Objects of Desire

Adele Shotton-Pugh | Posted

During the 1950’s, enterprising furniture companies began to forge productive and long lasting partnerships with the leading designers of the day. In the USA one company stood out above all others: Herman Miller. Their relationship with Charles and Ray Eames –two of the greatest designers in American history- would lead to the creation and production of some of the most lauded and sought after pieces of furniture the world has seen.

Charles Eames, working in collaboration with his wife Ray, pushed forward technological frontiers by constant experimentation with moulded plywood and plastics. Dining and living room chairs, stacking chairs, desks, screens, wall units: virtually any piece by the Eameses is now highly collectable today, and in this artic le we will take a look at some of the best examples to look out for.

The Eames fibreglass rocking chair was sold by Herman Miller from 1950 to 1968, then, quite amazingly, was offered only as a gift to employees of the company who became parents. Comprising of a revolutionary pure white one-piece, sculpted fibreglass seat, which curls gracefully around its occupant, taking on the look of an exotic flower, and a delicate, catamaran-like, rocking base, the chair has an almost ethereal feel. It exudes a calm wistfulness and, if you can find one, would be the perfect accessory in the corner of a study, library or nursery room.

If it is a real statement piece you need to really fill a space, look no further than the La Chaise chair. The La Chaise dominates any room in which it is placed. Though identical in its physical makeup and fabric composition to the Eames rocking chair, it is completely free from in terms of its shape and unlike any other chair you will come across. If, looking at one, you are wondering how a design so space age and complicated in terms of its shape could have been made so long ago, congratulations you have rumbled a little known secret. Though designed by the Eameses in 1948, the chair could not be produced, and remained a concept and no more until recent years. Looking just as current as anything designed over the last ten year, the La Chaise is a tribute to the forward thinking genius of the Eameses.

Saving the best until last, the Eames lounge chair 670 with its matching ottoman is so iconic it borders on retro cliché and has been the must have piece for the discerning collector in every design era since its introduction in1956. Standing on a rotating metal base, the rosewood shell of both the chair and ottoman oozes class and expense as it wraps around the plump, down-filled leather upholstery. The chair is broken down into segments, enabling it to grip every contour of its occupant, providing ultimate comfort.
So popular are these chairs, they still in production today so if you can’t find an original, you will easily get your hands on a reproduction. They don’t come cheap but as you sigh a long and relaxing breath and kick off your shoes to nestle your feet into the cushioned leather of the ottoman, never will you more feel the benefit of money well spent.

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