Bibendum is a one of a kind. Nowhere in the history of design will one find an armchair that compares to this. It is captivatingly harmonious despite its size and unites a majestic impressiveness with charm and esprit like no other leather armchair. Eileen Gray underscored the character of her endearing parlour lion with twinkling irony, she named it after the Michelin man, whose form this armchair calls to mind. Available in Elmosoft Leather or Divina Wool. Aram Designs Ltd. holds the Worldwide licence for Eileen Gray's designs.
The Bibendum chair's name derives from the mascot of the Michelin tyre company - Monsieur Bibendum, a bon viveur whose characteristic form suggests many a 'spare tyre'. Eileen Gray often named her pieces with such wit - another chair, this time with one arm, became 'the Nonconformist'.
Designed in 1926, Eileen used the Bibendum chair in many of her interiors. It was sold in her Paris shop named Jean Désert and took pride of place in the salon of the beautiful Villa E1027 - the 'Maison en Bord de Mer' that Eileen designed with her partner Jean Badovici in Roquebrune Cap Martin on the French Riviera. It was also seen in the 'Salon Verre' of the Rue du Lota apartment of Madame Mathieu-Lévy when it was photographed for L'Illustration magazine in 1933. Eileen had originally designed this apartment in 1920 using her lacquerwork but it was re-done to feature her famous Brick screen and an extraordinary glass floor lit from beneath by architect Paul Ruaud.
When Eileen discussed the first prototype of the contemporary production of the Bibendum chair with Zeev Aram in the 1970s, her exacting nature came to the fore. Sitting her petite form in the chair, she considered a moment and stated that it should be made two centimetres wider. Today the chair is available with upholstery in leather or in wool felt with either a polished chrome or a matt black lacquered base.