Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 6

Vitra Eames Elephant in Plywood by Charles & Ray Eames

$1,850per item

About

These items are currently only available in the United States. Charles and Ray Eames developed a toy elephant made of plywood in 1945; however, this piece never went into production. One prototype was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1946 and still survives in the Eames family archives today. After a limited edition in 2007, Vitra has now launched serial production of the Eames Elephant in plywood for the very first time. The Eames Elephant is also available in plastic, ideal for children, as well as in a smaller version, Eames Elephant (small), which comes in a variety of colours and is also made of plastic.

Customization Options

Because our product is hand-made in Switzerland, additional colors, finishes and sizes are available with an added production lead-time. Please inquire for more information about the variations we offer.

Details

  • Creator
    Vitra (Manufacturer),Charles and Ray Eames (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 16.34 in. (41.5 cm)Width: 16.15 in. (41 cm)Depth: 30.91 in. (78.5 cm)
  • Style
    Modern (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    Contemporary
  • Production Type
    New & Custom(Current Production)
  • Condition
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 210225031stDibs: LU3989120350232

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Allentown, PA
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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 Charles and Ray Eames (Designer)

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 “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 Maker

Creating innovative products and concepts with great designers is Vitra’s essence. They are developed in Switzerland and installed worldwide by architects, companies and private users to build inspirational spaces for living, working and shopping as well as public areas. With its classics Vitra represents groundbreaking 20th century design. Today, in combining technical and conceptual expertise with the creativity of contemporary designers, Vitra seeks to continue pushing the boundaries of the design discipline. A family business for eighty years, Vitra believes in lasting relationships with customers, employees and designers, durable products, sustainable growth and the power of good design. The Vitra Campus with buildings by some of the world’s leading architects and the Vitra Design Museum with its exhibitions on design and architecture, design archives and a comprehensive furniture collection are all part of Vitra. They inspire visitors, inform the design process and create an atmosphere in which innovation flourishes.
About the Seller
4.2 / 5
Located in New York, NY
Vetted Seller
Our team of world-class specialists approve every seller on 1stDibs.
1stDibs seller since 2018
329 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 10 hours
More From This Seller

You May Also Like

Ray and Charles Eames Plywood Elephant in Cherry by Vitra
By Charles and Ray Eames, Vitra
Located in Amsterdam, Noord Holland
Category

2010s American Mid-Century Modern

Materials

Cherry, Plywood

Set of Plywood miniatures by Charles & Ray Eames for Vitra, Switzerland
By Charles and Ray Eames, Vitra
Located in Steenwijk, NL
Category

1990s Swiss Mid-Century Modern

Materials

Birch, Plywood

Charles and Ray Eames Molded Plywood Radio
By Charles and Ray Eames, Evans Products Company
Located in New York, NY
Category

Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern

Materials

Glass, Bakelite, Masonite, Plywood

Charles & Ray Eames Anniversary Edition Plywood Elephant
By Charles and Ray Eames
Located in Dronten, NL
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern

Materials

Plywood

Charles and Ray Eames Molded Plywood Leg Splint for Evans in Original Wrapper
By Charles and Ray Eames, Evans Products Company
Located in Chicago, IL
Category

Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern

Materials

Plywood

Vintage Plywood Screen by Charles & Ray Eames
By Charles and Ray Eames
Located in New York, NY
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern

Materials

Canvas, Wood

Vintage Miniature of Charles Eames Vitra Design Museum Lounge Chair and Ottoman
By Vitra
Located in Milano, IT
Category

Late 20th Century European Mid-Century Modern

Materials

Wood

1946, Charles Eames, Original Folding Screen for Vitra, Germany
By Charles and Ray Eames, Vitra
Located in IJmuiden, North Holland
Category

Vintage 1940s German Mid-Century Modern

Materials

Plywood

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery