This entry was made of metal rather than fiberglass, but the possibilities for the design were unmistakable. By , Herman Miller was making an armless side chair version that is still in production today, proving that classic design never goes out of style. The Eames Fiberglass Side Chair was introduced in , a year after the original "shell" chair with arms was offered for sale. The back and seat of these chairs are made of a single piece of molded fiberglass contoured to the shape of the human body.
Why choosing authentic designs over knockoffs is so important. Charles along with his wife Ray are probably the most famous design partnership in American history. They also designed what has come to be known as the most knocked off piece of furniture in American history; The Eames Molded Plastic Chair original designation commonly referred to as the fiberglass or shell chair, and now produced by Herman Miller in polypropylene Molded Plastic , in fiberglass Molded Fiberglass , and in plywood Molded Wood. Whether its fiberglass, plywood, or plastic, the iconic Eames shell chair has also sparked one of the largest knockoff design debates in history. Understandably, Mark had a lot to say about knockoffs and not just because of the ongoing legal battle with Los Angeles-based furniture company, Modernica. By the 70s environmental risks associated with fiberglass production were becoming more widely understood, leading to the eventual decision in the late 80s to discontinue fiberglass shell production until a more suitable material could be found.
Because of the lounge of the fibers being visible in the material, more recent versions of the chair are made from more environmentally friendly fiberglass that mimics material used in vintage pieces. The newer authentic Eames molded side chairs will be marked as noted above to help you distinguish them from other molded plastic lookalikes worth far less. So you have a chair that you think is the real deal, but you want to be worth. One of the easiest things to do is compare it to a chair you know to be worth. This might take the form of looking at vintage Eames chairs being offered by reputable sellers online, or visiting a local brick and mortar shop specializing in Mid-Century design.
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