The Eames Shell Chair

Are you sensing a theme? I love vintage mid-century chairs. I mean, what would this era be without Charles and Ray Eames designs? They were a powerhouse design couple who met at Cranbrook and starting working together in the 1940s. They designed many chairs that I love in addition to other furniture, textiles, architecture, and even films, but today I thought I’d discuss their fiberglass molded shell chair manufactured by Herman Miller. It’s iconic and was originally made of fiberglass yet became the first mass-produced plastic molded chair. Production began in 1950.

Eames shell chair in olive green naughahyde with an "H style" base.

Eames shell chair in olive green naughahyde with an “H style” base.

I just finished restoring one of these beauties made of fiberglass that was lined in a beautiful olive green naugahyde. The chair was in great condition despite some rusty screws and threads which attached the base to the shell seat. One of the screws broke when I was disassembling it to ship to a customer. Luckily I was able to repair the chair easily and quickly! I ordered replacement shocks and screws. The original threads were embedded in the fiberglass. However, the new shocks had threads embedded in them and could be attached to the fiberglass seat with a special type of epoxy. All better now!

 Eames Rocking Chair

Eames Rocking Chair

These chairs come in many different colors, some rarer than others. The early versions of the chair feature “rope” edges and are very valuable chairs! They come in different style base styles including the H-style, effiel tower, rocker, cat’s cradle….just to name a few. They are a classic mid-century modern design that can be mixed with other styles. These are a great investment piece for your home. I truly believe these chairs are timeless, and will never go out of style!


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