Cool curves. This Thonet chair and the “bentwood” series are ubiquitous and deserve to be so because they were the world’s first mass-produced chairs.

Michael Thonet was a German-Austrian master carpenter. In the 1830s, he developed a technique to make special wood veneers he could steam bend.  From very little material, he could create rich structures that were shipped in pieces and easily assembled with a complimentary IKEA wrench, or similar. The most famous model–No. 14–was developed in 1855 and by 1930 over thirty million models had sold. That means a lot of chairs await me at the Value Village.

What a great chair to have around. All the materials are warm and soft to the touch. It’s easy to move because anywhere you grip feels like a fantastic handle design. The top bar on this model was too far forward and uncomfortable on my back, but there are plenty more styles to be found. For $9.99 you could sit on a lot worse.


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  1. […] posted before about Thonet bentwood chairs. They’re everywhere you look. But these were some of the best I’ve ever […]


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