Vitra Miniature Eames Elephant

Vitra Miniatures Collection.

During the early 1940's Charles and Ray Eames developed a successful technique for moulding plywood into three-dimensional shapes, which led to the creation of a variety of furnishings and sculptures.  Around 1945, while developing their innovative plywood splints and chairs, the Eameses also designed a menagerie of plywood animals. 
They were sculptural enough to be decorative and sturdy enough to support a child. But none of the creatures—elephant, frog, seal, bear, and horse—moved beyond the concept stage. The Plywood Elephant, in particular, attained legendary status among collectors. Among the early plywood designs, the Elephant is one of the most difficult to produce. Tight angles and compound curves required a sophisticated mastery of plywood technology and only two prototypes were ever made. 
The Plywood Elephant made a brief but memorable appearance in 1945–46 in a design show at the Architectural League of New York. 
The stool also turned up in a historic Eames exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. One plywood elephant is extant today – it is in the personal collection of Lucia Eames.

View the entire Vitra Miniatures Collection here.

  • Design: Charles & Ray Eames
  • Year: 1945
  • Material: wood
  • Dimensions: scale 1:6, 2.75" x 2.75" x 5"


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