003 Butterfly chair
Designed by Lucian Ercolani for Ercol, 1958
Beech, Elm veneered plywood
In the mid 1950’s Ercolani started working on the Butterfly chair, then designated the ‘401 Preformed Chair’.
Clearly influenced by the designs of Eames and others, the chair utilised a moulded elm veneered plywood seat and back, the first time Ercol had used such a technique.
He combined this with the more traditional turned spindle Windsor style base and steam bent back supports.An important part of the design was that the legs passed through the seat, as in the vernacular Windsor chair.This makes for a very strong joint and an attractive design element.
The combination of traditional and modern created a chair uniquely set apart from other modernist designs.
Launched to the public in 1958, the chair achieved some popularity, but was dropped from the range by the 1980’s. In 2002, Margaret Howell was instrumental in reviving the chair and it is still in production today.
We would like to say a big thank you to Edward Tadros, Lucian Ercolani’s grandson and Ercol Chairman, for his permission to use the design in our product.
A flat printed material can be cut out and assembled on your desk top – then you realise there is a small diorama around it. Our mission as curators of the 1:16 mini museum is to deliver this little wonder through a history of chairs and their associated interiors.
It might be difficult to own the real historical chairs – but you can reconstruct a tiny corner of a room and enjoy the history of the chair and interior with this ‘mini museum’!