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Edward Wormley Furniture

Edward Wormley (USA, 1907–95)
Edward Wormley (USA, 1907–95)

As the longtime director of design for the Dunbar furniture company, Edward Wormley was, along with such peers as George Nelson at Herman Miller Inc., and Florence Knoll of Knoll Inc., one of the leading forces in bringing modern design into American homes in the mid-20th century. Not an axiomatic modernist, Wormley deeply appreciated traditional design, and consequently his work has an understated warmth and a timeless quality that sets it apart from other furnishings of the era.

Wormley was born in rural Illinois and as a teenager took correspondence courses from the New York School of Interior Design. He later attended the Art Institute of Chicago but ran out of money for tuition before he could graduate. Marshall Field hired Wormley in 1930 to design a line of reproduction 18th-century English furniture; the following year he was hired by the Indiana-based Dunbar, where he quickly distinguished himself. It was a good match. Dunbar was an unusual firm: it did not use automated production systems; its pieces were mostly hand-constructed. For his part, Wormley did not use metal as a major component of furniture; he liked craft elements such as caned seatbacks, tambour drawers, or the woven-wood cabinet fronts seen on his Model 5666 sideboard of 1956. He designed two lines for Dunbar each year — one traditional, one modern — until 1944, by which time the contemporary pieces had become the clear best sellers.

Many of Wormley’s signature pieces are modern interpretations of traditional forms. His 1946 Riemerschmid Chair — an example is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art — recapitulates a late 19th-century German design. The long, slender finials of his Model 5580 dining chairs are based on those of Louis XVI chairs; his Listen-to-Me Chaise (1948) has a gentle Rococo curve; the “Precedent” line that Wormley designed for Drexel Furniture in 1947 is a simplified, pared-down take on muscular Georgian furniture. But he could invent new forms, as his Magazine table of 1953, with its bent wood pockets, and his tiered Magazine Tree (1947), both show. And Wormley kept his eye on design currents, creating a series of tables with tops that incorporate tiles and roundels by the great modern ceramicists Otto and Gertrud Natzler. As the items on 1stDibs demonstrate, Edward Wormley conceived of a subdued sort of modernism, designing furniture that fits into any decorating scheme and does not shout for attention.

Iconic Designs from Edward Wormley
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
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A-Frame Chair
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Heart Chair
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Creator:Edward Wormley
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Dunbar Midcentury Square End Table
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
A square top end table with adjustable middle shelf. By Edward Wormley for Dunbar. USA, 1975. Signed/dated with metal Dunbar tag and paper label to underside. Beautiful original e...
Category

1970s North American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wood, Mahogany

Edward Wormley Dunbar End Table with Shelf, 2 Available
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wood, Mahogany

Dunbar Polygon End Table
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wood, Mahogany

Set of 2 Cantilever End Tables by Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wood, Mahogany

Pair of Rosewood End Tables by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

World Globe by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
The ultimate world globe designed by Edward Wormley for Rand McNally, USA, circa 1950. Features a rotating globe mounted on a walnut base with brass capped legs. Marked "Rand McNally...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Janus Ebonized End Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
Category

1960s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass, Mahogany

Pyramid Bookcase by Edward Wormley
By Drexel, Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
Pyramid bookcase in walnut by Edward Wormley for Drexel, USA, circa 1950. Signed. Dimensions (in inches): 40" L. 17.5" D. 25.5" H. 8" D (top shelf). 10.5" D (middle shelf).
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Dunbar Ebonized Round End Table
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Slipper Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
Slipper chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. USA, circa 1950. Signed with brass tag. Features tufted back with piping. Original fabric is in good, usable condition. Dark brown mah...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

Asymmetrical Walnut Coffee Table By Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
Coffee table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. USA, circa 1950. Trapezoid-shaped top on a simple base with brass capped feet. Natural walnut finish.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Bold Coffee Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
Bold mahogany coffee table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. USA, circa 1950. Signed with Dunbar tag. U-shaped legs supporting a rectangular top. .
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

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Dunbar Polygon End Table
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Dunbar Ebonized Round End Table
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
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Dunbar Midcentury Rectangular Tri Level End Table
By Dunbar Furniture
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Set of 2 Cantilever End Tables by Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
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1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

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Edward Wormley Dunbar End Table with Shelf, 2 Available
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

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Pair of Rosewood End Tables by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
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Mahogany

Janus Ebonized End Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
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Pair of Midcentury Walnut and Smoked Glass End Tables with Rectangular Tops
By Lane Furniture
Located in New York, NY
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass, Glass, Walnut

Single Walnut and Glass End Table by Adrian Pearsall
By Adrian Pearsall
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Glass, Wood

Pair of French Style Gilt Tall End Tables
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s Chinese Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Metal

Pair of Art Deco White Lacquer End Tables
Located in New York, NY
Category

1940s American Art Deco Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Walnut End Table with White Inset Top in the Manner of Harvey Probber
By Harvey Probber
Located in New York, NY
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Metal

Previously Available Items
Pair of Edward Wormley Ebonized Stepped End Tables
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in New York, NY
Pair of ebonized mahogany end tables with stepped top and Asian inset detail by Edward Worley for Dunbar. Signed with stamped mark. USA, circa 1950. Dimensions (inches): Overal...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Mahogany New World Dresser by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
"New World" mahogany dresser / chest of drawers from the "Enduring Modern" collection, New World Group, by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Model #4100C. Signed "Dunbar." USA, circa 194...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Deep Sofa by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in New York, NY
A solid and deep sofa resting on an espresso-stained, four-leg mahogany base with three-seat cushions and three back cushions. Made by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Signed on seat decki...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Fabric, Wood

  • Deep Sofa by Edward Wormley
  • Deep Sofa by Edward Wormley
  • Deep Sofa by Edward Wormley
  • Deep Sofa by Edward Wormley
H 26.5 in. W 83 in. D 31 in.
Walnut End Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in New York, NY
A pair of walnut end tables designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Signed. Priced and sold individually. Tables feature a natural finish with a square top overhanging at one e...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Pair of Dunbar Midcentury Square End Tables
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in New York, NY
A pair of square top end tables with adjustable middle shelf. By Edward Wormley for Dunbar. USA, 1975. Signed/dated with paper labels to underside. Beautiful original espresso / d...
Category

1970s North American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wood, Mahogany

  • Pair of Dunbar Midcentury Square End Tables
  • Pair of Dunbar Midcentury Square End Tables
  • Pair of Dunbar Midcentury Square End Tables
  • Pair of Dunbar Midcentury Square End Tables
H 22.5 in. W 29.5 in. D 29.5 in.
Pair of Perfect Cube End Tables by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in New York, NY
Pair of cube-shaped, three-level end tables by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, signed, USA, circa 1950. Professionally refinished in dark chocolate brown. Very good to excellent condit...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Natlzer Tile Cabinets by Edward Womley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in New York, NY
Two coordinating solid walnut cabinet and dresser with rare Natzler tile inserts on brass pulls, and exterior dovetail joinery. From the Janus line by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. US...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

  • Natlzer Tile Cabinets by Edward Womley for Dunbar
  • Natlzer Tile Cabinets by Edward Womley for Dunbar
  • Natlzer Tile Cabinets by Edward Womley for Dunbar
  • Natlzer Tile Cabinets by Edward Womley for Dunbar
H 33.25 in. W 34.25 in. D 19.25 in.

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