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Michael Thonet, Chair No. 2, Bentwood, Austria, c. 1890

Lot 0045
Beech bentwood, brown stained, rattan
Austria, c. 1890
Michael Thonet (1796-1871) – German master carpenter and founder of the Thonet Brothers, manufacture of bentwood furniture
Trapezoidal seat frame on slightly curved conical legs
Revolving stretcher below seat
Open-worked, heart-shaped backrest, terminating in volutes
High positioned armrests levelling off correspondingly
On the inside of the apron hot-branded stamp ‘Thonet’ in round, hollowed cartouche
Dimensions: 95 x 52 x 56 cm; Seat height: 48.5 cm
Good condition

Offered here is one of the icons of the Viennese coffeehouses of the 19th century: Thonet’s famous coffeehouse chair no. 2. Made from solid bent and stained beechwood, this model with its heart shaped backrest is the embodiment of the light, convenient furniture, which revolutionized the furniture industry. The basis for this was a new technology - the bending of solid wood - which was perfected by Michael Thonet in the 1850s. The distinctive design of this classic with its clearly reduced aesthetic has found its place in the most varying environments since 150 years.

The chair bears a hot-branded stamp ‘Thonet’ on the inside of the apron. It is in a good, age-related condition. The round capital of the left leg is only existing in half. The screw joints show flash rust and partially the surface is rubbed and bumped. The dimensions of the chair are 95 x 52 x 56 cm, with the seat height measuring 48.5 cm.

Thonet Brothers (established 1819)

Michael Thonet (1796-1871) established Thonet Brothers in 1819 and until today is a family-owned business. Michael Thonet started to transform the production of furniture from craftsmanship into an industrial process. This he did by experimenting with bentwood. With his no. 4 Café Daum chair or chair no. 14 from 1859, he achieved a breakthrough. The pieces were being produced in distribution of tasks and the work steps were being standardizes; the chairs were demountable and was thus quickly turning into a relatively cheap mass-produced article. With the help of his chairs, Thonet became an internationally successful company, in 1912 two million different products were manufactured and sold. In the 1930s, steel tubing arrived as new material and Thonet produced designs by Mart Stam, Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The company headquarters in Hessian Frankenberg still manufactures the classical furniture, but also designs new models. (nlu)

Shipping costs excl. statutory VAT and plus 2,5% (+VAT) shipping insurance.

Starting Bid


Buyer's Premium

  • 23.8%

Michael Thonet, Chair No. 2, Bentwood, Austria, c. 1890

Auction ended on Thu, Apr 23, 2015
Estimate €1,280 - €1,600
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