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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Thonet, bentwood music stand, with stencilled musical trophy (A/F), height 112 cm. Provenance: The Estate of the late Janis Salisbury, Sydney

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A large bentwood hallstand, circa: 1900, having a central oval mirror set within a large oval frame flanked by two reed cluster poles with beehive finials and issuing four generous curvaceous hooks, a boldly shaped scrolling umbrella and stick stand with o

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A bentwood hat and coat rack, traditional form with umbrella stand to the base and hooks to the top. 170 cm

Bentwood settee, Austrian by Kohn, rattan back two seater

A five piece bentwood and cane salon setting, circa: 1900, an ebonised setting comprising a three seat canape with a circular and heart shaped back and scrolling arms upon tapering sabre legs with a box stretcher, the four chairs of conforming design, all

An early 20th century bentwood adjustable piano stool, cane & upholstered seat in tact

A Thonet bentwood settee, late 19th century, 113 cm across the arms

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A Splay leg bentwood towel rack in beech, condition: faded finish, but in solid order, 90 x 71 x 28 cm

Late Victorian bentwood piano stool with circular caned top

Antique bentwood occasional table, 56 cm x 56 cm, 62 cm high

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

A set of stylish Art Nouveau bentwood chairs by J. And J Kohn, Austrian circa 1905

An interesting large bentwood arrmchair together with another ratan back chair.

An easy chair similar to Bruno Mathsson's 'Eva' design, bentwood beech ply framed with woven webbing upholstery.

A French provincial bentwood hallstand with central oval mirror. 200 cm high, 98 cm wide

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

Shaped oval marble top table with bentwood legs, early 20th century 80 x 98 x 70 cm

Bentwood rocking chair rocking chair with analined leather seat and back. Press stud detail Italy, c. 1920 108 cm high, 57 cm wide, 108 cm deep

Pair of side chairs bentwood with square sectional side features original laquered finish Austria, c. 1910 80 cm high, 57 cm wide, 54 cm deep

A mid 20th century bentwood music stand and stool designed by Peter Moritz

Bentwood stool, approx 60 cm high, 38 cm diameter

Mahogany bentwood pair of plant stands designed for the Libra Company Cambridge England. Condition excellent to good, almost as new. Height 24.5 cm

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

A bentwood stool. C. 1950s, Australia. Bentwood with black leather seat. 38 cm high, 47 cm wide, cm

An Edwardian bentwood rocking chair with floral upholstery 48 cm x 92 cm x 88 cm

Antique bentwood piano stool with red upholstery, approx 45 cm high, 40 cm diameter