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.

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Michael Thonet in his 60s

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Rocking chair made by Thonet-Mundus, number B 804 with feets support (in catalogue under chair no. B 829).

Image source: by Dominik Matus

Innovative chair 

In the 1830s Thonet began experimenting with furniture using glued and bentwood slats. In 1836, Thonet successfully created the Boppard Layerwood Chair, the predecessor to the Bentwood Model 14, using glue as a component. 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.

N.1 (for the Palais Schwarzenburg) (1849), Michael Thonet and sons

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Thonet  Chair,”Chair no. 14″ (“Konsumstuhl Nr. 14”) from 1859

Image source: by Holger.Ellgaard

Thonet Brothers auction catalog dated 1885

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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. 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

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Object name: Boppard Chair

Designer: Michael Thonet

Object type: Chairs, Seating

Date: 1836-40

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

Dimensions: 85,5 x 42,5 x 50 cm

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