Orange Herman Miller Vintage Eames Upholstered RAR Arm Shell Chair
A well-worn example of an original, faded, orange upholstered black Eames RAR rocking arm chair for Herman Miller has lived a long life but still looks amazing. The stark black of the fiberglass shell contrasts perfectly with the lighter orange of the original Alexander Girard fabric and both blend in rather nicely with the walnut of the used, newer RAR base.
The rocking chair is perhaps the most iconic version of the Eames fiberglass series, and yet it was only commercially available up until 1968! The only ones produced after then were as gifts to employees who were expecting a baby. The great range of colours and upholstery options for these shell chairs helped ensure they saw, and have maintained, great success and, with respects to the upholstery options, it was through the assistance of the Eames’s friend, Alexander Girard, that they became available.
The black shell does show signs of its age with some natural patina; but it has retained a very strong depth of colour and does not show any cracks or dents.
The upholstery has worn a little more than the shell, the colour has faded slightly and it could use a good clean. There are some sections that are slightly lifting, but as a fully original shell, this is a great example for anyone who wants a bit of a DIY project or wants to own an example of a vintage classic which bears the evidence of its long life.
The ‘S’ in the circle logo on the underside of the shell indicates this shell originates from Herman Miller’s Summit Plastics factory and is dated from between 1959-1989, but with the upholstery and finish, it will likely be from the 70s/80s.
Eames shells are a highly desirable piece to own, being such fantastic works of art whilst also being fantastically versatile and comfortable chairs. The age of the shell, its condition, colour and even the base it is on all affect the investment value. This chair does display more of its age than others, but this in no way entirely detracts from its value, true, it may not increase in the way others will, but as a classic piece of history, it will always have a story to tell.