A passionate and informed Eames collectorPosted September 12, 2014
This story marks the first of many exciting community contributions to the Your Eames Story section of our website.
My journey with Eames designs started in June 2012 when I decided to “play cheap” by buying an Eames Lounge Chair replica. I learned the hard way and had to return the chair four times, because each and every time there was a problem with it. That’s when I decided to look for a vintage piece. But, again, it was another lesson, as I was deceived into buying yet another knockoff.
After that point, I made up my mind to try to study everything I could about the Eames Lounge Chair so that I would not be victimized again due to a lack of education. In December 2012, my wife and I drove one thousand miles within twenty-four hours to find my first authentic Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman in the striking Santos Palisander veneer. It’s so beautiful that I have a smile on my face whenever I see it sitting in our living room.
Having the first Eames Lounge Chair was not enough; instead, it was fuel for my ongoing quest for other Eames designs. Since I’d acquired a more recent production, my goal was to study and look for more vintage and rare pieces. It didn’t take too long before I found myself bringing home another Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman.
What was special about this set was that it had the boot glides on the ottoman and three screws under each armrest, which dated it back to the 1950’s. Though close to 60 years old, the set was in incredible shape. The only thing that needed replacing was the shock mounts. After the repair, the chair came back alive and was almost better than new.
In fact, that’s what I’ve learned to appreciate about Eames designs: the more use they get, the more beautiful they become. The human touch on Eames furniture is apparent in both the manufacturing process and the end user’s experience. As a passionate collector, I’ve been fortunate enough to own both new and vintage Eames design items. While, for the most part in life, new items are preferred, in the world of collecting, vintage pieces tell you stories about the personalities, habits, and families of previous owners; those components add character and life to one’s collection.
I must admit that collecting Eames has been an obsession and addiction. I enjoy both the process and outcome of the hunt. Each and every piece has its own story—from a DCW that’s been passed down from four generations ago to an Eames Lounge Chair that was found on a hiking trail. So far, I’ve owned over 60 pieces of Eames items. Unfortunately, out of necessity, I’ve had to pass some of them on to other collectors and families simply because we don’t have enough living space.
It’s been interesting to learn the different aspects of Eames designs since I started collecting. Obviously, I’ve made more than a few mistakes, but more importantly, I’ve met other enthusiastic Eames collectors, and they’ve given me a tremendous amount of wisdom and broadened my horizon. Graham Mancha, in particular, has been a generous and instrumental source of knowledge and guidance for me as a young collector. Although my journey with collecting Eames started only two years ago, it’s going stronger than ever, and I plan on continuing and passing on this passion of mine to whoever is interested in knowing more.
– “KL,” an Eames enthusiast and collector
Header image: Eames Lounge Chair, top left to right: A) rosewood with boot glides, 1956-1959 B) rosewood, 1960s C) rosewood, 1958 D) cherry, 2005 E) rosewood, 1970s
First story image: Eames Lounge Chair in Santos Palisander
Middle image: Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman in rosewood, 1960s
Bottom image: A) Eames LCM in black, 1950s B) Eames DCW in ash, 1950s C) Eames DCM, possibly in teak, 1950s