Boppard Layerwood Chair (1836)

The Layerwood chair is an example of the famous wood bending technique developed by Michael Thonet. Today, the renowned cabinetmaker and furniture designer is synonymous with elegance and vintage industrial design.

Boppard Layerwood Chair Michael Thonet

Innovative chair 

In the 1830s Thonet began experimenting with furniture using glued and bent wood slats. In 1836, Thonet successfully created the Boppard Layerwood Chair, the predecessor to the Bentwood Model 14, using glue as a component. In fact, Thonet even acquired a glue factory in 1837 that produced the glue used for this process.  Another interesting fact is that the chair did not require any glue at all, which left Thonet with a factory that he did not need.

Thonet chairs

Image source: https://study.com


The Boppard Layerwood chair was the first success of Michael Thonet, although he was unable to obtain a patent in various countries for the chair technology he invented. Basically, the Thonet chair was created using light and strong woods, curved into very graceful shapes thanks to the use of hot steam. Thus, he was able to create a large number of unique, comfortable and durable designs. Despite his initial difficulties, the use of hot steam and wood laid the foundation for his tremendous success.

Boppard Chair (1836-40), Michael Thonet

Object name: Boppard Chair

Designer: Michael Thonet

Object type: ChairsSeating

Date: 1836-40

Material: Strips of bent and glued wood, turned wood, veneer, rattan

Dimensions: 85,5 x 42,5 x 50 cm

Manufacturer: Michael Thonet, Boppard am Rhein, Germany

Info sources:

https://www.huset.com.au/blog/a-breif-history-of-thonet-bentwood-chairs/

https://www.dezeen.com/2014/12/20/a-zdvent-calendar-thonet-no-14-chair/

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/10/arts/10iht-design10.1.17621906.html

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