If you have been around me at all since Saturday theres a pretty big chance you've heard me rant about this chair. I figured I might spare the rest of my nerdy social media posts and just blog about it, I don't want to over indulge my followers.
So here's the story...
I wanted to buy some roller blades that I saw at a thrift store and Saturday is the only day this specific thrift store is open that I'm not working. So I already had premeditated plans to thrift. Saturday's living in a neighborhood during the summer can be fun, because there is always at least one garage sale within walking distance from my house. Which is kind of interesting when you grew up in the middle of nowhere, and even going to a garage sale meant more effort than it was often worth.
I wasn't in any kind of rush so on my way to the thrift store I saw a sign for a garage sale, that I impulsively followed. I got there and they didn't have a ton of things, but under some fishing poles and frames I saw this chair. A lady came out and I asked her how much she wanted for the chair. Her response was three dollars. I looked around and also found two vintage wire baskets that she offered to me for a dollar each. I decided that it was a pretty decent deal, so I went back to my car to get money.
I loaded up my baskets, she even let me fill them up with a bunch of frames for two more dollars. So I spent a total of $7 and got a basket full of frames, two wire baskets, and a chair. I moved things around in my back seat to accommodate for the chair and when I flipped it over to fit it in my car I saw a Herman Miller logo embossed on the bottom of the seat. I was stunned. Needless to say I was eager to get home and do some googling. I did go buy my roller blades first though.
You probably don't realize why this was exciting to me. Let me continue.
Charles and Ray Eames are designers that dreamed up some of the most iconic modern furniture in American history. Let's just say that if you don't know who they are you should pause your reading, do a little googling, and come back.
Ok, so now you know them. They are some of my design heroes. Just the way that they dream up things and see the world it's just my favorite. Like I said, go read all you can about them and you'll probably end up feeling the same way about them that I do.
I got home and cleaned up the chair a little, just to sort of see what kind of condition it was in. I didn't really think a lot about the purchase so I didn't inspect the chair a lot before I impulsively spent three whole dollars on it. I found there was some paint at the top (I thought it was bird poop at first...kind of relieved that it was paint, but bird poop would have been easier to get off that dried paint), there was a small abrasion in the leather at the bottom of the seat, and one of the feet was missing from the bottom, making it a little wobbly to sit in. Overall it wasn't too bad for the price. After that I started googling like a crazy person trying to figure out if this little guy was an original, and what style of chair it is.
Turns out, from everything I can gather on the internet, it's a real Eames chair. And the style is one that was created in a collaboration with Alexander Girard for his New York City restaurant La Fonda del Sol. (http://www.eamesoffice.com/the-work/1730-1-la-fonda-arm-chair/) They key to figuring that one out was all in the base of the chair, the base was designed specifically for the restaurant as was the lower than usual back. Basically long story short, these chairs seem to be going for $300-$600 for one... and I got mine for three dollars.
I would never sell it though. Some things are too valuable to let go of. If I sold it, then I wouldn't have it, and this story would be kind of boring. I think there is something valuable about knowing why you have something. Charles and Ray Eames have always been designers that inspire me, it's not even just their work, but also their thought processes and experimentation. They were dreamers and doers. It's inspiring. When you find something or some one who inspires you, you should really keep them close.
Also I feel awesome working on projects in that chair.