Tag Archives: Charles and Ray Eames

December 11th Auction Preview Now OPEN

The preview for the December 11, 2011 Important Modern Art & Design auction has officially opened today!

Come to the LAMA Showroom to see over 500 lots of exceptional modern fine art and design, including works by Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton, Dan Johnson, Charles & Ray Eames, Philip Johnson, Robert Graham, Timo Sarpaneva, Greene & Greene, Raymond Loewy, and John Chamberlain.

Preview Dates:
Thursday, December 1st – Saturday, December 10th
open daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
16145 Hart Street Van Nuys, CA 91406

Auction Date:
Sunday, December 11, 2011; 12pm (PST)
16145 Hart Street Van Nuys, CA 91406

All lots are online here. 

For all bidding inquires, please call 323-904-1950 to speak with a LAMA representative directly.

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A Chair as Architecture: The Eames Child’s Chair

For a very brief time during the late 1940s, Charles & Ray Eames designed a group of children’s furniture. The set included a chair, stool, and table, produced with a new technique – molded plywood.

Evans Products, who was already tasked by the Eames Office to produce molded plywood objects, was grappling with the inevitable transition from wartime production (Leg Splints for the war effort) to peacetime production (home furnishings) and Eames cleverly designed this suite of furniture with that in mind.

Created using a single piece of molded plywood, the Eames Office used their creative architectural and engineering skills to shape the negative spaces of the legs/feet, keeping in mind the structural integrity of the seat to conform to a child’s size and weight.

The children’s furniture came in a variety of kid-friendly colors too (red, blue, green, magenta, and yellow), all aniline-dyed into the Birch wood.  True to the Eames Office spirit and creativity – known for their whimsical nature – the chair was equipped with a finger hole cut in the shape of a heart designed for easy moving.  This was the first time this romantic symbol was used by Charles & Ray Eames – only later to be seen in several of their graphics, drawings, and most of their personal letters and famous Christmas cards.


Around the same time, interestingly, the Eames Office designed children’s toys such as the Elephant, Frog, Seal, Bear, and Horse.  These were never mass-produced and only exist in books; however there are a fortunate few who have seen the original handmade Elephant.

For a brief year (1946-47), the children’s furniture was available for purchase at exclusive Eames-friendly boutiques like Alexander Girard’s store in Michigan and Kitty Weese in Chicago, but very few examples exist today.  It is thought that less than 5,000 examples of the furniture suite were produced; however, we here at LAMA have only personally seen one table – we snuck off to London to see the Eames exhibit in 1998 – but we have never seen a chair in green or blue!

In the grand time line of the Eames’ success, this children’s chair design was an important step in what was to come of their low-cost post-war home furnishings as well as a tribute to the clever architectural genius of Charles & Ray Eames and the Eames Office.

To quote Charles Eames,

“Furniture, and especially chairs, interests me because it is a piece of architecture on the human scale…That’s why architects design furniture – so you can design a piece of architecture you can hold in your hands.”

Lot Information:

Lot 41
Charles & Ray Eames
Child’s Chair 
Evans Molded Plywood Division designed 1945 
Plywood with red analine dye finish 
14.5″h x 14.5″w x 11″d
Produced for only one year, approximately 5,000 chairs and stools were made in total.
Estimate $7,000 – 9,000
June 26, 2011 Modern Art & Design Auction


Literature:

The Story of Eames Furniture, Marilyn Neuhart with John Neuhart, Gestalten, 2010, pg 352-360

Eames Design:  The Work of the Office of Charles and Ray Eames, John Neuhart, Marilyn Neuhart, Ray Eames, Abrams, 1985, pg 55

100 Quotes by Charles Eames, Carla Hartman, Eames Office, 2007, Pg 106

The Story of Eames Furniture

Just got our copy of The Story of Eames Furniture by Marilyn Neuhart and John Neuhart! The two-volume, 800 page book sheds light on the design process of the Eames Office and details the extraordinary impact the Eames Office had on the scope of modern design. This is a library staple. Get your copy here.

Peter’s Auction Picks of the Day: October 12th

 

Eames vs. Borsani
My two picks today are the Eames Sofa Compact (Lot 376) and the Borsani Lounge Chair (Lot 354).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We happened to place these pieces near each other in the preview and I was struck with how well they work together. Each were developed around the same time, half a world a part, however Eames’ design for a collapsible sofa is one that reduces down to a 10 inch x 6 foot box. This is one of the most ingenious designs for a sofa from the mid-century period; it is the ultimate functional seating wrapped in a svelte package.

The Borsani lounge also has characteristics which allows it to bend and fold like origami into a small package for shipping, and then out again into a luxurious, first-class recliner, reminiscent of today’s business class seating on an international flight.

Both of these designs are set on a simple steel frame and both are upholstered in charcoal tone, but there is a beautiful contrast in the connections of each element of these two designs. Where Eames is linear, Borsani curves. Where Borsani straightens out,  Eames bends. Where Eames’ structure is exposed, Borsani’s is contained. But amid all their differences, they seem happy together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lot Information

354
Osvaldo Borsani
Lounge chair
Model no. P40
Tecno, designed 1955
Retains Tecno label
36”h x 27.25”w x 33”d
October 17, 2010 Auction
$2,500-3,500

376
Charles & Ray Eames
Sofa Compact
Model no. 473
Herman Miller, designed 1954
Black vinyl
36”h x 29”d x 71”
October 17, 2010 Auction
$2,000-3,000

 

 

The Process: Eames Contract Storage

After removing the Eames Contract Storage from its original home in Brentwood, CA, we have now put it back together in the LAMA Showroom lobby.  From start to finish it took 7 hours to complete. Come by the preview (beings tomorrow, hours: 10am – 6pm) to get the full ECS experience.

October 17, 2010 Modern Art & Design Auction, 12pm Noon (PST)
Preview Hours: October 9th – 16th; open daily 10am – 6pm
Location: 16145 Hart St, Van Nuys, CA 91406

Eames Contract Storage

On the way to the Brentwood home where this Eames Contract Storage Unit resided, I was thinking of the ways I could graduate from modern art neophyte to at least an amateur status.

I had only been living in California for two weeks when I was hired to work as an assistant to help remove and transport modern art and furniture.  By confessing my blue-collar dream job of becoming a moving man, I had landed myself some temporary work.  For a strange and unknown reason, I find that moving furniture is just as relaxing as sitting on it.  And really, it couldn’t be any harder than moving my very un-modern green and black sofa bed out of a Baltimore City basement, right?

I was smart enough and scared enough to know, without being told, that I couldn’t bump furniture into the walls.  There would also be no forcing, wiggling, pushing, or slamming anything through a door frame.  There would be a new set of rules to accompany these delicate objects.

Upon entering the home, I was confronted with an array of stunning artwork, the most I had seen outside of museums or the LAMA warehouse.  As I surveyed the living room and dining room, I realized that we would probably be removing more of this artwork than I had originally thought.  Peter taught me how to shrink-wrap paintings in moving blankets and once he trusted me enough to complete them on my own, he ventured down the hallway.  I became curious to see Peter’s primary reason for this voyage.

The simple yet inviting bedroom – shadowy carpet, smooth wood, single bed, and a wide view of the verdant backyard – pleaded for a student.  It wished for books scattered on the floor, photos and a calendar posted on the tack board, and a record player in the corner.  Perhaps feeling the room’s eagerness, I ached to lie on the bed with a pencil and a literature anthology.  The bed was attached to the desk, which was attached to the cabinets and drawers, which were attached to the wall.  It looked as though the unit belonged to the wall, as if it was essential to the house’s frame.  I wanted to interact with it, draw at the desk and hang my clothing in the closets; sadly though, my job was to break it down and haul it away.

Post removal, I had graduated, but the room was naked, missing the integral, straightforward, and efficient Eames design.

Paul DesMarais, Contributing Writer

Lot Information:

Lot 306
Charles & Ray Eames
Storage Unit
Model no. ECS
Herman Miller, designed 1961
This example was the showroom model (as constructed by the Eames Office) at The Herman Miller Showroom in Los Angeles
78”h x 159”l x 24”d (84” with bed)
October 17, 2010 Auction
$10,000-15,000

This complete Eames Contract Storage will be going up for auction on Sunday, October 17, 2010. For more information on how to bid, please visit the LAMA online catalogue.

The Hang-It-All: A Gift from Ray Eames to Elaine K. Sewell Jones

The Hang-It-All, a well-known, iconic piece from Charles and Ray Eames, is a common piece put into reproduction due to its functionality and playful design. We, however, are selling an original Hang-It-All in the upcoming Spring 2010 LAMA Auction. This particular Hang-It-All is not just an ordinary original, this model was a gift from Ray Eames herself to Elaine K. Sewell Jones, the widow of A. Quincy Jones. In addition this example is in near pristine original condition, which is rare to find.  Stay tuned for our Spring 2010 Auction to see this piece in our catalog and eventually go on the auction block.

Original Hang-It-All by Charles and Ray Eames

Original Hang-It-All by Charles and Ray Eames

Detail of Original Hang-It-All by Charles and Ray Eames