Modernist 20th Century /06 June 2004


Charles and Ray Eames

pre-production DKR
Zenith plastics
USA, c. 1948
hand laid fiberglass, enameled metal
26½ w × 22 d × 30 h in (67 × 56 × 76 cm)

The DKR offered here is the earliest complete fiberglass chair made at Zenith Plastics under the direction of Charles and Ray Eames. The chair represents the first post-war fiberglass chair ever made, a remarkable departure in the history of chair design through the twentieth century. The final form seen in production examples of the shell chairs had not yet been refined in this early example. This fiberglass shell illustrates the production process of the earliest examples by having only one finished side and rough fibers on the underside that are painted to match the smooth resin coat of the interior. The shell of this example contains a single circular mold mark indicating the air vent for the release of compressed air needed to remove the shell from the one-piece mold. The early Eiffel Tower base has applied ball feet, predating the rubber glides of production examples and a slightly heavier construction than production chair bases. This example has been authenticated by Sol Fingerhut, chief engineer at Zenith Plastics and a close collaborator of Charles Eames on the project.Exhibited: Eames Connections, San Francisco Airport Museum, 2001Eames Design, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and Suntory Museum, Osaka, 2001-2002, JapanEames Chair Exhibition, Eames Office Gallery, Santa Monica, 2003Literature: Eames Design: Charles & Ray Eames, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, illustrated

estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $28,320

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