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Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman: Real, Fake, or Reproduction?

The Eames Lounge Chair is that iconic wood and leather chair that looks sort of like a baseball glove. Its three curved wooden frames hold thick comfy cushions to cradle your body all over at a slightly inclined angle. It has been in continuous production since its debut on the Arlene Francis show in 1956, inspiring numerous knock-offs and some genuine reproductions. In 1960, an original Brazilian rosewood Eames Lounge chair and ottoman were donated by the Herman Miller Company, the U. S. manufacturer, to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, where they became part of the permanent collection.

The chair was later seen on the TV show Frazier, which brought it to public notice again. Original chairs can still be found on eBay for upwards of $3700, along with numerous “Eames-style” chairs. It is a classic comfortable addition to any living space, but what is the difference between the “real” ones and the reproductions?

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.

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Currently my favorite corner of the house

The thing about this chairs is that, in my mind, it is the quintessentially perfect chair. I have been thinking about this for the last few weeks since these six came in, and I just can not put my finger on anything that rivals it. I know that Kagan, Wegner, Baughman, Breuer, Ohlsson, Jacobsen, Larsen, etc. all made some gorgeous chairs fifty years ago and that there has been no shortage of killer sweet chair designs since, but consider this:

1) IMHO, the Eames shell chair does not have a bad line anywhere – even the legs of the H-bases are splayed at the perfect angles;

2) this is one of the most versatile chairs ever made – lounge chair, dining chair, rocking chair, side chair, desk chair, salon chair, airport chair bank, etc.- you name it, there is probably a base out there for it;

3) it is really freaking comfortable (or at least is fits my body shape well);

4) when treated with care and not left in direct sunlight, they will just about last forever; and

5) they look good next to anything, even four feet away from an 1850s plantation-style secretary (see image below).

Could you really want for anything more? In my mind, not really. The trouble is, however, finding matched sets. One is easy, a pair is manageable, three is a crowd and just seems awkward, and four is the tipping point for having a legitimate setup. So of course I was ecstatic to read a CL post for six matching Eames shell armchairs in green at a relatively reasonable price. I jumped on it with an email and text that night and a phone call first thing in the morning. The gentleman on the other end seemed to think I was crazy for shipping six of these chairs sight-unseen all the way out to Cali., but I was determined, even if I was not sure where I was going to put all of them. I asked for a few more pics, which are copied below.

Mini Eames Lounge Chair

El sillón Eames Lounge es un clásico del diseño y Kevin Spencer crea una perfecta miniatura de este sillón gracias a la impresión 3D a color. Esta réplica está disponible en distintas escalas, en las imágenes vemos la versión en la escala 1:20 que tiene unos 5 centímetros de alto y cuenta con todos los detalles de la original, como los paneles de madera, la textura de los cojines y la otomana para crear una réplica perfecta. Si quieres puedes comprar este conjunto perfecto para decorar un escritorio haciendo click acá.

Eames Chair! – Spot the icon game.

Though there seems to be endless options for

furnishings and decor you might be surprised

to find that designers have quite literally seen it all.

With trade-shows, catalogs, design centers

and an incredible amount of knock offs

(“value engineered” as we say) we are exposed to everything the major brands are coming out

with. We love walking into a space and pointing to

the furniture or accessories and proclaiming

“Hudson Furniture Chandelier – used in X project!”

Iconic furniture is all over the television

and movies these days as well.

Everywhere from the obvious (Mad Men) to random car commercials, we love being the first to spot the iconic furniture in the frame. And double points for spotting a totally unrealistic portrayal, like when the person is living on a tight budget yet they have a perfectly designed home or a $3000 chair to lounge around in. Have you spotted any of these icons lately? What do you think is the single most overly used piece? Barcelona Chair is probably at the top of our list!