Size: 77 x 131.5 x 80; seat height 42 cms
Material: varnished steel tubing, aluminum, vinyl cushions
Marshmallow Love Seat #5670, commonly known as the Marshmallow sofa, is a modernist sofa designed by Irving Harper of George Nelson Associates and produced by the American furniture company Herman Miller. While Director of Design for the Herman Miller furniture company both George Nelson, and his design studio, George Nelson Associates, designed much of the 20th century’s most iconic modernist furniture.
This sofa is considered one of the symbol of all modernist sofas and of the earliest Pop Art furniture designs, it represents the transformation of a traditional sofa into a three-dimensional pattern consisting of brightly-coloured cushions, supported by a simple steel structure.
It was produced in two lengths from 1956 to 1961. The 52″ version (smaller and more common version) incorporates 18 cushions in a pattern of 4-5-5-4 and the bigger one (103″) uses 38 cushions in a 9-10-10-9 pattern. It consists of a metal frame with round discs of covered foam, or “marshmallows”, spread across the seat and back in a lattice arrangement.
The seat and back are supported by a steel construction and the unit has the shape of an axially symmetrical folded-out waffle. White, orange, pink, black, blue and multi-colored marshmallow cushions have all been used in designer originals.
Its production required high labor costs; additionally, the unorthodox sofa hardly seemed suited to contemporary interiors. Production at Herman Miller was therefore discontinued around 1965 and Vitra produced the “Marshmallow” sofa from 1988 to 1994; finally the production was resumed in 2003 and has continued ever since. Vitra is the only company authorised to manufacture a particular selection of his product range for Europe and South Asia.
Examples of the 186 originally produced sofas routinely sell for $15,000 or more. The extremely rare 103″ length is virtually never seen offered for sale.