May 25, 2011

Amazing Antiques ~ Chrome and Glass furniture

Yes, you heard me right, Chrome and glass antique furniture. I always thought that Chrome and Steel with glass were a thing of the 80's. Thats until I came across some iconic designs by the talented Irish furniture designer and architect, Eileen Gray. 

Furniture: Side table

This particular table was coded - E1027 and was designed circa 1924. E-1027 was both compact and open. I think it was very futuristic, coming from someone born in the Art Nouveau period. Eileen is said to have been persuaded to explore her interest in architecture by a fellow Romanian Architect, Jean Badovici. The codename is derived from: E for Eileen, 10 for Jean (J is the tenth letter of the alphabet), 2 for Badovici and 7 for Gray.

Another iconic chair from Eileen Gray's kitty: Bibendum chair

 Comfortable Lounge Chair with Eileen Gray Bibendum Chair
Bibendum chair is considered one of the finest and most recognizable furniture pieces of the 20th century. This chair was called the "triumph of modern living" in the 1930's. Bibendum chair fused the tubular steel design of the Bauhaus Modernists with the comfort of padded upholstery. I feel that her need to move away from her previous traditional designs resulted in this chair and many more later on.

As such Eileen was also known for her love for lacquer, and her very works are an ode to Art Deco period. must have been inspired by the tubular chrome platted furniture designed by other modernists and remarkable designers of her times - Mart Stam and Marcel Breuer. (remember my post on bentwood furniture!!)

Who would have imagined that one could envision such exquisite design in times when Art Nuveauo was in vogue..hmm... this reminds me of The Fountain Head..

Now, compare the Bibendum with the Chairs which were popular in the 20's (worldwide I guess :)...and now imagine the break-from-the regular design trend by Eileen, Mart, Marcel etc... :)..

 or this

More on Bibendum
She designed the chair as part of re-design assignment for Madame Mathieu Lévy's apartment on rue de Lota in Paris. Levy was a successful boutique owner who sold stylish hats and hoped to have a home with new and original, with innovative designs. The project took four painstaking years, from 1917 to 1921, and Eileen Gray created the Bibendum chair along with the interior walls, furnishings, rugs and lamps. 

Ever since I found out about Eileen and her designs, I was hoping to do this post...but wanted my write up be an honest attempt at showcasing the creativity of an icon who passed away before I was born :). What surprises me most is that these designs are so inspiring and in use even today. While on this blogging journey, I hope I am able to convey my awe for design and creativity and document what I learn.  And before I leave, here is a peek into Eileen Gray's apartment

Want to know more about her work...hop over to > Eileen-gray Designs. and hey...not before you leave your comment here :P


  1. I love looking into the designers' own homes. It's such an intimate picture of what they were really like.

  2. Lovely chairs, and although they belong to another bygone era, they are still popular and are very much in vogue. I really love these kind of old style chairs and sofas.

  3. so true dana

    @ rama
    the chairs were in the post as a matter of comparision..i wanted to showcase how drastically different eileen's design was when compared to designs of her times..


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