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Edward Wormley Furniture

Edward Wormley (USA, 1907-1995)

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 these pages 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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Creator:Edward Wormley
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Edward Wormley for Dunbar Desk with Drop Leaves and File Cabinet in Dark Finish
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Uncommon Mid-Century Modern Edward Wormley designed compact desk for Dunbar, with two drop leaf extensions and file cabinet on wheels. Desk has two drawers, one large & medium includ...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley Precedent Collection for Drexel Bar Cart Server in Dark Espresso
By Drexel, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Drexel Precedent collection bar cart or server. Refinished in dark espresso on silver elm with textured glass top and tapered legs on casters.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Elm, Glass

Pair of Edward Wormley Precedent Collection for Drexel Rope Lounge Chairs
By Drexel, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Pair of Edward Wormley Precedent collection for Drexel lounge chairs, circa 1947, dark espresso stain on silver elm with woven nylon cording that zig zags between frame arm and seat....
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Elm

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Large Square Coffee Table
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Dunbar large square coffee table or low side with parson legs. Price includes refinishing, custom color option available. No label, guaranteed Dunbar. See my oth...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Edward Wormley for Drexel Precedent Collection 10-Drawer Dresser
By Drexel, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Mid-Century Modern dresser designed by Edward Wormley for his Drexel Precedent collection. Ten drawer dresser in original finish, beautiful Silver Elm veneer, dresser will be touched...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Elm

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Formal Tuxedo Down Filled Sofa
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Dunbar formal, classic and elegant sofa with down filled cushions. Sofa has been reupholstered at some point, so it’s missing the label and is in need of re-uphols...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Pair of Edward Wormley for Drexel Precedent Collection Magazine End Tables
By Drexel, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Drexel Precedent Collection magazine tables or end tables with four pull-out shelves below an open shelf. Dark brown finish on silver elm, to be refinished prior t...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Elm

Edward Wormley for Drexel Precedent Collection Sideboard
By Drexel, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Mid-Century Modern Wormley for Drexel, his Precedent collection sideboard-buffet, originally designed in the late 1940s. Center drawers with end cabinet doors and interior shelves. P...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Elm

1940s Edward Wormley for Dunbar Regency X Form Bench or Stool
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Early design for Dunbar, mahogany bench or vanity stool. X form base with neoclassical styling, and original black leather seat. Mahogany frame will be refinished prior to shipping, ...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Leather, Mahogany

Edward Wormley for Drexel Precedent Collection Cabinet
By Drexel, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley two-door cabinet in ebonized silver elm with brass hardware, circa 1948. The one shown has recently sold, but have another with slightly different hardware available, ...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward J. Wormley for Dunbar Brass Handle Armchair
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward J. Wormley for Dunbar desk or dining chair with tapered legs and brass handle or handhold, circa 1950s. Shown in all original condition with vintage Asian style fabric, has mi...
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1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

1940s Edward Wormley for Dunbar Occasional or Desk Chair
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Dunbar occasional or desk chair, model # 2533. Barrel back occasional chair with dark mahogany legs and older yellow wool upholstery. In need of reupholstery, stri...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

Edward J. Wormley for Dunbar Sideboard
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Dunbar for modern 1940s bleached mahogany sideboard, center stepped out, inset oval drawer pulls, center interior with drawers and space to store table pads, end c...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Leather, Mahogany

Edward J. Wormley for Dunbar, 1940s Bookshelf End Table
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
From the 1940s Dunbar Enduring Modern catalog is model # 2193, a single large end table with lower tier bookshelf by Edward J. Wormley. Rounded legs, has divider in center to hold bo...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Pair of Edward Wormley for Dunbar Dining Chairs with Brass Handles
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Listed are a pair of elegant Edward Wormley for Dunbar dining chairs with arms and brass handles. These are in need of restoration, perfect if your looking to add to your set. Also c...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward J. Wormley for Dunbar Asian Inspired Sideboard, circa 1950s
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Mid-Century Modern Edward J. Wormley for Dunbar Asian inspired sideboard model # 4579. Mahogany with original dark finish that has been restored, has impressive heavy brass hardware ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Edward J. Wormley for Dunbar Club Chair
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Single Edward J. Wormley for Dunbar club chair with older re-upholstery on thick tapered legs. Unrestored, ready for new upholstery, legs show age, should be refinished. Email for up...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

Dunbar Parsons End Table by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Dunbar end table.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wood

Edward J. Wormley for Dunbar Cabinet with Asian Hardware
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Mid-Century Modern Edward J. Wormley for Dunbar cabinet with brass Asian hardware. All original dark had rubbed finish on ribbon mahogany, top will be polished and touched up prior t...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Desk and Return
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
1960s Edward Wormley desk and ensuite return, label, currently being refinished, desk. Measures: 72 W x 36.5 D x 29 H. Return 60 W x 30.5 D x 29 H.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wood

Set of Eight Edward J. Wormley for Dunbar Dining Chairs, circa 1950
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Amazing set of eight Edward J. Wormley for Dunbar dining chairs from one owner estate. All original set, includes dark mahogany frames with blue high quality vinyl seats. There are n...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

Edward J. Wormley for Dunbar Arm Lounge Chair
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Single midcentury lounge or occasional chair by Edward J. Wormley for Dunbar for Modern line, circa 1950s. Model no. 4708. Reupholstered in the 1990s, foam is Fine upholstery should ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Edward J. Wormley Lounge Chair and Ottoman circa 1950s for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward J. Wormley lounge chair and ottoman for Dunbar circa 1950s on solid brass castors. The lounge chair has a trapezoid shape, wider in the front (27.5" W) and tapers to the back....
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery

Pair of Early 1940s Edward J. Wormley Armchairs for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Pair of early 1940s Edward J. Wormley Elegant neoclassical style occasional arm chairs for Dunbar model No. 116B. As shown in The Other Face of Modernism book on Wormley an in the 19...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Janus Side Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar with Natzler Tiles
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Rare Janus side table with 25 inset tiles by Otto and Gertrud Natzler. Designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Base of walnut with brass edging on legs.
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Nesting Tables
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Set of three nesting tables designed by Edward Wormley for Dumbar, late 1940s. Measures: 26.5 x 16 x 20.5 nested. 27.5 deep as pictured (open). 15 x 25.5 x 20 2nd biggest. 23.5 x...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Large Edward Wormley for Dunbar Round Coffee Table with Walnut Roman Travertine
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Beautiful large Edward Wormley for Dunbar Asian influenced round coffee table. Original walnut Roman travertine top that is marked made in Italy. Mahogany base has been refinished to...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Travertine

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Flip-Top Serving or Bar Cart
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Description: Serving cart, two drawers, base in mahogany with brass castors, top in walnut with flip-top for extra serving surface, gold Dunbar label, model number 215, white laminat...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

1940s Edward Wormley for Dunbar Occasional Table
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Dark brown stain on mahogany two-tiered occasional table by Edwards Wormley for Dunbar, circa 1940s. Email for dimensions . Refinished 28.5” overall height, 19 7/8th “ dia, lower s...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Expandable Coffee Table
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley coffee table with pull-out extensions (expands 12" on each end). Lacquered in hunter green, hand rubbed finish. Extended is 67-7/8.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany, Lacquer

Elegant Edward Wormley for Dunbar Rectangular Cocktail Table with Carpathian Elm
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Mid-Century Modern, Rarely seen Edward Wormley walnut coffee table in dark brown finish with inset Carpathian elm square top and brass sabots, label, model number 6007. Refinished.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

1940s Edward Wormley for Dunbar Set of Four Side Chairs
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Dunbar set of four elegant side chairs with dark mahogany legs. Current set of four, have original leather seats, need to be reupholstered. Price includes refinish...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Tuxedo Sofa
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Dunbar 9' Tuxedo sofa, elegant yet modern, circa 1950s. Hard to beat the quality and craftsmanship of a Dunbar sofa. Fresh from a one owner estate, where most of t...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

Set of Eight Edward Wormley for Dunbar Dining Armchairs
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Model number 842, set of eight armchairs in mahogany with red velvet seats. All original, minor touch up prior to shipping. These chairs were used around a ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Long John Bench or Coffee Table in Sap Walnut
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Dunbar, beautiful sap walnut long John bench or coffee table on bentwood legs. Original oiled finish, retains brass Dunbar tag. Very nice original condition, few m...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Rare Janus Cabinet in the Style of Greene & Greene
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Rare Janus cabinet, model 5811 This Janus collection piece is highly influenced by the Greene & Greene designed Arts and Crafts period furniture. Great deta...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Early Edward Wormley for Dunbar Vanity Stool or Bench with Original Leather
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Early Edward for Dunbar Vanity Stool with original leather. Mahogany legs to be touched up prior to shipping and buyer may want to update upholstery. Inquire on reupholstery cost. ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Leather, Mahogany

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Set of Four Caned Dining Chairs
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Elegant set of four Edward Wormley for Dunbar walnut frame and caned back dining chairs, two arms and two sides chairs. Curved back with caned panel and X-stretcher on legs. Includes...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Cane, Walnut

Rare and Elegant Edward Wormley for Dunbar Lounge Armchair
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Dunbar lounge chair. Model number 6309, part of the Today and Tomorrow collection, circa 1963. Beautiful channelled mahogany frame with ultra-suede seat and back c...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Pair of Edward Wormley for Drexel Precedent Nightstands or Small Chests
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Pair of silver elm nightstands in dark brown finish with brass hardware. Designed by Edward Wormley for the Precedent collection by Drexel, designed while he worked for Dunbar. Hardw...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley for Dunbar 1940s Round or Oval Dining Table
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Elegant Edward Wormley for Dunbar 1940s mahogany 50" round dining table that opens up to 74" oval with 24" leaf. Legs are flush with 3" apron, retains branded Dunbar logo and model #...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Pair of Edward Wormley for Dunbar Parsons Leg Two-Tired End Tables
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Pair of end tables in walnut, designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, early green labels. Currently being refinished (matching two-tiered coffee table also available). The tables show...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Pair of Edward Wormley for Drexel Arm Chairs - Precedent Collection
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Pair of Edward Wormley for Drexel dining arm chairs for his Precedent Collection circa 1950s, can be used as occasional chairs. Silver Elm refinished in a dark espresso with new tan...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Elm

Single Edward Wormley for Drexel 48" Chest
By Drexel, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Drexel chests from the Precedent Collection with brass hardware, circa 1947. Size shown in photos are 32" W (sold), now only 48" W available Please email with que...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley Bench for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley bench, legs with Asian influence, cushion straps onto the frame, green label, price includes refinishing and upholstery c.o.m.
Category

1940s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Set of Eight Dining Chairs
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Dunbar dining chairs, set of eight, two armchairs and six side chairs, sculpted mahogany chairs with upholstered seats, arm chairs 33" H x 22" D x 23.5" W with sea...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

Early Edward Wormley for Dunbar Chest of Drawers
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Mahogany chest of drawers with brass octagonal ring pulls, designed by Edward Wormley in late 1930s.
Category

1930s American Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

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