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Alcove Table Prototype

Office of Charles and Ray Eames


This is a prototype for the gold-leaf covered table that the Eameses designed for their home in Los Angeles’s Pacific Palisades neighborhood. Though the table was custom built, the house itself was an experiment in prefabrication—constructed entirely of commercially available, prefabricated parts and components. The building’s interior, however, was hardly mechanical. The Eameses added countless personal touches, including the upholstered, low-ceilinged alcove where the gold-leafed table was installed and served as a luminous display surface for decorative items. This prototype has a simple wood surface but shares the final table’s overall form and construction method design: wooden dowels are stabilized by steel rod wire, similar in character to the dowel bases for early plastic shell and wire chairs. The design was never pursued for mass production, but the Eameses made similar tables for two friends, John Burton of Tigrett Enterprises (manufacturer of their toy designs) and 20th Century Fox screenwriter Philip Dunne.

  • Medium:Birch plywood, birch dowel legs, steel
  • Dimensions:15 1/2 x 28 x 28 in. (39.4 x 71.1 x 71.1 cm)
  • Design Date:1949
  • Item:2019.2.361