Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 7

Charles & Ray Eames Anniversary Limited Edition Plywood Elephant

$3,250

About

Charles and Ray Eames were fascinated by elephants. Many images of these gentle giants are found in Charles' photographic documentations of Indian culture and the circus world. The plywood elephant was designed in 1945 as a playful offshoot of their molded plywood experiments. To celebrate the 100th birthday of Charles Eames in 2007, Vitra introduced a limited edition molded plywood elephant, which would be the first time this coveted piece was commercially produced. Only two known prototypes were made in 1945, and only one remains in the Eames Archives. This limited edition is a highly sought after collectible, as only 1000 in both natural maple and red stained maple were produced for the first time ever. Each molded plywood elephant was packed in a special collector's box and with its serial number engraved on a small aluminum plaque. This pristine example is the low number 0098, marked with a plaque and complete with the original box.

Details

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $200 Standard Parcel Shipping
    to anywhere in the world, arrives in 1-2 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Dronten, Netherlands
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn more

About the Designer

Charles and Ray Eames

Charles Eames and Ray Eames were the embodiment of the inventiveness, energy and optimism at the heart of mid-century modern American design, and have been recognized as the most influential designers of the 20th century. As furniture designers, filmmakers, artists, textile and graphic designers and even toy and puzzle makers, the Eameses were a visionary and effective force for the notion that design should be an agent of positive change. They are the happy, ever-curious, ever-adventurous faces of modernism. Charles studied architecture and industrial design. Ray (née Beatrice Alexandra Kaiser) was an artist, who studied under the abstract expressionist Hans Hofmann. They met in 1940 at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in suburban Detroit (where Charles also met his frequent collaborator Eero Saarinen and the artist and designer Harry Bertoia) and married the next year. His technical skills and her artistic flair were wonderfully complementary. They moved to Los Angeles in 1941, where Charles worked on set design for MGM. In the evenings at their apartment, they experimented with molded plywood using a handmade heat-and-pressurization device they called the “Kazam!” machine. The next year, they won a contract from the U.S. Navy for lightweight plywood leg splints for wounded servicemen — they are coveted collectibles today; more so those that Ray used to make sculptures. The Navy contract allowed Charles to open a professional studio, and the attention-grabbing plywood furniture the firm produced prompted George Nelson, the director of design of the furniture-maker Herman Miller Inc., to enlist Charles and (by association, if not by contract) Ray in 1946. Some of the first Eames items to emerge from Herman Miller are now classics: the LCW, or Lounge Chair Wood, and the DCM, or Dining Chair Metal, supported by tubular steel. The Eameses eagerly embraced new technology and materials, and one of their peculiar talents was to imbue their supremely modern design with references to folk traditions. Their Wire chair group of the 1950s, for example, was inspired by basket weaving techniques. The populist notion of “good design for all” drove their molded fiberglass chair series that same decade, and also produced the organic-form, ever-delightful La Chaise. In 1956 the Eames lounge chair and ottoman appeared — the supremely comfortable plywood-base-and-leather-upholstery creation that will likely live in homes as long as there are people with good taste and sense. Charles Eames once said, “The role of the designer is that of a very good, thoughtful host anticipating the needs of his guests.” For very good collectors and thoughtful interior designers, a piece of design by the Eameses, the closer produced to original conception the better, is almost de rigueur — for its beauty and comfort, and not least as a tribute to the creative legacy and enduring influence of Charles and Ray Eames.
About the Seller
4.9 / 5
Located in Dronten, Netherlands
Platinum Seller
These expertly vetted sellers are 1stDibs' most experienced sellers and are rated highest by our customers.
Established in 1995
1stDibs seller since 2012
662 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
More From This Seller

You May Also Like

Ray and Charles Eames Plywood Elephant by Vitra
By Vitra, Charles and Ray Eames
Located in Amsterdam, Noord Holland
In the 1940s, Charles and Ray Eames spent years working on the development and refinement of a technique for three-dimensional bending of plywood. Gradually they designed a series of...
Category

2010s American Mid-Century Modern Children's Furniture

Materials

Cherry, Plywood

Charles and Ray Eames Plywood Elephant in Cherry wood by Vitra
By Charles Eames, Charles and Ray Eames, Vitra
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Charles and Ray Eames developed a toy elephant made of plywood in 1945, but the piece never went into production. After a limited edition in 2007, Vitra has now launched serial produ...
Category

Vintage 1940s German Mid-Century Modern Children's Furniture

Materials

Plywood

Vintage Plywood Screen by Charles & Ray Eames
By Charles and Ray Eames
Located in New York, NY
An early folding plywood screen by Charles and Ray Eames. Each wood panel is joined by off-white canvas hinges, USA, 1958. Folds nearly flat for storage or transport. This item sh...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Screens and Room Dividers

Materials

Canvas, Wood

Charles and Ray Eames Molded Plywood Radio
By Charles and Ray Eames, Evans Products Company
Located in New York, NY
Radio of molded and cut walnut plywood, bakelite, glass and perforated masonite. Designed by Charles and Ray Eames and produced by Evans Products for Teletone, circa 1946. As Richard...
Category

Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern Musical Instruments

Materials

Glass, Bakelite, Masonite, Plywood

1960s Sculptural Plywood Children’s Set by Hans Mitzlaff and Albrecht Lange
By Charles Eames
Located in Buffalo, NY
1960s sculptural beech veneer plywood children’s table and chair set by Hans Mitzlaff and Albrecht, made in Russia, amazing design reminiscent of sculptures of Henry Moore and Noguch...
Category

Vintage 1960s Russian Mid-Century Modern Children's Furniture

Materials

Plywood

Vintage Abercrombie and Fitch Leather Elephant Footstool by Dimitri Omersa
By Dimitri Omersa, Abercrombie & Fitch
Located in San Jose, CA
Midcentury leather elephant designed by Dimitri Omersa for Abercrombie and Fitch. This piece was part of the Africa series manufactured in the 1960s. Features handstitched aged leath...
Category

Vintage 1960s English Mid-Century Modern Animal Sculptures

Materials

Leather

1940s Molded Plywood Cocktail Table & Magazine Rack, Charles & Ray Eames Manner
By Charles and Ray Eames
Located in Vigonza, Padua
Italian modernist 1940s molded plywood cocktail table and magazine rack, Charles & Ray Eames manner. Smoked glass top. Elegant and unusual shape that makes it one of a kind. Meas...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables

Materials

Crystal, Aluminum

De Sede Leather Elephant Toy Accessory by Alfredo Häberli
By De Sede, Alfredo Häberli 1
Located in New York, NY
Miniature toy elephant accessory designed by Alfredo Ha¨berli for De Sede.
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Animal Sculptures

Materials

Leather

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery