Released in 1957, as part of the Alu Group range of furniture, the Eames Contract Base Coffee Tables were a selection of small side tables designed to compliment both chairs and larger dining tables through use of a common base type. Originally just called 'Alu Group Tables' both the dining and coffee sizes became known as the 'Contract Base' table following widespread practical use of the group within commercial settings.
Standing at 16 inches in height, the Eames Contract Base coffee side tables were generally meant to most compliment the use of the Alu Group Lounger or Recliner in a lounge setting.
The Contract coffee tables were initially released with two choices of circular top sizes, 36 and 42 inches in diameter. These first early tables were available in either a white plastic finish (models 661 & 663) or for outside use in either opaque white glass or Botticino marble (models 691 & 693). The early 1960's would see a third size of 48" introduced for the plastic only tables (model 667). By 1964 the popularity of the Alu group was growing and the tables could be ordered with square tops, custom sizes and in a range of natural wood veneers in addition to plastic. A 54" diameter top was also added to the range in 1964 and by the 2000's the tables had been available in multiple plastic colors, faux veneer, real wood veneer and natural stones.
The Eames Contract Base tables were a catalog mainstay with Herman Miller, changing model numbers to ET307 through ET314 in the 1970's. The tables remained on the catalog well into the 2000's and are available on request today.
The Eames Contract Base Coffee Side Tables were all sold with a fixed height of 16 inches. The catalog sizes of the tables were 36, 42, 48 and (later) 54 inches in diameter as well as 30, 36 and 42 inches in later squared versions. The tables were found in a multitude of popular finishes over the years and for a period of time Herman Miller offered customization of the top sizes, most likely into specific commercial settings.
|Outdoor||Opaque White Glass, Botticino Marble, Honed Slate, White Onyx|
|Laminated||White Laminated Plastic, Grey, Soft White, Neutral Light,Frosted Laminate, Tan laminate, Faux Walnut Plastic, Faux Rosewood Plastic, Faux Grain Plastic|
|Veneer||Ash, Maple, Beech, American Walnut, Rosewood, White Oak, Cherry, Light Ash, Mahogany,|
The below extract is from the 1964 Herman Miller catalog and depicts the custom book options for the Contract Base Coffee Side tables. The 48 and 54 inch diameter top versions had ever so slightly enlarged bases in order to distribute the extra weights.
The Herman Miller 1964 extract displaying varying circular and (for the first time) square table tops for the contract base dining, work and coffee side tables.
The distinctive contract base consisted of a one piece sand casted aluminum cross structure with a black steel tubular column and push in nylon glides (changed to screw in on later models)
First brochure release of the Aluminum Group included the Eames Contract base coffee table and chairs
This 1977 Herman Miller brochure page depicts the available sizes of the Eames contract coffee table (16") as well as dining/work options
The edge of the Contract tables had a vinyl strip that was tough and durable against knocks and scrapes
A 1977 Herman Miller brochure page of all the available square shaped Contract base tables including coffee and dining options