Posts Tagged ‘chair’



2012 is also a year of big change in Korea; we have the presidential election, too. The TV campaign of candidates has started; every corner of the video is already analyzed and criticized. One of interesting points other than promised policies is the lounge chair that one of the candidate is sitting on in the campaign. 


It is the lounge chair designed by the husband and wife duo Charles and Ray Eames for their friend Billy Wilder, the director of “Some Like it Hot” and “Sunset Boulevard,” and manufactured by Herman Miller since 1956. It is still in production and without a doubt one of design icons that are highly sought after all around the world. In Europe, works of American designers are not really highly regarded, however the ones by the Eames are exception. The Eames pieces might feel like a “proven” work (hence worth investing). 

The chair uses rosewood and leather for the seat. It comes in different colors besides black, but black seems the most poplar and classic. It is in fact quite comfortable. And to add to its luxurious feel the ottoman provides a comfortable support for your tired feet. Well, now it sounds as if someone like presidential candidates who would struggle everyday to make the nation better deserves such sitting.

For my taste – in fact a lot of people (especially vintage dealers) agree with this – the old ones are better than newly made chairs. Considering Herman Miller’s statement that they have kept the craftsmanship since its first creation, the quality should be the same if not better. However, the ones from the 60’s have beautifully aged wood and most of all beautiful leather. Why?! Maybe because people could kill animals more freely back then??

The critics of this campaign, or rather the candidate himself, questions how and why a presidential candidate, who of course emphasizes on his care for middle class, can indulge in such an expensive chair. As for the price, Herman Miller posted $3824.15 (it’s on sale now. Originally it was $4499) for the set, and I believe it should be the price of its official retailers. If the shipping, custom fees, all other expenses and the markup for the local retailer are considered, the price here in Korea could be between 5,000,000-7,000,000 KRW ($5,000-7,000 roughly). Then, how about the old ones? It varies depending on the condition or the location of seller (the ones in New York would price it more highly ) but generally costs around $3800-5000. Because of the value for the age and the widely shared understanding that the old ones are better, vintage can be more expensive than the newly made.

I didn’t mean to express my political opinion through this writing. I don’t want any criticism or explanation (well… the campaign of this candidate did release their explanation saying that he acquired this chair, the used one, at a very low price). However, I am really curious what his PR people were thinking when they placed this chair in the TV commercial. Didn’t they think that people will nag on this chair? Or was it their intention to plant this chair so that it could create a sensation and hence people will watch the campaign one more time? If they did, they did succeed. Bravo!   


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Many visitors are surprised at this pair of English chairs sitting in the gallery for two reasons: they are in such nice condition considering the age (4-50 years) and the distance they traveled (England to who knows where to South Korea), and they are very low (in Koreans’ mind all “westerners” are tall and have long legs).

I’d like to add one more reason; in fact the first impression I got from these chairs (and fundamentally the reason why they are sitting in EK Modern waiting for the future owner) was that they looked quite Scandinavian. In a way it is true.

The chairs were made by the famous British aircraft manufacturer, Elliotts of Newbury. Elliott’s of Newbury was founded by Samuel Elliott in 1870 as “Elliott’s Moulding and Joinery Company Ltd.” It produced ammunition boxes during the World War I and aircraft components during the World War II. After the wars the company continued with aircraft production of which the most famous example is the EoN Olympia series. At the same time, it started furniture production after WWI and continued until it closed in 1970’s.  

So it is clear that the chairs are following the design of Scandinavian design, which reached its zenith during the 60’s and 70’s. Look at the sleek legs, reddish Teak color and scooped back! Among the Elliotts furniture, a few items show very very very strong influence of Danish modern. 

Some very nice people (thank you!!) again share the information which shows a couple of pages from Elliotts 1950’s catalogue.




They are probably too early to show the Scandinavian influence. But nonetheless it is an interesting primary source. 

What’s good about these late Elliotts chairs is that you can enjoy now highly sought-after Danish look at a very economical price. 🙂 I also found an amazing interior arrangement using a different type of Elliots chair. I am not posting the pics because I haven’t asked the blogger who posted her/his pictures yet. But it is good. so please do go check out!



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