Mid century chair model no 56 by Gebruder Thonet, 1920s

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About this vintage design furniture

This is one of the most iconic and commercially successful chairs designed and produced by famous Gebruder Thonet Company. It was first designed in 1883 (most likely by August Thonet) and can be find in Thonet catalogues in a slightly modified version, named model number 56. In Thonet’s long history, this chair was in many ways quite revolutionary and it was actually this design that started Thonet’s "Classic Line II.” The first major improvement of this piece was the huge saving in the quantity of material/wood needed to make this chair. Only two 90 cm long pieces together with one 40 cm long in the middle were necessary to build the back of this chair. That meant that significantly shorter pieces could have been used in contrast to the 230 cm long wooden rods which were needed for chairs in Classic Line I. That also meant that the transport and handling of the shorter parts in the factory was much easier and quicker. Another big advantage of building a chair from shorter multiple pieces was the technique of wood bending. Instead of difficult manual bending that needed well trained and high skilled labour, it was possible to bend these shorter parts on a machine. This resulted a higher efficiency with more pieces being produced in a much shorter time. Last but not least , was the big innovation in the design of the chairs. All the previously mentioned improvements meant that Thonet could produce vast numbers of different variations of the back rest, with more ease and speed. The particular chair has got a striking honeycomb colour on all parts. This natural colour of the wood looks great in this simple design where the main features are the gently curved legs and backrest. The chair has the original Thonet Company label positioned underneath the seat. The label says simply Thonet, without mentioning Vienna or Gebruder Thonet. From this, we can be sure that this chair was produced after 1919 as the result of political changes in Europe after First World War erased any mentioning of connection to Austria from the Thonet labels. The chair is in great vintage condition with only minor wear and patina gained over the years. The piece have been recently completely refurbished. Our experienced craftsman has carried the restoration to the highest standard, by using the original techniques and respecting the character of the chair, while reviving the beautiful natural pattern of both the seat and the backrest which were subsequently finished by hand in Shellac varnish. Reference : 244597

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40 cm
83 cm
43 cm
Seat height
47 cm
Michael THONET
Art Deco
Eastern Europe
Main material

delivery and return

  • Shipped from : Czechia
  • Delivery time :
    • 1 week for small items
    • 2 to 5 weeks for bulky products
  • Return possible: up to 14 days after delivery

About the designer

Michael THONET

1829 - 1910

Born in Germany in 1796, the carpenter and furniture designer Michael Thonet played a key role in the development of the modern movement with the invention of the wood bending process.

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