691 Coffee Table
Tasked with the interior design of Xenia and J. Irwin Miller’s House in Columbus, Indiana, Alexander Girard found himself at a loss for suitable outdoor furniture and turned to his friends the Eameses for a solution. Having already tackled designs in plywood, fiberglass, and wire rod, the designers looked to a durable and lightweight material that could withstand the elements: aluminum. Introduced as the Indoor-Outdoor Group in 1958 (and shortly thereafter renamed the Eames Aluminum Group), the collection of lounge chairs, ottomans, dining chairs, and tables may have had their genesis in this specific commission, but thanks to their universal appeal and adaptability have remained in continuous production ever since. As more varieties of Eames-designed tables were brought to market, this specific variation of base underwent a series of numeric name changes in the 1960s and ’70s, and eventually became known as the Eames Contract Base. This example incorporates a rare onyx top, translucent white with brown veins. Originally, the table was also offered in white glass, honed slate, or Botticino marble. These materials appealed to the Eameses for their durability and visual appeal, aligning with the notion that materials should be readily identifiable and worked in ways compatible with their nature.
- Manufacturer: Herman Miller, Inc.
- Medium:Onyx, steel, aluminum, rubber, nylon
- Dimensions:16 x 36 in. (40.6 x 91.4 cm)
- Design Date:1958