(Image courtesy of D Rose Modern)
Part of the Alu Group Series that first came to the market in 1958, the Eames High Back Alu Chair was added to the portfolio in 1966 when the first Universal Bases were introduced and the focus was more and more on commercial seating.
The Eames Alu Group High Back chair was very much marketed at the work place and was considered a 'management chair'. It came as standard with manual height adjustment, tilt and swivel mechanism and so was considered top of the range for the series. It was released in tandem with an upgraded low back desk chair (EA117 & EA118), aimed at the same commercial seating marketplace and fully loaded with all functions.
As with all the series, the High Back Alu eames chair was released initially in fabric and Naugahyde upholstery but leather became an option into the 1970's. A change of base also occurred in the 1980's with the Universal base changing to 5 legs instead of 4. After years of faithful adherence to the original design, a pneumatic height adjustment was finally an available option since 2015, as an additional extra.
Since its 1966 release the Eames Alu Group High Back Chair has been a mainstay Management Chair option that has grown something of a classic status over the years. Apart from it's visual beauty, the chair is also an ergonomic masterpiece and the source of inspiration throughout the years to office chairs ever since. It therefore comes as no surprise that the chair has been in continuous production since its introduction to this day.
The Alu Group has a habit of confusing buyers, sellers and even hardened collectors. This is partly due to the change in emphasis the series has had from indoor/outdoor, home leisure chairs, to workplace favorites and back again. This coupled with design enhancements which in turn changed model codes and numbers on many occasions. See our full Alu Group classifications page for the full list but these are the codes of the High Back Alu Chair:
|Height||39.5 - 41.5”||100.33 - 105.41 cm|
|Seat Height||16.5 - 18.5"||41.91 - 45.72 cm|
|Frame||Sand-Cast Alu Frame|
|Upholstery||Hopsack, Naugahyde, Leather, Mesh, Custom|
|Base||Universal 4 and 5 star Bases|
Many of the Eameses furniture designs went through generations, but far from being pre-determined or intentional, most were mere consequential results of natural design development. As improvements, taste and functionality changed, so did many of the designs and these are what we class as generations. These in turn help us to age a product, authenticate a product and value it too. Our interpretation of the Alu Group and the High Back chair is as follows:
The 1st generation Alu Group Pedestal base (58-73) but there was no High Back Chair in this generation (Image courtesy of D Rose Modern)
For the sake of continuity, we include here the first generation bases of the Alu Group series which ran from 1958 to 1973.
There was no High Back Alu Group Chair in the first generation, only being introduced with the second generation bases.
The second generation base of the Alu Group (and 1st of the High Back chair) is the Universal 4-star base (Image courtesy of D Rose Modern)
The second generation Alu Group Base (first for the Alu High Back Chair) arrived in 1966 with the introduction of the Universal base.
This new base was able to be fitted with either castors or glides making it perfect for work related chairs such as the High Back Alu Chair.
The Alu Group received an overhaul in the 70's with a little dimension changes and with it came a model coding change. The generation however oversaw even greater success for the Alu Group.
Estimated years 1966-1993
The 3rd Alu Group Generation (2nd for High Back Chair) was the 5-star Universal Base (Image courtesy of D Rose Modern)
The 3rd generation came in 1985 with a change to the base once again. The 4-star Universal Base was adapted and changed from a lateral cross shape with 4 legs to a star design with 5.
This new design was introduced to provide greater stability to the chair, especially in the rigors of the workplace. New options also became available including Leather upholstery. In 2015 a Pneumatic height adjuster was brought in as an optional extra to the manual version.
Estimated years 1985-Present
Third generation Alu Group High Back in Brown Leather on Universal 5-star base (Image courtesy of D Rose Modern)
Modern edition Alu Group High Back now featuring a pneumatic height adjuster (Image courtesy of D Rose Modern)
A second generation Alu Group (first generation High Back) shown on 4-star base (Image courtesy of D Rose Modern)
Rear of a later model 5-star Universal Base Alu Group High Bach chair (Image courtesy of D Rose Modern)