Learn about Bentwood

The Austrian bentwood furniture designed by Michael Thonet (1796-1871) was among the 19th century's most original contributions to furniture development. Thonet used the techniques of steam-bending and the pliable nature of beech wood to make chairs, tables, hallstands, cots and so on. The furniture was simple in form, light in weight, elegant and capable of being mass produced, so that bentwood furniture was exported to many parts of the world, including Australia, following its success at the 1851 Great Exhibition. Thonet chairs, and those made by his competitor Kohn, often have paper trade labels pasted on the inside seat rail. Thonet was not the first to apply the techniques of steam bending to furniture. It was used, for example, during the 18th century by the Windsor chair makers to construct bow back or hoop back chairs, and the arched crinoline stretchers but he was the first to exploit it on such a vast commercial scale.
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Naoto Fukasawa (Japanese, b. 1956), S130 Chair, designed 2010, manufactured by Thonet GmbH, Frankenberg Germany, solid wood frame with moulded plywood seat and back, height 84 cm width 49 cm depth 56 cm. Provenance: Purchased from Anibou

Pair of folding bentwood and cane chairs, c. 1900, in the manner of Gebruder Thonet, one seat (A/F), height 90 cm width 59 cm depth 77 cm. Provenance: the collection of Hugh Fraser

Joseph Hoffman designed armchair for Thonet, an armchair in black leather, C 1980s, Germany

A fine Thonet bentwood and cane settee, circa 1900, the curved beech frame with a hole to hole cane shaped back and a conforming seat, with curvaceous arm supports and tapering legs. Height 97 cm. Width 137 cm. Depth 60 cm

Early 20th century bentwood settee by Thonet 110 x 106 x 57 cm

An early 20th century bentwood chaise lounge by Thonet 190 x 90 x 61 cm

A large Thonet bentwood hallstand, Austrian, circa 1910. approx. 1.1m high

Otto Wagner (Austrian, 1841- 1918), pair of chairs designed for the Vienna Postoffice manufactured by Gebrüder Thonet, Frankenberg, steam-bent and stained beechwood (2). Height 74.5 cm. Width 56 cm. Depth 55 cm. Otto Wagner (Austrian, 1841- 1918), pair of

Thonet 'Fureau' bench solid beech frame with woven cane seat. Height 97 cm. Width 117 cm. Depth 47 cm

A set of eight Thonet style bentwood dining chairs c.1890. The set comprising of two carvers and six dining chairs with rattan cane seats. Note: old manufactures 'Austrian' paper label underneath seat frames. Heights: 101 cm & 106 cm

A caned day bed in the style of Thonet, 70 cm headrest height, 210 cm long, 60 cm wide

Four Austrian early 20th century cane bentwood dining chairs, possibly Thonet

A black Thonet hat-stand, Austrian, circa 1905, stampedThonet to base. 202 cm high

A good pair of early Austrian Bent wood Cafe chairs with imbossed seats, proberly Thonet together with tie in seat cushions

Pierre Paulin (French 1927 - 2009), a pair of 'Mushroom' chairs (model #560), designed in 1960. Upholstered in aubergine stretch fabric, these chairs date from the early 1970's and were reupholstered in?1992. Born in Paris in 1927, Paulin is widely regarde

Marcel Breuer, B35 armchair (1928and29) manufactured by Gebruder Thonet, tubular steel, wood, and canvas, Thonet label to underside

An unusual set of eight thonet beech bentwood chairs including two elbow chairs, the backs with entwined bentwood scrolls surrounding oval caned panels and caned seats, raised on cabriole front legs and out thrust back legs, incised numbers to undersides,

An imposing Thonet ebonised hat and coat stand Austrian, circa 1910. Stamped Thonet, height 224 cm

A pair of late Victorian Thonet side chairs in wood and leather. Original pressed brass labels. Muebles Thonet Alger. Height 87 cm. Faults to leather

A Thonet bentwood occasional table, Austrian circa 1905, with original paper maker label and retailers labels for Sharks Furnishing Warehouse 22 Chapel Street Prahran. Height 78 cm. Diameter 49 cm

A set of six American oak Thonet dining chairs with cross-hatched back supports and original beige vinyl seat upholstery.

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