Lot 124: Thonet, 3-Part Doll Furniture, Bentwood, c. 1900
December 2, 2016
Berlin, Berlin, GermanyLive Auction
Beech bentwood, rattan
Austria, around 1900
Thonet Bentwood manufactory, established in 1819 by Michael Thonet
Model number 1
The set comprises a circular table and two chairs, each with a round seat on four legs, rattan covering on seat and on curved, ovoid backrest
Height of the table: 26 cm
Dimensions of the chairs: 30.5-32 x 17.5 x 26-27 cm
The living room suite is in good condition, consistent with age-related signs of wear, like small bumps, partial scratch marks and slight rubbing. One chair with renewed rattan covering.
The furniture company Thonet was established by Michael Thonet (1796-1871) and is family-owned to this day. Michael Thonet began to develop the production of furniture from mechanic to industrial manufacturing. For this purpose, he experimented with bentwood. In 1836 he acquired the Michelsmuehle, a glue factory in Boppard - but run into financial difficulties and had to close this establishment in 1841 and moved to Vienna with his family. There he opened an establishment of his own again in 1849 he named it Gebrueder Thonet . He achieved his breakthrough design with the Viennese bistro chair, also known as Chair No. 14 (1859). The chair was designed at the first Thonet factory, which opened in Koritchan, Moravia in 1859. Factories later opened in various German, French, and Austrian locations. There, the company employed new working procedures to standardize manufacturing, such as division of labor and movable parts that made chairs a relatively cheap mass product. The chair turned Thonet into an internationally successful business; the company produced and sold two million different objects in 1912. It had sale locations across Europe as well as in Chicago and New York. In the 1930s, tubular steel was added as a new material and Thonet produced designs by Mart Stam, Marcel Breuer, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Even today, new designs in addition to the classics are produced in the company headquarters in Hessian Frankenberg. (lvp)
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