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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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

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.

An Austrian bent wood folding easy chair c.1890, 80 cm high. 52 cm wide, 75 cm deep

A single Austrian bent wood chair with a leather seat insert

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 pair of Austrian bent wood cafe chairs, each: 93 cm high, 40 cm wide, 40 cm deep

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

A green painted bentwood armchair, Austrian, circa 1900. 96 cm high, 60 cm wide

A mid 20th century folding oak top school desk, together with matching bentwood chair

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

A Bentwood and cane revolving Captain's chair, Austrian, circa 1900. 81 cm high, 64 cm wide. 56 cm deep

A 19th century Austrian bentwood folding chair, the elegant frame with scroll and ring supports to the sling arms, back and seat with floral self-patterned brocade in gold and lemon tones.

Bentwood chair, French, c1930, with rush woven seat and back. Provenance: Decandence, Sydney

A pair of bentwood open armchairs in beech and dusty pink velvet

A bentwood and caned rocking chair by Ligna, Czechoslovakia

A Garth Chester Art Deco bentwood armchair with suspended shaped seat, hooped 'D' shape armrests, tubular stretchers, Art Deco claw feet. Note: old veneer repair, circa late 1930s. Length 61 cm. Depth 60 cm. Height 69 cm