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The Egg Chair Ain’t No Yoke

When it comes to swag X comfort, the Egg chair is as serious as a bucket of yams. The world of interior design has been significantly influenced by iconic pieces of furniture, and one such masterpiece is the Egg Chair. Designed in 1958 by a Danish architect and designer named Arne Jacobsen, this unique chair has become synonymous with streamlined modernist elegance combined with real comfort, and is remarkable for the way it continues to transform spaces with its distinctive design.

However! Many of us hunting for an egg chair will very quickly realize that there isn’t just one Egg Chair. Second to the scene in 1968 was the Ovalia Egg Chair, designed by another Dane, Henrik Thor-Larsen. The Ovalia Egg looks an awful lot like the Eero Aarnio’s Ball Chair, which he introduced in 1963. Clearly the Scandanavians were paying attention to one another.

But maybe you aren’t even in the market for iconic furniture masterpieces. Rather you’re looking for a cool, comfy, functional chair that won’t cost you that extra kidney you’ve been holding on to. Perhaps it’s a versatile, summery, and far-more-affordable outdoor egg chair you seek. A breezy-cozy-nest-y respite you can enjoy poolside, on the back deck, or swinging under a tree. Well, we won’t be hurt if you make like an egg and scramble for the poolside attractions.

But if the difference between all these very different egg chairs has you itching with indignation like a lot of other people are at the name association, then stick with me. I aim to be the balm that soothes what itches, folks. If you’d like to find out more about the different egg chairs and what it means to be an egg, stick with us me as I crack this bad boy wide and whip it frothy.

egg chair

Egg™ or Egg or Egg-Inspired? A Brand’s Mark of Distinction

As with any furniture icon, Jacobsen’s Egg™ chair has been knocked off so hard it’s not even funny; you’ll find “Jacobsen-style” and “inspired-by” and “Replica” Egg chairs all over the Internet for a tenth of the cost of an Egg Chair under license. Trademark aside, for those of us who aren’t concerned with the brand as much as the form, these Egg-compatible chairs are good enough to look at and sit in. For those of us for whom there’s no substitute for the archetype, for whom the quality, craftsmanship, and lineage is worth the cost, and for those of us who can afford to think that way, the Jacobsen is the since qua non of Egg Chairs.

What’s more, despite the iconic status of the Jacobsen Egg, it’s quite difficult to wall off and secure a shape as ubiquitous as an egg from the forces of repetition and evolution. What’s more, despite the egg shape remaining remarkably constant for millenia, there are at least for different shapes of eggs, the ovoid shape of the eponymous Egg chair being just one. So it seems perfectly reasonable to consider the many approximately egg-shaped chairs our world has to offer – from pears to spheres – as “truly” egg chairs as well. The Egg Chair’s trademark will limit these egg-oid seats to synonyms or approximations for their names, but the beauty (and the beast) of the democratizing Internet is that a trademark won’t stop them from appearing in “egg chair” searches.

The difference, in the end, between an Egg™ Chair and an Egg Chair says as much about you as it does about the chair, and while each of these two ways of being in the world is rich with meaning, neither way seems to me to be the right way or the wrong way. So to anyone who says only a chump would waste all that money on an Egg™ chair, or on the other hand to anyone who says that an egg-shaped chair that doesn’t happen to cost you a kidney isn’t an “actual” egg chair, I say “thank you” and then stop listening. But to keep things clear in this article, forthwith we shall be concerned only with the Jacobsen Egg™ Chair. I’ll reserve the consideration the various Egg Chairs of the People are due for an article focused solely on those chairs alone.

While we’re on the topic of naming these egg-shaped chairs, I’d like to put my vote in for the Ovum. Or, if you’ll allow more than one I nominate the Ellipsis, persnaps. Or-or, if you were looking for something to really build a global brand around, I believe the Glob is pretty near unbeatable as a nom de chaise, if you ask me. (They didn’t ask me. They should ask me). Have you any good egg-compatible name ideas? Post ’em in the comments below and I promise to throw you 5% on the back end 🙂

Egg Chair Design Features

Form

The Jacobsen Egg chair is an iconic piece of furniture due in large part to its distinctive and innovative design. The egg chair’s distinctive egg-shaped form catches the eye at first glance. Climb in and the high back and headrest and the two sides concaved forward and enveloping you create a sense of privacy and enclosure, providing a cocoon-like impression, one of being held closely.

Materials

The egg chair’s shell is meticulously crafted from a fiberglass-reinforced material, ensuring durability and a sleek, modern aesthetic. The upholstery, typically made of premium leather or fabric, adds a luxurious touch to the chair’s overall appeal. The swivel base, made of polished aluminum, enhances the chair’s functionality, allowing for smooth 360-degree rotation.

Comfort: Ergonomic and Secure:

The Egg Chair is renowned for its exceptional comfort. Designed with a focus on both form and function, the chair’s unique shape and form are intended to provide optimal comfort and support. The curved, egg-shaped design conforms to the natural contours of the human body, creating a cocoon-like space that envelops the sitter. Additionally, the chair’s dimensions and the angle of the backrest are carefully considered to promote a comfortable and ergonomic seating posture. The combination of these design elements ensures that the Jacobsen Egg Chair not only serves as an iconic piece of furniture but also prioritizes the well-being and comfort of those who use it.

The Egg Chair’s timeless design, coupled with its ergonomic considerations and attention to detail, has secured its status as a symbol of mid-century modern design and a coveted piece for contemporary interiors.

The Origin of a Furniture Icon

Arne Jacobsen

The Jacobsen Egg Chair was conceived by the renowned Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen in 1958. A luminary of mid-century modern design, Jacobsen’s vision was deeply rooted in functionalism and a commitment to minimalism. The Egg Chair, one of his most iconic creations, reflects his innovative approach to furniture design.

Jacobsen’s meticulous attention to detail is evident in the chair’s organic, egg-shaped form, which not only serves as a visual statement but also prioritizes the user’s comfort and sense of enclosure. The chair’s groundbreaking design showcased Jacobsen’s ability to seamlessly blend aesthetics with functionality. With an illustrious career spanning architecture, furniture design, and product design, Arne Jacobsen’s contributions have left an indelible mark on the world of design, and the Egg Chair stands as a testament to his enduring influence and creative legacy.

The Original Purpose For the Egg Chair

Arne Jacobsen designed the Egg Chair in 1958 as part of his broader architectural project, the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. Driven by his commitment to creating a cohesive and harmonious design for the hotel, Jacobsen sought to craft furniture that not only complemented the overall aesthetic but also provided a unique and comfortable experience for the occupants. The Egg Chair, with its distinctive egg-shaped silhouette and enveloping form, was conceived as a response to the desire for privacy and tranquility within the public spaces of the hotel.

Jacobsen’s innovative design not only addressed the functional needs of the project but also marked a departure from traditional furniture styles, introducing a timeless and iconic piece that would later become synonymous with mid-century modern design. The Egg Chair’s conceptualization reflected Jacobsen’s holistic approach to design, integrating architecture and furniture seamlessly to create a unified and visually striking environment.

the egg chair in black leather with los angeles in the background

The Egg Chair’s Iconic Status

Design Icon

The Egg Chair’s distinctive egg-shaped form, enveloping design, and meticulous craftsmanship have contributed to its recognition as a symbol of mid-century modern design. Its iconic status is further solidified by its prevalence in popular culture, appearing in films, television shows, and upscale interiors worldwide. The chair’s seamless blend of style and comfort, coupled with its versatility in various design schemes, has made it a coveted piece for contemporary living spaces. Beyond its aesthetic allure, the Jacobsen Chair remains a representation of design excellence, a timeless classic that continues to influence and inspire the field of modern furniture design, showcasing the enduring impact of Jacobsen’s visionary approach to creating functional yet iconic pieces.

Luxury Trophy

The Jacobsen Egg Chair has achieved a coveted status as a luxury trophy due to its considerable expense and exclusivity. Crafted with precision and designed by Arne Jacobsen, this iconic chair is not merely a functional piece but also a symbol of refined opulence. Its price tag, often reflecting the use of premium materials such as fiberglass, high-quality upholstery, and meticulous craftsmanship, places it in the realm of high-end furniture. The limited production and association with mid-century modern design contribute to its rarity, making it a sought-after item among collectors and those with a penchant for distinctive, luxurious furnishings. Possessing a Jacobsen Egg not only elevates the aesthetic of a space but also elevates the status and position of its owner. What a chair can mean is limitless, but one of the meanings of owning a chair with a 5-figure price tag is that you can, a privelage limited to a small portion of the population.

What Does the Egg Chair Cost?

Perhaps this is a good time to discuss the delicate matter of price. The Jacobsen design has been licensed to the Danish furniture maker Fritz Hansen, and is available for sale through a handful of high-end furniture retailers in the US, for example Hive Modern and Design Within Reach. The fabric upholstered Egg Chair costs $9700 USD and up based on the fabric. The Leather Egg Chair retails for $21,000 USD, making the Egg Chair an icon of design a bit out of reach for most of us.

Situation and Usage

The Jacobsen Egg Chair is exceptionally well-suited to a range of sophisticated and design-conscious spaces. Its timeless mid-century modern aesthetic make it an ideal addition to minimalist or upscale interiors that will be enhanced by its simple figure. The chair’s luxurious materials, the high-quality leather or fabric upholstery, contribute to its suitability in refined living rooms, executive offices, and boutique hotels. The Jacobsen Egg often becomes a focal point in contemporary lounges, stylish reading corners, or private home libraries, where its distinctive design and ergonomic comfort create an inviting atmosphere. Its versatility allows it to seamlessly integrate into diverse interior styles, from minimalist to eclectic, adding a touch of iconic design to any space that values both form and function.

Variations and Interpretations

Over the years, other designers have offered additional interpretations of the Egg Chair. Whether you feel that there can only one chicken and that’s the Jacobsen and all the rest are merely knockoffs, or you feel that the incredible edible egg came first as a source of design inspiration for whomever cares to draw from it, there are counltess chairs to choose from that all refer to eggs in one way or another. Below is a gallery of a handful of appealling alternatives to the Jacobsen Egg, each with a unique perspective.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Egg Chair continues to be a captivating, comfortable, albeit pricy icon of modern design. From its 1950’s origins in Copenhagen, seeded throughout popular culture, to its diaspora throughout elegant contemporary spaces today, this chair has secured its place in the hearts and homes of design enthusiasts worldwide. Its ability to blend style with functionality, coupled with a rich history, ensures that the Jacobsen Egg Chair will remain a sought-after piece for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Egg™ chair or egg chair?

Yes. :). The better question is: what kind of chair are you looking for?

How much does it cost?

The price depends on upholstery, with fabric starting at $9,800 and leather at $21,000.

Is it Comfortable?

Yes. The egg chair’s high backrest and curved design provide excellent support, promoting a comfortable and ergonomic sitting experience.

Can I customize the upholstery?

Yes, you can select from various upholstery types and colors at your retailer.

Where can I buy one?

There are several US retailers offering Egg Chairs. Hive Modern, Design Within Reach,

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