The Eames Elephant Chair is just waiting to take you on an exotic jungle journey. The journey this elephant took to get to market is a saga in itself. This kids chair was perhaps the most sophisticated example of plywood moulding and manufacturing techniques when it was originally created in 1945. After a glorious debut exhibiting at MoMA, it would than disappear for the next 60 years. Why it never went into production is unknown, but we’d suggest it had a lot to do with the complexity of manufacturing the plywood pieces versus an affordable sale price.
Finally Vitra would release a limited run (2000 units) of the original design in plywood to mark the 100th birthday of Charles Eames in 2007. These rare plywood versions have become extremely valuable collectables. Unfortunately this completely misses the elephants original purpose – as a child’s toy. Shortly after Vitra would release the polypropylene versions which we are now familiar with and are surprisingly affordable.
This American midcentury classic is available in a large array of matt colours from Vitra.