the rare chair pair.

eames‘ chairs are so common and widespread today that you’ve actually seen them far too often. but there are some versions that are a bit more special – making them collector’s items. for example, these ray & charles eames side chairs ‚pkw-2‘, meaning a pivoting, k-wire chair on a wooden base. version 1 would be a fully covered seat, version 2 is the cut-out „bikini“ cover, where you can see the wire mesh construction. this is also known as a ‚bikini swivel wire chair‘.

here we have a black and a white one (for the details of the white pkw-2 please click here). we understood they were imported from the united states as a pair – but then sold on to different customers. years ago we bought the white one as the first piece in our eames-1st-generations-collection. by chance or serendipity, we were now able to find and buy the black one also and thus reunite the pair.

together they make impressive and scarce art objects to grace any collection of early midcentury design. interestingly the dowel-leg-version was discontinued after 1954: the open ball-bearing connection and the elegant thin wooden legs weren’t very practical. weight and power, when swivelling, sometimes resulted in cracks or breakage. (that’s why we wouldn’t recommend them to use as a kitchen chair, maybe.) they are functional, showing a wonderful patina and are great pieces to admire and to understand the thinking behind the design.

side chair, model pkw-2, swivel dowel-base

white powder coated wire-shell, cognac-coloured leather bikini cover

black powder coated wire-shell, cognac-coloured leather bikini cover (slightly different colour due to fading)

produced by herman miller inc., zeeland, mi, ca. 1950/1951

sources: moma website

Product: Side Chair PKW-2

Designer: Ray & Charles Eames

Manufacturer: Herman Miller Inc., Zeeland, MI

Release Date: ca. 1950/51

Dimensions: H: 81, W: 48, D: 49, SH: 44,5 cm

Materials: Wood, Leather, Metal