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Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman: Real, Fake, or Reproduction?
Authentic Herman Miller produced Eames Lounge Chairs are labeled in several places with both paper and permanently attached metal labels. Modern chairs are constructed of seven layers of molded plywood in three shells [seat, back, and headrest] that should give the impression that they are floating. The veneers on these shells are carefully matched, as is the fine-grained leather used for the cushions. The shells are separated from the connecting posts by thick rubber cushions that allow for some flexing in the design.
The chair has a 5-legged base of die-cast aluminum; the ottoman has four legs. Each foot is made of rubber or plastic. The chair swivels a full 360 degrees but it does not recline; it is fixed at a permanent 15-degree angle. The cushions are constructed of soft pliable leather over six inches of foam. Two leather buttons can be found towards the center of each cushion. The padded armrests are angled inwards towards the seat for maximum comfort.
Eames Lounge Chairs produced by the Herman Miller Company range in price from $4500 to $6800, depending on finishes and retailers.
The Eames [eemz] Lounge Chair, officially titled Eames Lounge (670) and Ottoman (671), were released in 1956 after years of development by designers Charles and Ray Eames for the Herman Miller furniture company. It was the first chair the Eames designed for a high-end market. They are made of molded plywood and leather, and examples of these furnishings are part of the permanent collection of New York s Museum of Modern Art. They are prized for comfort, aesthetics, and for the pioneering use of new materials and manufacturing methods.
There is a decent used market for these chairs. Some collectors are willing to pay high prices for earlier chairs made with Brazilian Rosewood veneer, which is no longer available due to a worldwide embargo since 1992. Prices for original rosewood chairs have recently reached as much as $7,000 in auction. A new Eames Lounge Chair and ottoman starts at $3,200 for a Herman Miller model. In 2006, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the chair, Herman Miller released models using a sustainable Palisander Rosewood veneer.
The World of Charles and Ray Eames @ the Barbican
Never heard of Charles and Ray Eames before. Did not realise Ray (b.1912) was the wife of Charles (b.1907). Did not know that, as a team, they are among the most influential (American) designers of the twentieth century.
They met in 1940 at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where Charles was head of Industrial Design, married in 1941 and moved to Los Angeles. They were working on the problems of moulding plywood to make chairs and other furniture when war broke out (December 1941) and they quickly got a contract to supply a design of leg splint to the US Navy. They moved their workshop to 901 Washington Boulevard in Venice, Los Angeles, which became the Eames office for the next 45 years.
The Eames Executive/Lobby Chair
The Herman Miller website boasts this chair as a luxury product, which is generously sized and features the highest quality materials, available in leather and a wide range of fabrics. Colour variations and surface marks are an inherent characteristic of this material, which will acquire wrinkles and creases and develop a rich patina over time.
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