Year: 1956

Designer: Charles and Ray Eames

Provenance: U.S.

If the LCW is the workaday sedan of design, the Eames lounge chair and matching ottoman, No. 670 and 671, are the Rolls-Royce of 20th-century chairs. “Unlike most other chairs by Charles and Ray Eames, this one was aimed squarely at the luxury end of the market,” Fiell says. “It was and remains very expensive.” It’s one of the most instantly recognizable designs by the Eames duo—and for good reason. “Comfortable and puffy like an old-fashioned club sofa, it is the mid-20th-century answer to the Victorian daybed,” Miller writes. Best known for their efforts to create inexpensive furniture pieces that could be mass-produced easily, the Eames set is the husband-and-wife team’s take on luxury. “The couple’s genius lies in the fact that the chair and ottoman look equally appropriate in the executive office, a home study, or the family den,” Miller adds. It’s also the best example of the evolution of the lounge chair typology, Vitra’s Liv Buur explains. “Charles and Ray Eames studied the chesterfield and the English club chair, in an aim to design a chair with similar comfort but a more easy and contemporary appearance. They succeeded—big time—both in design and longevity.” The seat was released by Herman Miller in 1956 and has been produced by Vitra uninterrupted since it was designed. The first chairs introduced in the 1950s still exist today and continue to be one of the most collectible models of sexy (not to mention comfortable) midcentury design.

$5,916, Herman Miller

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