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Eileen Gray

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Eileen Gray (Ireland-France, 1878–1976)

Designer, artist and architect Eileen Gray was one of the most fascinating creative figures of the 20th century. Her body of work includes lustrous lacquered pieces — her Dragons chair set an auction record for modern furniture ($28 million) at the 2009 sale of the Yves Saint Laurent estate — and sleek chrome furnishings that rival the work of Le Corbusier and the members of the Bauhaus as exemplars of pure, modernist design.


The independent and unconventional daughter of Irish landed gentry, Gray studied painting at London’s Slade School of Fine Art in her early twenties before moving to Paris in 1906 to pursue her artistic dreams. Gray had become captivated by lacquerware after seeing an exhibit in the Victoria & Albert Museum, and in Paris persuaded an expatriate Japanese master of the painstaking process, Seizo Sugawara, to teach her. Within a few years, Gray had become known among the cognoscenti for her sculptural lacquered furnishings, which she incorporated into the homes of interior design clients.


She was ever evolving as a designer. By the early 1920s she was creating geometric works that embodied the essence of the nascent modernist design movement. Some pieces — such as her Bricks screen, an assemblage of pivoting rectangular panels — employ the planar forms favored by Gerrit Rietveld and other De Stijl architects of the Netherlands. Others feature the tubular chrome framing used by Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. These include the Bibendum chair — named for the resemblance of its semicircular back and armrest to the character known in English as the Michelin Man — and the adjustable E 1027 side table, conceived in 1927 for the interiors of a stark white villa she designed for herself in the South of France.


Never a self-promoter, Gray drifted out of the limelight in the 1930s. Interest in her work was revived in the early ’70s, however, when the estates of her early clients came to auction. Her original lacquer pieces are the most coveted, but, as the sale of the Dragons chair shows, are rare and extremely expense. None of Gray’s designs were made in large numbers until, a few years before her death, she granted a production license. These pieces range in price from $1,000 to $2,500, depending on furniture type and condition. Gray’s work has become iconic of practical and elegant modernist design. Yet, as you will see on these pages, many of her creations have a simplicity that makes them welcome even in a traditional setting.


Introspective Editor's Pick on Eileen Gray

ClassiCon Bibendum Armchair in Black Leather with Black Base by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Bibendum is one of a kind. Nowhere in the history of design will one find an armchair that compares to this. It is captivatingly harmonious despite its size and unites a majestic imp...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Armchairs

Materials

Upholstery

ClassiCon Tube Light Floor Lamp by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Floor lamp by Eileen Gray. Chrome-plated tubular steel with black plastic lamp socket for mounting light source. Floor plate chrome-plated metal with push-button switch. Felt gliders...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Floor Lamps

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Bonaparte Rug by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen Gray created not only some of the most important furniture classics of the 20th century but also had her own studio where rugs were produced according to her designs. Some of ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Western European Rugs

Materials

Wool

ClassiCon Wendingen Rug in Wool by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen Gray created not only some of the most important furniture classics of the 20th century but also had her own studio where rugs were produced according to her designs. Some of ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Western European Rugs

Materials

Wool

ClassiCon Castellar Rug by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen Gray created not only some of the most important furniture classics of the 20th century but also had her own studio where rugs were produced according to her designs. Some of ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Western European Rugs

Materials

Wool

ClassiCon Folding Screen in Black by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
The high-tech look that arose in the 1980s and which is still potentially current had an ingenious predecessor. Over half a century ago, Eileen Gray anticipated the cool Industrial a...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Screens and Room Dividers

Materials

Wood

ClassiCon Bibendum Armchair in Leather White with Chrome Frame by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Bibendum is one of a kind. Nowhere in the history of design will one find an armchair that compares to this. It is captivatingly harmonious despite its size and unites a majestic imp...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Armchairs

Materials

Upholstery

ClassiCon Castellar Wall Mirror by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen Gray understood how to combine the aesthetic with the practical as did few designers. The geometrically structured mirror castellar, designed for her summerhouse E1027, is a p...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Wall Mirrors

Materials

Glass

ClassiCon Folding Screen in Red by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
The high-tech look that arose in the 1980s and which is still potentially current had an ingenious predecessor. Over half a century ago, Eileen Gray anticipated the cool Industrial a...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Screens and Room Dividers

Materials

Wood

ClassiCon Folding Screen in White by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
The high-tech look that arose in the 1980s and which is still potentially current had an ingenious predecessor. Over half a century ago, Eileen Gray anticipated the cool industrial a...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Screens and Room Dividers

Materials

Wood

ClassiCon Bibendum Armchair in Black Leather with Chrome Frame by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Bibendum is one of a kind. Nowhere in the history of design will one find an armchair that compares to this. It is captivatingly harmonious despite its size and unites a majestic imp...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Armchairs

Materials

Upholstery

ClassiCon Bibendum Armchair in Fabric with Steel Base by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Bibendum is one of a kind. Nowhere in the history of design will one find an armchair that compares to this. It is captivatingly harmonious despite its size and unites a majestic imp...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Armchairs

Materials

Upholstery

ClassiCon Kilkenny Rug by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen Gray created not only some of the most important furniture classics of the 20th century but also had her own studio where rugs were produced according to her designs. Some of ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Western European Rugs

Materials

Wool

ClassiCon Blue Marine Rug by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen Gray created not only some of the most important furniture classics of the 20th century but also had her own studio where rugs were produced according to her designs. Some of ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Western European Rugs

Materials

Wool

ClassiCon Brick Screen in Black by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen Gray was fascinated by the beauty of traditional lacquer ware. She learned the centuries-old craft from a Japanese artisan and then perfected her skills over the course of man...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Screens and Room Dividers

Materials

Stainless Steel

ClassiCon Bar Stool No. 1 in Leather by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen Gray designed bar stools in several variations. The Bar Stool No. 1 is the simplest and most handsome of them all. It initially found itself, along with the folding mirror Cas...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Stools

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Daybed Grand in Fabric by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
The daybed is rightly counted among Eileen Gray’s most famous designs. The lounge "offers pleasant and comfortable seating and is, moreover, particularly suited to relaxing". What sh...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Daybeds

Materials

Upholstery

ClassiCon St. Tropez Rug in Wool by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen Gray created not only some of the most important furniture classics of the 20th century but also had her own studio where rugs were produced according to her designs. Some of ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Western European Rugs

Materials

Wool

ClassiCon Aixia Chair in White by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Aixia was one of Eileen Gray‘s personal favourites. She used this chair in all of her apartments, sometimes in the dining room, sometimes at a desk. Even in 1929, when she converted ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Bonaparte Chair in White Leather by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Bonaparte is one of the seldom cases in which the luxurious comfort of an upholstered chair has been successfully united with a tubular steel construction. The result communicates bo...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Upholstery

ClassiCon Day Bed in Aubergine Harald by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
The daybed is rightly counted among Eileen Gray’s most famous designs. The lounge "offers pleasant and comfortable seating and is, moreover, particularly suited to relaxing." What sh...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Daybeds

Materials

Upholstery

ClassiCon Daybed in Leather by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
The daybed is rightly counted among Eileen Gray’s most famous designs. The lounge "offers pleasant and comfortable seating and is, moreover, particularly suited to relaxing." What sh...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Daybeds

Materials

Upholstery

ClassiCon Bonaparte Chair in Black Leather by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Bonaparte is one of the seldom cases in which the luxurious comfort of an upholstered chair has been successfully united with a tubular steel construction. The result communicates bo...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Upholstery

Large Art Deco Bakelite Table Lamp by Eileen Gray for Jumo, France
By Eileen Gray
Located in Devon, England
Designed by Eileen Gray for the French Jumo company and dating to the 1930s-1940s this very stylish lamp is made from two primary components which are bakelite and metal. Superb mush...
Category

Mid-20th Century French Art Deco Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

Re-Edition of "1927 Transat" by Eileen Gray, Ecart International
By Eileen Gray, Ecart International
Located in Paris, FR
Early 21st century re-edition by Ecart International of a "1927 Transat" armchair by Eileen Gray with tilting head-rest. Black lacquered wood structure and black leather upholstery...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary French Art Deco Armchairs

Materials

Brass

ClassiCon Roquebrune Chair in White with Chrome Legs by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
For the terrace of her second house in Castellar Eileen Gray designed a very comfortable chair with a deep seating area. It was covered with blue canvas. She created another version,...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Occasional Rectangular Side Table in Black by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
The Latin for furniture, res mobiles, is based on the word mobile. Eileen Gray took this very literally. She loved light, functional furniture that could be moved around easily. One ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Side Tables

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Roquebrune Chair in Black with Chrome Legs by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
For the terrace of her second house in Castellar Eileen Gray designed a very comfortable chair with a deep seating area. It was covered with blue canvas. She created another version,...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Jean Fold Out Table by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Jean, named after Eileen Gray‘s intimate friend of many years, the architect Jean Badovici, stood in various modeis in their summer villa E 1027. "Every room has at its disposal one ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Desks and Writing Tables

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Adjustable Table E 1027 in Black and Crystal by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
This is perhaps the classic among the classics. Its ingeniously proportioned, distinctive form has made this height-adjustable table one of the most popular design icons of the 20th ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Side Tables

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Double X Table in Crystal Glass by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
When an avant-garde steel tube design meets the classical refectory table, the result is the double X. A large, yet elegant table, its X-shaped supports make for optimum rigidity. Li...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Dining Room Tables

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Menton Table by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen Gray did not want delicate luxury furniture for her house in Castellar, on the way from Menton to the Alps, but instead versatile pieces for every day use. She succeeded with ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Tables

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Occasional Round Side Table in Black by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
The Latin for furniture, res mobiles, is based on the word mobile. Eileen Gray took this very literally. She loved light, functional furniture that could be moved around easily. One ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Side Tables

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Roquebrune Chair in Grey with Black Legs by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
For the terrace of her second house in Castellar Eileen Gray designed a very comfortable chair with a deep seating area. It was covered with blue canvas. She created another version,...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Monte Carlo Sofa in Leather and Chrome by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen Gray‘s perhaps most exclusive sofa radiates an allure from which no beholder can escape. The soft curve, the most unusual lines of the backrest make the Monte Carlo an incompa...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Sofas

Materials

Leather

ClassiCon Non Conformist Chair in White Leather by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
It piques and provokes what one might expect of it, and yet it is inexplicably aesthetic and harmonious - a nonconformist on velvet paws. Eileen Gray commented quite pragmatically on...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Office Chairs and Desk Chairs

Materials

Leather

ClassiCon Lou Perou Table in White and Chrome by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Like the majority of Eileen Gray‘s tables, this one too can transform itself. And as always she found an unexpected solution. The folding section of the tabletop is supported by a si...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Desks and Writing Tables

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Non Conformist Chair in Leather by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
It piques and provokes what one might expect of it, and yet it is inexplicably aesthetic and harmonious, a nonconformist on velvet paws. Eileen Gray commented quite pragmatically on ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Office Chairs and Desk Chairs

Materials

Leather

ClassiCon Adjustable Table E 1027 in Black and Smoked Glass by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
This is perhaps the Classic among the classics. Its ingeniously proportioned, distinctive form has made this height-adjustable table one of the most popular design icons of the 20th ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Side Tables

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Double X Table in Black High Gloss Lacquer by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
When an Avant Garde steel tube design meets the classical refectory table, the result is the double X. A large, yet elegant table, its X-shaped supports make for optimum rigidity. Li...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Dining Room Tables

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Lota Sofa by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
The apartment of Madame Mathieu-Levy on Rue de Lota in Paris was regarded as one of the most sensational examples of French interior architecture of the 1920s. Eileen Gray had create...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Sofas

Materials

Fabric

ClassiCon Roquebrune Chair in Cognac with Black Legs by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
For the terrace of her second house in Castellar Eileen Gray designed a very comfortable chair with a deep seating area. It was covered with blue canvas. She created another version,...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Steel

Iconic Eileen Gray Table Lamp by Jumo, circa 1950
By Eileen Gray
Located in Devon, England
Iconic Eileen Gray design classic table or desk lamp produced by Jumo, France. These lamps so rarely come onto the market, they truly are a collectors item. Modernist, elegant and fu...
Category

Mid-20th Century French Art Deco Table Lamps

Materials

Enamel, Cut Steel

Large Art Deco Bakelite Table Lamp by Eileen Gray for Jumo, France
By Eileen Gray
Located in Devon, England
Designed by Eileen Gray for the French Jumo company and dating to the 1930s this very stylish lamp is made from two primary components which are bakelite and metal. Superb mushroom s...
Category

Mid-20th Century French Art Deco Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

ClassiCon Petite Coiffeuse Table in White by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen Gray understood how to combine the aesthetic with the practical as did few designers. The geometrically structured small dressing table, designed for her summerhouse E1027, is...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Side Tables

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Rivoli Side Table in White and Steel by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Rivoli served as the tea table in the living room of Eileen Gray‘s summer house E 1027. The graceful lightweight that no doubt was used on the terrace when necessary, is a lovingly t...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Side Tables

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Petite Coiffeuse Table in Black by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen Gray understood how to combine the aesthetic with the practical as did few designers. The geometrically structured small dressing table, designed for her summerhouse E1027, is...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Side Tables

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Occasional Rectangular Side Table in White by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
The Latin for furniture, res mobiles, is based on the word mobile. Eileen Gray took this very literally. She loved light, functional furniture that could be moved around easily. One ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Side Tables

Materials

Steel

Eileen Gray Adjustable Chrome Coffee Table E 1027
By Eileen Gray
Located in Den Haag, NL
Eileen gray adjustable chrome coffee table E 1027. A real Classic. Good vintage condition. 1970s. No markings. Adjustable in height. 65/94         
Category

Vintage 1970s French Mid-Century Modern Side Tables

Materials

Chrome

1924, Eileen Gray Classicon Lota Sofa, Grey/Blue-Black Base, Grey Fabric
By Eileen Gray
Located in IJmuiden, North Holland
Lota sofa with glossy black and grey-blue sideboards and a grey upholstery. This Lota sofa is a majestic piece, although its shows traces of wear. At some places the colour of the up...
Category

Vintage 1920s German Bauhaus Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Upholstery, Wood

Castellar Wall Mirror by Eileen Gray for Classicon
By Eileen Gray
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Eileen Gray’s classic 1927 Castellar wall mirror designed for her own summer home combines her refined aesthetics and eye for great functionality. Constructed of two mirrors connecte...
Category

Early 20th Century Modern Wall Mirrors

Materials

Chrome

Original German Modern Chrome Double X Table, Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in Miami, FL
American modern chrome double X-table, these tables are reproduced but this is an original.  
Category

Vintage 1920s German Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Tables

Materials

Chrome

Classicon Red Velvet Bibendum Lounge Chair by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Bibendum is one of a kind. Eileen Gray underscored the character of her endearing prior lion with sly irony; she named it after the Michelin man, whose form this armchair calls to mi...
Category

2010s German Modern Armchairs

Materials

Velvet

ClassiCon Adjustable Table E 1027 in Chrome and Crystal by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
This is perhaps the Classic among the classics. Its ingeniously proportioned, distinctive form has made this height-adjustable table one of the most popular design icons of the 20th ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Side Tables

Materials

Steel

Eileen Gray Adjustable Height Table E1027
By Eileen Gray
Located in Rochester, NY
After Eileen Gray a good quality E1027 adjustable height tubular steel and glass table in the original white enamel painted finish with some chipping to paint, circa 1970-1980. Look ...
Category

20th Century Bauhaus Side Tables

Materials

Enamel, Metal, Steel

Eileen Gray Non Conformist Black Leather and Steel Chair
By Eileen Gray
Located in Madrid, ES
Armchair, model "Non Conformist", designed by Eileen Gray (1878-1976) in 1926. This one is a new edition by ClassiCon. Made of chrome-plated steel tubes and black leather.
Category

Late 20th Century German Modern Chairs

Materials

Steel

ClassiCon Centimetre Rug in Hand Knotted Wool by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen Gray created not only some of the most important furniture classics of the 20th century but also had her own studio where rugs were produced according to her designs: masterpi...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Western European Rugs

Materials

Wool

ClassiCon Roquebrune Rug in Wool by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen Gray created not only some of the most important furniture classics of the 20th century but also had her own studio where rugs were produced according to her designs. Some of ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Western European Rugs

Materials

Wool

ClassiCon Bar Stool No. 2 in Black Leather by Eileen Gray
By Eileen Gray
Located in New York, NY
Eileen gray created not only classical seats such as sofas or chairs, but also a series of unconventional bar stools. Version no. 2, originally designed for the house E 1027, also fe...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Stools

Materials

Steel

Art Deco “E 1027” Chrome and Glass Side Table by Eileen Gray, circa 1970s
By Eileen Gray
Located in Shippensburg, PA
Named after her Modernist "House by the Sea", the E 1027 table is a truly iconic design. Perfectly functional and devoid of excess, the table solves in function almost every dilemma ...
Category

20th Century Art Deco Side Tables

Materials

Steel, Chrome