The Chair by Charles & Ray Eames

We often talk to you about Charles & Ray Eames, but we have to say in our defence that there is no shortage of topics! The couple is regularly in the news! In recent weeks, we have covered various events such as the exhibition “The World of Charles & Ray Eames” and the 50 reinterpretations of the Wire chair. And remember, several months ago we also gave you some tips on how to recognise a real fibreglass chair from an ordinary copy!

Once again, we wanted to focus on the work of the Eames and more specifically on a very particular creation: the chair called La Chaise.


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In a post-war context where the need for furnishings for middle-class American homes was growing, the renowned Museum of Modern Art in New York organised the“Low-Cost Furniture Design” competition in 1948. The competition attracted 2,500 American designers – including Charles & Ray Eames – and 500 European designers. The couple proposed the Fiberglass chair and won second prize. The Eames also presented an impressive and incredible chair called The Chair . The name of this model is of course derived from its function, but not only! What is less well known is that this emblematic chair owes its name to the sculptor Gaston Lachaise, whose work “Floating Figure” was a great inspiration for the couple!


Floating Figure (1927, bronze), no. 5 of an edition of 7, purchased in 1978 by the National Gallery of Australia. Source: wikipedia

Although exceptional in its appearance and complexity, the chair did not receive a prize in the competition. However, it did attract the attention of many design enthusiasts and professionals! An original seat with astonishing curves, it offers the possibility to sit down but also to lie down, a real prowess for its time! A spectacular creation due to its voluminous shape and generous dimensions, this icon of organic design required a particularly expensive manufacture. This is why it was not until the development of new production techniques and strong public demand that Vitra finally decided to produce and distribute La Chaise!in 1996



As is often the case for pieces courted by design lovers, there are unfortunately many low-end copies! Here are some clues to distinguish an original from a fake:

  • It is produced by a single manufacturer : Vitra
  • Vitra prints the La Chaise models:


  • The white shell is made of fibreglass
  • The base is made of chromed steel and wood
  • The base is made of solid natural oak with a natural wood effect varnish
  • The price: a minimum of 6 700€

is required for a new model!

The Chair is a timeless piece which, despite the decades, continues to seduce and make people dream! Its rarity, its volume, its audacious lines are all qualities that call out and justify its status as a design icon.

Find the authentic La Chaise chair by Charles & Ray Eames on Design Market