The images posted today by Barry Smith of his beloved Eames Executive Chair capture every angle, every sumptuous curve, coming as close to pornography as photos of furniture can come. I don’t blame him for his idolization. Charles and Ray’s design for the Time-Life Building in New York City is, for me, the epitome of the 1960s office chair: thick buttoned cushions wrapped in leather and trimmed with chrome. The glorious news for those of you lusting along with me is that Barry has six more where this came from, and they’re for sale.
Thanks to the Vintage Eames pages at Eames Office, you can enjoy a 1966 brochure in PDF form, promoting the “Eames Executive Office Group”. At that time the chair was known as the “3474 Tilt-Swivel chair”. Here’s the glorious cover with photography by fashion giant HIRO (love the organizer unit with telephone mount).
Like those from the brochure, Barry’s models sit on a four-castor base. The newer models shown at Herman Miller, DWR, and Eames Collector were updated in 1990 with five legs. Also known as the Time Life Lobby Chair, more images can be found at Architonic and Artfact.
Here are a couple of beautiful castor-less Lobby Chairs that were sold by Esch de Vere, London:
Above: the chair made a cameo in 2004’s “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers”.
The following bit of trivia from the Herman Miller site is apt, following Bobby Fischer’s recent passing:
In 1972, chess grand master Bobby Fischer specifically requested the Eames executive chair while he competed in the World Chess Championship in Reykjavik, Iceland. He said he could concentrate well in the chair. When opponent Boris Spaasky saw it, he refused to play until he got one, too.
Update, Feb. 23: Barry Smith’s collection of Time-Life chairs for sale: