|Table E 1027|
Did you know that this particular table is called the E1027 table and was designed in 1925. By a woman no less! Her name was Eileen Gray, or more formally Kathleen Eileen Moray Gray, and she was born in Ireland on 9 August 1878. The mysterious code E 1027 hides her name and that of her co-worker and friend: E is for Eileen, 10 for Jean (J is the 10th letter of the alphabet), 2 for B(adovici) and 7 for G(ray). The perfect table for breakfast in bed!
|Table E 1027 and day bed|
Although born into an aristocratic family, Eileen did not follow the path that many wealthier women of that era trod. Instead, Gray’s father encouraged her love of art and took her on painting tours of Europe to nurture her growing talent and at age twenty went to study at the Slade School of Fine Art in London.
|eileen gray's lacquered screens|
|Eileen Gray serpent chair, or chair with dragons, 1917-1919|
One of Eileen’s most famous pieces of furniture, the Daybed, came into being in 1925 as a result of a commission; she was assigned the task of decorating an apartment in the Rue de Lota in Paris for sucessful milliner; Madame Mathieu Lévy. Eileen began work on the apartment in 1917, and as the decorating process went on, she realized that the furniture she wanted to use for the apartment, did not yet exist. As a result, she chose to design most of the pieces that later went into the apartment, including the Daybed - Part sofa, part bench, and part daybed - a truly versatile piece of furniture, constructed of a chrome and wood frame, and covered in leather on all contact surfaces. Perfect to visually separate a large room, or work in multiple roles in smaller spaces as a bench, bed or sofa.
She also designed the carpets, lacquer screen, and chairs including the Bibendum armchair and the Serpent armchair.
|Rue de Lota apartment|
|Bibendum chair, c. 1925|
|E-1027 (1929), Cap Martin, France, by Eileen Gray|
|Side chair for E-1027|
|Tempe à Pailla|
In 1968, her works were featured in a magazine and drew attention to her designs once again. As a result, several pieces including the Bibendum chair were manufactured by Zeev Aram and went on to soar in popularity. In England you can buy a copy chair here, or here if you are in Australia.
Eileen Gray died in Paris in 1976 at the age of ninety-eight. It's sad to say that during her lifetime she did not receive the recognition that she so well deserved, although she later became known as the pioneer of the modern movement. In 2002, the Irish Museum of Modern art in Dublin purchased her archive and opened a permanent exhibition of her furniture design legacy.
|Eileen Gray, Architectural Cabinet and transat chair, c. 1926 National Museum of Ireland, via E-Flux|
Do you have any Eileen Gray, or Eileen Gray inspired, furniture?