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Pair of Womb Chairs by Eero Saarinen for Knoll

$13,400per set


Eero Saarinen for Knoll, 'Womb Chair', fabric, metal, United States, design 1946-1948. This shelled, cushioned armchair is designed between 1946 and 1948 by Eero Saarinen. The chair was a specific request by Florence Knoll, who thought it was time for a 'big one'. It was at Florence Knoll's specific request as she claims to have been sick and tired of structured chairs which held you in one position. She said she wanted 'a chair in which was like basket full of pillows, something I could curl up in'. Eero designed the chair and did the prototype himself too. Knoll International was founded in New York by the 26 year old German Hans Knoll (1914-1955) in 1938. Hans' father, Walter Knoll was a true modernist and furniture manufacturer who had a reputation for quality. When Hans Knoll died at a young age his wife Florence Knoll took over and under her influence the company flourished and created its best designs. She designed and led the company where she cooperated with talented designers such as Eero Saarinen, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Richard Schultz and Harry Bertoia. Eero Saarinen (1910-1961) was a Finnish-American architect who helped to shape the American postwar architecture of progression and optimism. Saarinen designed several airports and worked for large corporate clients such as IBM and General Motors. This meant that the identity of Saarinen's architecture went hand in hand with the identity of these companies. His design was also used in many companies and homes and thus helped to shape the aesthetic landscape of the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. Literature: - Merkel, Jayne. Eero Saarinen. New York: Phaidon, 2005, p. 57 and 61.


  • Creator
    Eero Saarinen (Designer),Knoll (Maker)
  • Design
    Womb ChairWomb Series
  • Dimensions
    Height: 38.98 in. (99 cm)Width: 40.16 in. (102 cm)Depth: 34.65 in. (88 cm)Seat Height: 14.18 in. (36 cm)
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Refinished. Wear consistent with age and use. Please note that the fabric of these chairs shows signs of age such as tiny holes in the fabric, please ask one of design advisors for more information. We have our own in-house upholstery studio.
  • Seller Location
    Waalwijk, NL
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 450045821stDibs: LU933118386772

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Customs Duties & Taxes May Apply.
    Ships From: Waalwijk, Netherlands
  • Return Policy

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

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About the Design

Womb Chair

Designed by Eero Saarinen
Shortly after Eero Saarinen (1910–61) joined Florence Knoll at the manufacturer she had established with her husband, Hans, she presented the Finnish-born designer with a serious request: to create for her the world’s most comfortable chair, something, Saarinen recalls, that felt like “a basket full of pillows.” Presented with the challenge, Saarinen went primal. What, the designer figured, better signifies the very essence of comfort than the womb? "It was designed on the theory that a great number of people have never really felt comfortable and secure since they left the womb,” the designer said of his chair, which began production in 1948. “The chair is an attempt to rectify this maladjustment in our civilization.” The Womb chair, like many other masterpieces of modernist design, is genius in its simplicity. Comprised of few materials, the chair consists of a fabric-wrapped, molded fiberglass bucket set atop legs of tubular steel. The skeletal look of the frame keeps the chair from appearing bulky despite the seat’s oversized silhouette, which makes it inviting to people of all sizes. "There seemed to be a need for a large and really comfortable chair to take the place of the old overstuffed chair,” Saarinen once said of his concept. Indeed, despite being indisputably comfortable, the Womb doesn’t require an abundance of padding and tufting — instead, its comfort owes to a perfectly shaped shell of fiberglass. This new approach to ergonomics both reflected Saarinen’s love of streamlined forms and echoed the kind of experimental work being done by American designers Charles and Ray Eames, who, like Florence Knoll, were friends he'd made at Cranbrook Academy of Art while he taught there. It didn’t take long for the chair to become a cultural phenomenon; in the decade following its release, it appeared in a Coca-Cola commercial, a New Yorker cartoon and in a Norman Rockwell painting on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. Today, Knoll offers the seat in some 15 upholstery options, and when Saarinen’s famous TWA terminal reopened as a hotel in 2019, Womb chairs featured prominently in the guest rooms, continuing the legacy of this classic design.
About the Seller
4.8 / 5
Located in Waalwijk, Netherlands

Established in 2006, Morentz has a team of approximately 55 restorers, upholsterers, interior advisers and art historians, making it a gallery, workshop and upholstery studio, all in one. Every day, a carefully selected array of 20th-century furniture arrives from all over the world at the firm’s warehouse, where the team thoroughly e...

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Established in 2006
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Typical response time: 1 hour
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