and Michigan. The advertising of the chair was very much aimed at ‘the man of house’ which was normal for the times. It was desirability created by a new and modern design that managed to retain that ‘fireside’ feel but in the guise of something new and interesting. One of the features that make this chair so comfortable is the way the seat permanently tilts back. The Eameses’ designs were groundbreaking, featuring innovations to the way furniture was manufactured. This design was made to rest in a reclining position without any adjustment. The original and first 1950 Herman Miller advert to feature the new Fiberglass Chairs - these were leaflet style brochures provided to furniture showrooms. It was a look that clearly resonated, that had high levels of desirability and this ‘extra copy market’ was testament to this. Copies of the Eames lounger, however, usually sell between $1,200 and $1,500, and far less when used. Eames vintage furniture available, Your Eames.com experience is not only a As we look back on anything fashion-wise in history, things tend to get Pigeon holed into decades. Stardom ensued for both design and designers. No brand owner endorses or sponsors this ad or has any association and/or affiliation with The RealReal. We think not and we believe it is one of those furniture-related terms that you can throw in there to add another feature/benefit to a sales pitch. The Eameses constantly made use of new materials. The audience could see an eames chair design that they could relate too and was not entirely ‘out there’ yet still new and exciting – the Eames DCM. Why would this chair, above any others, be just so successful? The early sales forecasts were blown away and the design became an instant hit. Mohair Suits … The seat of the chair swivels on a cast aluminum base, with glides that are threaded so that the chair will remain level. For a more luxurious lounge chair, the Eameses created the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman set. If we consider that we can see the history of everything backwards, it is so much easier to imagine that everything was created equally or that everything was received equally. University of Minnesota Press, 2020. pp68-69, "Charles Eames, Ray Eames. There would be lots to choose from let’s face it, the original Eames Office was turning out furniture designs for forty years after all. Seat 17" This shell chair is an original fiberglass chair designed by Eames and produced by Herman... Category Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Chairs… We can consider the hard work, determination and endeavour of those involved in the project as a factor, can't we? Talk about appealing to every crowd, there was literally no place that couldn’t handle an Eames fiberglass chair, all bases covered, and so it would go on to be. The years thereafter are often spent solidifying their image and unique sound and working towards their very best material (usually seen around the second or maybe third album). 670 and 671", California Academy of Sciences - Science in Action - Episode 379 - The Chair - guest Charles Eames (March 14, 1960), Mathematica: A World of Numbers... and Beyond, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eames_Lounge_Chair&oldid=987250714, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, A rosewood Eames Lounge Chair and ottoman are on display at the, A walnut or rosewood Eames Lounge Chair and, This page was last edited on 5 November 2020, at 21:20. However, there are plenty of replicas (detailed copies) and reproductions (close copies) on the market. This is what prompted the marketing that portrayed it as the center-piece, the prime design. Pamela is an antique expert and the author of three books on the subject. What does it really mean, versatility? Privacy Policy. Those involved in the creative process will be the first to tell you that it takes ‘breakthrough moments’ to make the building blocks of success and that one thing can easily lead to another. Herman Miller would use their expertise, and indeed their faith in new design, to push the product to new boundaries. Herman Miller currently offers the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman in a variety of leather colors with coordinating woods for the shell. Rock star furniture design indeed, with us and around us through the decades, never changing but ever present. We're dishing on all the ways to bring chic and unique style to your space. Look at the number of layers of plywood that were used in the construction of the shells. Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. How-Tos, Home Tours and Designer Tips - Oh My! If we had to hazard our ‘reasonably educated’ guess, we would say it was about Versatility, Value and of course Herman Miller. It also meant that Herman Miller didn’t have to put all the money in to fund the tooling, molds, research and development as Zenith would also contribute half towards the successful creation of the product. As if written in the stars, the marrying together of the endeavour of the product and design, the reluctance of the Evans Company and the interest by Herman Miller was near on perfect. One thing is for sure though, the Eames Fiberglass Chairs would go on to be the flag bearer of the very intention of the competition. It made perfect sense, as Herman Miller was a specialist in utilizing wood in furniture design, to use Zenith plastics as an advocate of this new fiberglass material. That’s the same top, yes, but all those bases make it an entirely different design, entirely different look, versatility at its very best. Whilst one continent was concentrating on rebuilding, the US was striving forward with innovation and creativity in everything from furniture to the auto-car, from fashion to architecture. The chair back and headrest are identical in proportion, as are the seat and the ottoman. The former Plycraft Company issued dozens of chairs that were direct copies of or in-the-style-of the Eames 670. Learn how to take your home from blah to bananas. Let’s look at a few of the most important reasons for the rise of the Eames DCM. They were literally everywhere, in our schools, our offices, homes and hospitals. Check out all of our accent chairs. And why would it be so successful, for so long, literally decades? The Eames Lounge Chair elevated itself into design stardom and it didn’t take long to achieve. They're usually larger and somewhat clumsier. This intervention was the single reason for the overwhelming success of the chair, production was multiplied by the thousands, new colors added to the range, fabrics and textiles would be available, new base types and installation possibilities brought in. Herman Miller recognized that the DCM would ‘tick the boxes’ of customers in a changing time, a time when 18th and 19th century was still the norm. Later Chinese and European companies began making direct copies. The third design that defined and created the very term 'Eames Chair' needs little introduction, it is the 1956 Eames Lounge Chair and matching Ottoman. It is the perfect phrase too for the Eames Lounge Chair because the ripple effect on the industry would be far and wide. The Eames Lounger is a visual masterpiece (and more) and the result of an unbelievably high amount of technical expertise. But the reality is that fashion rather crawls into changes, like a rolling stone, gaining popularity as it goes. Suite 1250 We described some of the work of Charles Eames and the Eames Office before as ‘rock star’ design and we can certainly draw some similarities between them and those that choose a musical path for a career. Never miss new arrivals that match exactly what you're looking for! Not only does it come in a variety of colors, you can choose from different styles including armless and armed versions with a number of bases. If you continue to use these The layers are glued together and shaped under heat and pressure. It was licensed in the UK for 10 years to Hille International LTD from 1957. This unit is suspended on the seat via two connection points in the armrests. But the fiberglass chairs took this concept to a whole new level. The shells and the seat cushions are essentially of the same shape, and composed of two curved forms interlocking to form a solid mass. Herman Miller marketing would have course play a role, they were good at it! The particular Eames chair was made from materials sourced within the US and without the need for neither import nor export. It was expensive, it was rare, an investment into your life, it was something to desire and strive for because it wasn’t (for many) easily available. Some would be loosely based on the design whilst others could be described as direct copies. "The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman debuted on national television in 1956. It is more than well publicized that the whole concept of the chair revolved around them being ‘value for money’. Also, look at the ottoman. Removable cushions: The cushions of the original Eames chair … This was achieved by the sheer luxury of the style, the crumpled high-quality leather and soft cushioning, all surrounded in the beautifully oiled Rosewood frame. Its getting there! Look for three specific measurements: Every original Eames Lounge Chair was marked with one of several different types of paper labels. Each week we feature some great Eames How many ways can you sit on a chair exactly? However, Herman Miller and Vitra remain the only two companies to produce these chairs with the Eames name attached. All items are pre-owned and consigned to The RealReal. Let’s face it, this meticulous need to strive for the very best in something really reaped reward here. Boasting the kind of icon status the rivals some celestial bodies, vintage Eames chairs are an obsession for many. Vintage chairs have five layers, while modern versions have seven. The 1946 release of the plywood furniture group would see a collection of very well thought out pieces that appealed across the board. Even as tastes changed into the 1970’s and 1980’s Herman Miller was still able to capitalize on commercial success through sales to hospitals, schools, businesses and government institutions. The front seat edge will be about 15 inches above the floor, but note that some copies have that same measurement. What better after a long hard day at work or tough meeting than to literally ‘sink’ into this chair of modern luxury. This is a used, Black original plastic Vitra Eames side shell, which comes with a used, original met... What a difference a decade makes! It goes without saying that Herman Miller was once again involved, after all they made it (and still do) but this time there was no need for them to save the day. Happiness by Design: Modernism and Media in the Eames Era. How-Tos, Home Tours and Designer Tips - Oh My! See George & Amal’s Elegant Dining Room — and Get the Look for Yourself. The Eames Lounge Chair is an icon of Modern style design, although when it was first made, Ray Eames remarked in a letter to Charles that the chair looked "comfortable and un-designy". 2. Further, early ottomans had removable rubber slide-on feet with metal glides, and early labels are of oblong foil.[3]. The three-week exhibition (13th to 31st March 1946) brought with it a huge recognition and showcased the new products to the watching world, including a rather large furniture brand. Many copies will be several inches to 10 or more inches taller than an original. Conquer in the sense that every single person, unless living a hermits life, would have heard their music or seen the mass hysteria on the television and would not go untouched by it. Other creative uses of materials include the seat cushions, which eschew standard stapled or nailed upholstery. We know them because we use them, have always used them and recognize them, even if we don’t know what they are. The first versions of the chairs were made from Aluminum before the advent of the new fiberglass blend would enable them to genuinely compete on that front. So just what was it about the Eames Lounger that thrust it into the limelight? While some chairs are still in production today, used Eames chairs can be shopped right here on Chairish! The backing affixes to the plywood shells with a series of hidden clips and rings. The third design that defined and created the very term 'Eames Chair' needs little introduction, it is the 1956 Eames Lounge Chair and matching Ottoman. A welcome return however was made when Herman Miller announced in 2013 that they would once again make the chairs in a selection of colors from the original material, adding to the unknown quantities of vintage originals. It was the first chair that the Eameses designed for a high-end market. ", "Shark Tank's new set, and five other terrific changes", "Eames furniture in film and the 'must see' exhibition at the Barbican", https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0478439/mediaviewer/rm30525696, "Lounge chair and ottoman, No. It would also see the first indication of an Eames trait whereby various chair bases utilizing the same tops could create what was essentially variants of the same thing. The Eames Lounge Chair first appeared on the Arlene Francis Home show broadcast on the NBC television network in the USA in 1956. The plywood group had a bit of everything, tables for dining (DTW) tables for occasional use (CTM, CTW, OTW) and chairs for lounge (LCW, LCM) alongside the chairs for dining, the DCW and DCM. Eames Chairs. This is how we see the Fiberglass Chairs of Charles Eames! But commitment by an inventor or a designer is a must in any project and let’s be honest, this can also be present even in ones that ultimately fail. Chairs modeled on the look and feel of the Lounger would begin appearing from furniture manufacturers the world over. Herman Miller’s own historical records confirm this, with 1952’s sales records showing that out of 21,526 plywood group chairs sold, some 18,000 of them were the DCM. Rybczynski, Witold. The original chair has several options for the color of the wood and the leather. But that extra level of desirability came from the marketing of others too, often by association because everyone ‘wanted to be seen’ with the Eames Lounge Chair. Chairish uses cookies to enhance your experience, allowing features like. The DCM was a bridge between the new and the old. How or why would it become known as the first ‘Eames Chair’? It wasn’t made entirely of ply but combined with bright chrome, it still had simplicity and it still consisted of a more traditional four-legged approach. You could argue that there were other designs in the plywood group that were more stylish, more unique and perhaps more unusual than the DCM, but that is exactly the reason for the success of the chair. Their reluctance to ‘go all in’ was somewhat hampering the ambitions of the fledgling Eames Office and help was sorely needed. The first loungers were made of molded plywood bases and finished in black leather with button tufting. Charles and Ray designed the iconic "La Chaise" lounge chair … There are age old tales of the chair being designed to resemble a ‘used baseball mitt’ although the inspiration is more likely to have come from the traditional ‘gentleman’s club’ chair. Either way, here was a chair you could place in your home or office and it literally beckoned you in and fed the subconscious with the belief that true comfort and relaxation await. Examples of these furnishings are part of the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art. The design was a real step away from what had come before as it was no longer constrained by the need for being of ‘value’ and for mass production at low cost. Some of the labels stated that the chair was made by Herman Miller, and others provided patent information. This is likely the single most important factor in the success of the DCM, the range and the Eames Office as a whole. Two other important details on the shell can help you determine whether or not a chair is a genuine article: The legs of a genuine Eames lounger have a bit of an angle, but they're not steep or flat. Make no mistake, Herman Miller turned around the fortunes of this furniture ‘start-up’. great one, but safe and secure too. Deviations from these measurements can indicate that your chair isn't authentic. Let's find out more. Every original Eames Lounge Chair was marked with one of several different types of paper labels. Big powerhouse firms such as Marlboro would employ the look and feel of the lounger to match with their own advertising. Today, it's one of the most significant furniture designs of all time. Their first design for the high-end market, it took the world by storm. They had flirted with it in the Plywood Group, the ability to ‘interchange’ a base in order to provide an entirely different look and feel to a chair. Their molded fiberglass chairs catapulted the brand to stardom in the 1950s, as the chair’s sculptural shape played into the era’s modern leanings. Read the advertisements for any piece of furniture up and down the country and this is a term loosely added to seemingly everything. Later, Vitra (in cooperation with the German furniture company Fritz Becker KG) began producing the chair for the European market. It was designed that way to take the weight off the lower back and spine. Located in Brooklyn, NY. The Eames molded plastic chairs are versatile too, working as dining chairs, desk chairs, or even just a simple accent chair. And for those that could afford it, here was a status symbol, a new modernist statement of luxury to go alongside your motor car and expensive Swiss watch. Here, we take a retrospective look at what made original ‘Eames Chairs’ quite so special and which ones stood head and shoulders over the rest in creating that reputation. It was conceptual, it was new, it was exciting, and it offered value for money, all of which are the building blocks of a successful product. 465 California Street If you see a chair you think is authentic at a too-good-to-be-true price, be sure to look further for signs that will confirm whether it is a copy or the real deal. What may be quite surprising to hear is that the Eames design only won a share of second prize, but it was a tough competition with noted designers from all around the world taking part. But unlike the struggles of the Evans company with the molded plywood, the chairs were initially being made and made well by Zenith Plastics, based in Los Angeles, California. The pair's first plywood chair—the Eames Lounge Chair Wood (LCW)—made use of a heavy rubber washer glued to the backrest of the chair and screwed to the lumbar support. A genuine Eames lounger ottoman will have four legs coming from the base, not five as seen in copies of the design. Vintage and new production loungers often sell in the same price range of between $5,000 and $6,500, depending on the materials. Miller negotiated and agreed to be the sole and exclusive distributor for the range. They are officially titled Eames Lounge (670) and Ottoman (671) and were released in 1956 after years of development by designers. Yet, as popular as the lounge chair and ottoman have become, they remain grounded in the handcrafted details that continue to distinguish this classic, authentic design," according to the Herman Miller website. Instead, the cushions are sewn with a zipper around the outer edge that connects them to a stiff plastic backing. This design, along with the hidden shock mounts in the armrest allow the outside veneer of the chair to be unmarred by screws or bolts. The design was a real step … Decorating guides, designer tips, home tours, and more! Mid-Century Modern Eames Herman Miller Fiberglass Swivel Shell Armchair, 1960s The war years had re-enforced Charles’ long held belief that the strengthened plywood could be something, and so it would be proven. Post war USA had a big vacuum of need, need for housing, for furnishing, for value and the plywood group and DCM flat out offered this. We've recently updated the Chairish, Inc. In 2006, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the chair, Herman Miller released models using a sustainable Palisander rosewood veneer. The use of Brazilian rosewood was discontinued in the early 1990s, and current production since then consists of seven layers of plywood covered by finishing veneers of cherry, walnut, Palisander rosewood (a sustainably grown wood with similar grain patterns to the original Brazilian versions), and other finishes. We must consider that, whilst there is no doubting the marketability of the Eames portfolio did wonders for many years, we could and should narrow the field of vision to a handful of designs that truly forged the reputation that became known as the 'Eames Chair'. This site uses cookies to improve your experience, to analyze website usage, and for marketing purposes. This however is exactly what created that extra dimension of desirability in the design. You can find these molded plywood and leather chairs in museums and the homes of the world’s elite. If you have caught your breath back, lets let that sink in for a minute. Vintage examples hold their value well, as does Eames furniture in general. View our privacy policy. The post war competition was setup to stimulate quality design with value in order to service the desperate need for housing and associated materials (furniture). For more information, please visit our But it was new, and it was interesting, and it was conceptual too. But it does exist, underneath the myriad of false pretenders and buzz-word filled sales talk, it really does, and the Eames fiberglass chairs had it in abundance. Introduced in 1956, the lounge chair with its coordinating ottoman continues to be one of the most recognizable of the Eames chair designs. The armrests are screwed to shock mounts, which are connected only by glue to the interior of the backrest shell, allowing the backrest and headrest to flex when the chair is in use. The Eames Lounge chair was that peak, the best material and rest that followed (though excellent of course) was arguably never quite as good and the furniture designs all but vanished in the later stages as Charles pursued his other artistic interests. The timing therefore of the DCM was literally ‘perfect’. Herman Miller was an established furniture giant with showrooms in many major US cities and a marketing experience at the top end of the industry, happy days! However, these types of labels can be removed or fall off for one reason or another over time. [5][6] Immediately following the debut, Herman Miller launched an advertising campaign that highlighted the versatility of the chair. The 1948 MOMA International Competition for Low Cost Furniture would be the springboard for the Fiberglass chairs, and they would be presented with some of the base options. Herman Miller acquired the full manufacturing rights from Zenith following their sale to 3M in 1955, providing for themselves the unlimited potential of realizing true mass production. The reality however is that there are some, more than others, that profess to have created that reputation, let's explore in more details. Made to a significantly low cost, mass produced easily and catering for domestic and commercial needs, it was the perfect design for the times. If you'd like to know how to spot an original from a replica or reproduction, learn to look for telling details. He introduced the Miller bosses to the works of Charles Eames at the MOMA exhibition of the new plywood furniture. Everyone wanted to be seen with the Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman, including this well known double page advert for this major brand in the 1950's. Print ads depicted the 670 in a Victorian parlor, occupied by a grandmother shelling peas on the front porch of an American Gothic style house, and in the middle of a sunny field of hay. The chair has a low seat which is permanently fixed at a recline. Most copies of the Eames Lounge Chair won't fit the original specifications of the design. It is very likely that the real need for post-war stimulation was at the heart of the decision and let’s face it, the designs were ultra-modern for the time. It was described to have "soft, wrinkly leather and plush down feathers" akin to more traditional upholstered chair styles. The Eames Lounge Chair and ottoman are furnishings made of molded plywood and leather, designed by Charles and Ray Eames for the Herman Miller furniture company.They are officially titled Eames Lounge (670) and Ottoman (671) and were released in 1956 after years of development by designers.It was the first chair … The war time collaboration between Charles Eames and the Evans Molded Plywood Division was moving into uncharted territory post war and Evans had zero experience in the furniture industry. © 2020 Chairish, Inc. All rights reserved. But what was it that created this desirability for a new design? The Eames’s intended their lounge chair to fit the lifestyle of the buyer. These washers, which have come to be called "shock mounts", allow the backrest to flex slightly. Charles and Ray Eames' modern take on a 19th century club chair was originally inspired by a "well-used first baseman's mitt." 12 Home Decor Pieces to Consign This Spring, How to Authenticate Picasso Artwork Like an Expert Curator. Adverts would appear all over the national press in various high-level publications and journals, but this was normal from a company well used to getting the word out there. [1], Charles and Ray Eames sought to develop furniture that could be mass-produced and affordable, with the exception of the Eames Lounge Chair. So, imagine the introduction of this range of amazing conceptual furniture designs but then consider the audience. Make no mistake, Herman Miller was once again instrumental in the Fiberglass chairs becoming the phenomena they have. They would both create and sustain the legend of the ‘eames chair’ through clever and eye-catching marketing campaigns that elevated the piece as ‘world famous’ as ‘cutting edge’ as ‘the Eames Chair’. Let us delve a little deeper and hand pick the three most defining eames chair designs, the ones that planted the very idea in one’s mind that something is not merely a ‘chair’ nor a ‘designer chair’ or even a ‘modern chair’ but an ‘Eames Chair’. 22" deep, 18.5" wide and 31" tall. The Eames’ earlier work had concentrated on providing value for money and fulfilling that need for post war conservatism.

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