Eames Elephant Plywood_FS_web_sub_hero

Eames Elephant (Plywood)

Charles & Ray Eames, 1945

Charles and Ray Eames developed a toy elephant made of plywood in 1945; however, this piece never went into production. One prototype was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1946 and still survives in the Eames family archives today. After issuing a first limited edition in 2007, Vitra commenced serial production of the Eames Elephant in plywood in 2018.

The Eames Elephant in plywood is available in cherry wood or – as a special numbered and labelled series – in grey-stained ash.

The Eames Elephant additionally exists in plastic, ideal for children, as well as in a smaller version also in plastic, Eames Elephant (small), with both available in a variety of colours.

The Eames Elephant in a dark green stained finish is part of the Eames Special Collection 2023 and is only available until the end of January 2024.


Moulded plywood (Eames Elephant Plywood)
Product family

Eames Elephant

In the early 1940s, Charles and Ray Eames spent several years developing and refining a technique for moulding plywood into three-dimensional shapes, creating a series of furniture items and sculptures in the process. Among these initial designs, the two-part elephant proved to be the most technically challenging due to its tight compound curves, and the piece never went into serial production. A prototype was given to Charles's 14-year-old daughter Lucia Eames and later borrowed for the exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1946. It still survives in the Eames family archives today. After a limited edition in 2007, Vitra has now added a plywood version of the legendary Eames Elephant to its standard portfolio. The sculptural decorative figure with a high-quality face veneer in American cherry has been available since 2017. Several years ago, the Eames Elephant was also launched in plastic, making it available to the target group for which it was originally intended: children. And a smaller version – with an identical design but reduced in scale – likewise comes in plastic in a choice of colours.

This product was designed by

Charles & Ray Eames

Charles and Ray Eames are counted among the most important figures of twentieth-century design. Their work spans the fields of furniture design, filmmaking, photography and exhibition design. Vitra is the sole authorised manufacturer of Eames products for Europe and the Middle East. When you own an Eames product made by Vitra, you know it is an original.