In part two of the Vintage Comfort Series, we’ll take a peek at one of the most unique (and maybe a touch impractical) chairs out there.
I was recently watching Men in Black with my daughter when something caught my eye. In one scene, Agent J can be seen awkwardly trying to fill out paperwork while sitting in an Ovalia Egg Chair!
The Ovalia Egg Chair was the brainchild of Danish designer Henrik Thor-Larsen and was unveiled at the Scandanavian Furniture Fair in 1968.
Soon after it was released, the Ovalia quickly became one of the most popular (some would say groovy) home furnishings of the 1970s. I’m picturing one of these awesome chairs in front of a console tv, surrounded by wood paneling and avocado green everything!
An egg-shaped fiberglass frame, often painted a glossy white (to resemble a...you guessed it), is paired with a wool and nylon blend interior. To fit with the times, the chairs interiors were available in a wide array of trippy colors. Some early models of the chair even had built-in lights and stereo speakers!
The main drawback of the Ovalia Egg Chair is that it was built for style and not comfort. Compared to its predecessor, the Eero Aarnio Ball Chair, the Ovalia was much more narrow in its design and therefore made it notoriously uncomfortable for people of size. As a bigger guy, I’m laughing at the mere thought of me trying to get out of one of these things.
In 1978, after only ten years of production, the Ovalia Egg Chair fell out of demand and just sort of disappeared. That is until Men in Black hit the theaters. On the official movie poster, Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith can be seen sitting in a pair of Egg Chairs. This limelight caused the chairs to go back into production and have remained so ever since.
Whether it’s an Ovalia original or reproduction, if you happen to come across one of these iconic chairs the next time you’re at an estate sale, pick it up!
Stay tuned for Part three of the Vintage Comfort Series!
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