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Tables! Tables! Tables!

Three-Legged CTM (Coffee Table Metal)


The design for the top of this rare, three-legged coffee table originates from the Eameses’ first group of plywood furniture that debuted in late 1945, and was commercialized by the Evans Products Company’s Molded Plywood Division in 1946. As the label on the underside of the table states, these designs were distributed and sold by the Herman Miller Furniture Company in a contractual relationship that would last until 1949, when Herman Miller took over all production of Eames furniture. In the case of this model, the five ply-layered top is set atop three slender legs that are made of steel. The decision to include only three legs stems in part from the Eameses’ concern for minimizing their designs’ materials, and hence their cost. This also relates to their interest in creating furniture that would not draw attention to itself, lest it distract from the so-called “business of living.” To compensate for the reduction in structural integrity afforded by the three-legged design, rubber shock absorbers were attached to a steel ring at the center of the tabletop’s underside, where the legs were also connected. While this increased the table’s stability, ultimately a fourth leg was added in later productions.

  • Manufacturer: Office of Charles and Ray Eames, Evans Products Company, Molded Plywood Division
  • Medium:Birch plywood, aniline dye, steel with zinc coating, rubber, steel
  • Dimensions:16 x 34 1/2 in. (40.6 x 87.6 cm)
  • Design Date:1945
  • Item:2015.1.19