Charles Eames The Iconic 20th Century Designer

Charles Eames The Iconic 20th Century Designer

Coming up in our auction of Design in January 2022, we have a collection of Eames designs that were once owned by the architect John ‘Jack’ Bonnington and used at his offices in Tyttenhanger House near St Albans. 

29 December 2021

Charles Eames and his wife, Ray, are considered the most important American designers of the 20th century. Influenced by new materials in the 1940s, such as moulded plywood, their work was innovative and cutting-edge. Even today, designs look elegant, refined and practical, and are still highly sought after throughout the world.

In the early 1950s, Eero Saarinen and Alex Girard were asked to design a house for the industrialist Irwin Miller, in Columbus, Indiana.  They approached Charles Eames to design ‘high quality outdoor seating’ - the three were all known to each other,  as Saarinen had studied with Eames, and Girard was a member of the team at Herman Miller who made many of Charles Eames’ designs.

It was this commission that led to Eames designing the ‘Aluminium Group’ chairs that were, in part, designed for the outdoor, but quickly became synonymous with the interior look of the late 1950s and 60s. 

Eames Chairs Sworders Design Jan 2022

The designs in our forthcoming auction in the New Year include examples of the ‘EA116’ lobby chairs (lots 487 and 488), and the ‘EA105’ office chairs (lots 573 and 603). These were all once owned by the architect John ‘Jack’ Bonnington and used at his offices in Tyttenhanger House near St Albans. The modernist home that Bonnington built for himself, Ferrum House is now for sale with The Modern House.

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