Lounging in a Mitt

Envisaged to emulate “the warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt,”

Published: 12th November 2016 12:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th November 2016 01:27 PM   |  A+A-


If there was a king among seats, the Eames Lounge chair, which combines technology with intricate hand labour and craftsmanship,  would be it. Designed in 1956, the chair (and ottoman) celebrate its 60th birthday this year.

Today, the Lounge Chair and Ottoman may be considered icons of mid-century modern design, but when the Eameses first produced them, the pieces came with soft, wrinkly leather and plush down feathers—materials that weren’t considered modern at all.


Envisaged to emulate “the warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt,” the chair was designed by husband-wife duo Charles and Ray Eames as a comfortable 20th-century interpretation of the 19th-century English club chair.

To start with, the chair’s leather upholstery was combined with five thin layers of plywood topped with a finishing veneer of Brazilian rosewood. In the 1990s, the chair was rejigged to accommodate seven layers of plywood, and cherry, walnut and Palisander rosewood were used as finishing veneers. 

Though it has flirted with popular entertainment (appearing on the sets of the 90’s sitcom Frasier and House MD), the chair has long surpassed the status of a coveted piece of furniture and become known as a brilliant work of art instead.

Art that adorns the living room floor, instead of a wall. The chair’s 50th anniversary a decade ago was commemorated by The Melbourne Design Festival with an Eames exhibition exhibiting a rosewood veneer model created by the Herman Miller furniture company that has been producing the chair 
since its inception. You can have one on order from hermanmiller.in for `4,30,900. 

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