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Carved Spreader 2


A key conceptual feature of the Eames Aluminum Group is the pair of aluminum spreaders that hold the upholstery taut between two aluminum side members. These spreaders create the necessary tension for transforming fabric into a supportive seat and backrest. Dubbed “antlers” by the Eames Office staff thanks to their distinctive shape, one is located underneath the seat and serves both to stretch the textile and to attach the body of the chair to its base. The other—of which this is a prototype—is located midway up the chair’s back and doubles as a handle. In the process of developing the chairs, Eames Office staff member Robert Staples carved eight variations on the antler form in wood before the final shape was determined. In this case, there are fins on either with beveled edges, meaning their edges are angled so as to terminate in narrow wedges. This was a sensible approach given that the spreaders would ultimately have to be wedged into the grooves of the aluminum side rails, but ultimately an approach not taken in the final design.

  • Medium:Wood
  • Dimensions:2 1/4 x 16 5/8 x 3 in. (5.7 x 42.2 x 7.6 cm)
  • Design Date:1957
  • Item:P.2019.2.4.6