Today Tofu is standing next to the Eames rocker with his toy, ready to play. I look at him and think back to how we got the rocker in the first place. We drove a moving truck through a bunch of snow in the middle of no where and then had Tofu lay on it for hours as we traveled to our new home. It’s one of those right-place at the right-time stories.
Let’s take it back to about six years ago. My husband received a job transfer from Pennsylvania to Minnesota. Around this time, we started collecting mid century pieces from Heywood Wakefield, Cathrineholm, George Nelson, etc but we didn’t have an Eames fiberglass chair. Also at this time, the mid centry modern style wasn’t as popular as it is today so prices were pretty reasonable although anyone holding an Eames rope edge chair knew it was worth money.
We’d watch rope edge rockers on eBay go for thousands of dollars. Well one day, a few days before we were going to move, my husband finds this Eames chair in an auction. The guy clearly didn’t know what he had and in the photos, you could see the rope edge although no mention of it. Also, he had “local pickup only” meaning, less bids because how many people will drive out to get it? Oh and let’s not forget the location: somewhere in the middle of Ohio.
So the husband messages him and it just so happens that it’s on the way to Minnesota. We literally drove the giant moving truck to Ohio and picked this chair up. It was also the middle of winter with snow everywhere. Of course we couldn’t let this one get away.
Pulling up to the house, the snow was too deep for safety so we parked on the road. We got out of the moving truck and in knee deep snow, make our way to the front door. An older man greets us with a look of “why would anyone travel this far for a crummy old chair” written all over his face. He’s also surprised we’re giving him a few hundred bucks. Of course I had to ask how he even got ahold of this chair in the first place.
Him and his wife purchased a shop in a little town somewhere in Ohio. In the old, musty basement sits this rocker chair. He explains that the chair seemed unique so he thought he’d look it up before throwing it away. He researches “Herman Miller Zenith Plastics” on eBay and found several chairs worth a few hundred dollars. Since he didn’t want to deal with shipping it, he thought he’d say “Pick Up Only” just to see if anyone would be interested.
He had no idea how rare this chair is but was happy that it’s going to a great home for someone to appreciate.
The moving truck was packed and we didn’t want to throw it in back. It just so happens to fit perfectly between the driver and passenger seats. Tofu had the pleasure of sitting on it until we made it to our new home. Not even kidding: