Thonet style

 Thonet Style takes its name from Michael Thonet, pioneer in the industrialization of furniture.

Bentwood cafè chairs.
Bentwood cafè chairs.

Image source: https://www.ton.eu/cz/reference/detail/cestr-restaurant-prague,-czech-republic/

Mass Produced Furniture

Until the Industrial Revolution, furniture was created from raw materials. The most innovative features of bentwood chairs in Thonet’s eyes were their expendability due to the mass production. The manufacturing process that he invented was copied by others and Bentwood chairs appeared all over the planet, burgeoning economies of Europe and the United States with a new market.


A black Bentwood chair.
A black Bentwood chair.

 Image source: https://bonbentwood.com.au/products/bon-uno-bentwood-chair-black

Who was Michael Thonet?

Michael Thonet and the No 14 chair.
Michael Thonet and the No 14 chair.

Michael Thonet was born on July 2nd in 1796 and was a cabinet maker. His No. 14 Chair was the first to be mass produced industrially. It was also understood how important was to create chairs in separate parts, to be assembled later, making the transport easier. The retailer would build up the chairs upon arrival at the shop. This was the first example of ‘assembly’ furniture.

Image source: https://www.pinterest.it/pin/372954412888512741/

Thonet Style Features

Basically, the thonet chair resulted from the use of light, strong types of woods were used, very graceful shapes were designed thanks to the use of hot steam. He could create several designs that were unique, comfortable and longlasting. Parts for dozens of chairs could be stored into one box for shipping, which cut costs.

Model no. 14 bentwood chair, Thonet (1859)
Model no. 14 bentwood chair, Thonet (1859).

Image source: https://www.moma.org/collection/works/110615

About Bentwood Chairs

There have been a many famous people who have owned Bentwood chairs: world leaders, painters, scientists and more, for example Albert Einstein, Joseph Stalin, Pablo Picasso and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec.  Infact, in the Lautrec’s work, “At the Moulin Rouge”,  you can clearly identify two Bentwood chairs in the painting.

At The Moulin Rouge, Toulouse Lautrec.
At The Moulin Rouge, Toulouse Lautrec.

Image source: http://impressionistsgallery.co.uk/artists/Artists/tuv/Toulouse%20Lautrec/92-93.html

Info source: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Thonet

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