Eileen Gray Table – A Closer Look

The Eileen Gray Table is one of the most popular modern classic side tables still in mass production.  The Eileen Gray Table’s functionality, appearance and price make it a very popular item for the first-time modern classic buyer.  Though Eileen Gray created several different tables in her lifetime, the adjustable height table is clearly the most famous.

Eileen Gray created this table at the E1027 house in the south of France while living with fellow designer Jean Badovici.  It is frequently referred to as the E1027 Table or The Eileen Gray Adjustable Height Table.

The Eileen Gray Table exhibits many of her skills as a craftswoman, as well as a designer.  The Eileen Gray Table makes use of several different sizes of tubular and flat steel.  During her lifetime, Gray worked with a myriad of materials, from wood and different metals, to fabric and polyester, but the Eileen Gray Table clearly exhibits her master craftsmanship with bending steel and welding.

Gray created two posts to give the Eileen Gray Table its unique adjustment ability.  One post is of tubular steel, white the other post is solid round steel.  A simple bracket holds the two posts at an exact distance from each other giving the table the necessary stability needed to adjust the glass top up and down.  From the center of this bracket hangs a chain with a pin attached that perfectly inserts into drilled holes in the vertical tubular post allowing for a range of height adjustments.

Though frequently not noticed, the magnificent base of the Eileen Gray Table is a work of art all to its own.  Tubular steel is used to mirror the radius of the top, but the base does not complete the full circle.  Instead it comes to an elegant end with welded metal endcaps that have been polished and chromed.

The final element that must be examined is the Eileen Gray Table glass top.  The glass could have been shaped to avoid the post that allows for height adjustability, but instead Gray chose to drill a hole in the glass to allow the post to pass through.  This elegant solution not only helps secure the glass to the table, but allows the top to be a complete circle matching the frame upon which it sits.