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Carved Spreader 1


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 spreader is located midway up the chair’s back and doubles as a handle. The other is located underneath the seat and serves both to stretch the textile and to attach the body of the chair to its base. 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. This one in particular stands out as unique among the prototypes. While the others bend and flare out significantly at either end, terminating in what might be described as wings or fins, this one appears as a nearly continuous arc— its ends deviate only slightly from the form’s overall line. This singular prototype suggests the extent to which the Eameses and their staff remained open-minded throughout the design process, exploring a wide range of options just in case an unexpected design proved to be a better one.

  • Medium:Wood
  • Dimensions:2 3/8 x 17 3/8 x 1 1/16 in. (6 x 44.1 x 2.7 cm)
  • Item:P.2019.2.4.7