The BMW dealership in my neighborhood of Seattle relocated, recently. The week they moved, I walked by on my way to lunch and saw this chair in a small pile of trash on the sidewalk. It was a total mess when I found it: the assembly had fallen apart, some of the screws and spacers that connect the frame were missing, the leather was torn up under the seat. I carried it home, cleaned and polished it, and cut off the damaged leather. I managed to jerry-rig the frame together with new screws, nylon washers, and felt. The color is off but it works.

Mart Stam and Marcel Breuer created this design in 1929. Breuer pioneered the use of tube steel for chairs, and Stam first explored the cantilevered form. Legend has it that Breuer was learning to ride a bicycle at the time and was inspired by the strength and elegance of his handlebars.

These are very comfortable reading chairs. The leather is a bit slick (it is from a BMW dealership) and my jeans slip across it. The cantilevered bounce is really pleasant. Even though this chair has seen a lot of use, the tube steel and black leather combination makes it a show piece in my apartment.


Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. […] chair is a version of Mart Stam’s classic. Stam invented the world’s first cantilevered chair, when tube steel’s […]

  2. […] construction. Such a low-sitting cantilever; and 1 1/4″ diameter tubes. (For comparison, my Mart Stam cantilever has a 1″ diameter tube I see everywhere; sounds like a small delta, but it’s quite […]

  3. Hello.
    I have 4 of these Stam chairs…ALL with broken screws (that hold the seat/back to the frame). Do you know of any source for these screws?

    • Joseph, thank you for your question! Small parts like that are hard to find, retail.

      My advice: find knock-off chairs at the Goodwill and use them as parts-donors. That’s how I replaced the support bar beneath my chair.



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