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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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1960s Uncommon 3-Sided 'Party' Chesterfield Sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A generously proportioned U-shaped sectional even-armed, Chesterfield sofa with tuck and roll button tufted upholstery. Sofa is stripped and ready for new upholstery using COM, Custo...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery

1950s Floral Print Settee by Edward Wormley for Dunbar in Walnut
By Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A sofa of English inspiration, retaining the original dark olive, coral, brown and beige stylized Asian influenced floral print linen upholstery, on straight dark walnut legs.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

1950s Armless Slipper Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An armless slipper chair from the Janus collection with button tufted upholstery and beautifully carved integral walnut base. Model 5775.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

1950s Lounge Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A button-tufted and tailored armchair with a saber leg detail by Dunbar that retains its original wool upholstery.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wood, Upholstery

1950s Walnut Long John Bench by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A Classic 'Long John Bench' in walnut with drawer and laminated solid wood hairpin legs.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

1940s Mahogany Low Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A mahogany low table with two 12" lateral pull-out leaves.
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

1950s Upholstered Lounge Chair Model 257 by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An upholstered lounge chair in vintage flora and fauna print having two swivel casters, designed in 1958 as an addition to the Conversations Group introduced in 1955.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery

1950s Edward Wormley Adaptation of Reimerschmid's 'Dresden' Armchair for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Richard Riemerschmid, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
Truly timeless, Professor Richard Reimerschmid’s Dresden arm chair remains as crisp and current today as it was in 1899 when it was designed for the 1899 Dresden Exposition. It’s eas...
Category

1950s American Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

1950s Double Pedestal Desk by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegant and finely proportioned bleached walnut double pedestal desk with ample storage floating on dowel-shaped brass legs.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

1950s Modernist Chandelier by Edward Wormley for Lightolier
By Edward Wormley, Lightolier
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A well scaled and graphic modernist chandelier having a vividly lacquered steel dome and stem with three brushed aluminum conical uplights.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Aluminum, Steel

1950s Walnut 'Janus' End Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A walnut 'Janus' end table of Asian inspiration, with raised edges to the legs and diagonal cloud-lift stretchers. Accented with green inlaid ceramic tiles.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

1950s Pair of End / Side Tables by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A set of two (2) Mid-Century Modern end tables designed by Edward Wormley, each with a cantilevered top over a shelf and leather wrapped feet. Made by Dunbar in the USA, circa 1950s.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Leather, Wood

1950s Set of Six Dining Chairs by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An uncommon set of six (6) dining chairs having exposed frames supporting floating seats and curved sculptural back rests, both covered in a lively linen print.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut, Upholstery

1940s Rocking Chaise Lounge by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An adjustable rocking chaise with caned seat and back with bent ash frame and a cushion upholstered in grey savak with natural leather welting.  
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wool, Cane, Ash

1950s Solid Walnut Dresser by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An asymmetrical dresser in solid walnut with exposed finger jointed joinery, having a shelved compartment accessed by bi-fold doors flanked by a bank of five drawers with exquisite b...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

1950s Lounge Chair and Ottoman by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A Mid-Century Modern high-back chair and ottoman set designed by Edward Wormley featuring mahogany bases and original orange upholstery. Made by Dunbar in the USA, circa 1950s.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

1950s Party Sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar in Vintage Upholstery
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A modern geometric Chesterfield-style 'Party' sofa with biscuit-tufted vintage upholstery. Model 5407. Upholstery recommended.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery

1960s Rosewood Commode by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
Finely crafted rosewood commode with grain matched serpentine front and shaped rosewood sides. The commode offers two full drawers sporting turned, solid rosewood and generously prop...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Rosewood

1950s "Listen-To-Me" Chaise by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegant chaise lounge with an undulating cushion in vintage upholstery with a cherry and maple base and solid brass supports. Model: 4873.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

1960s Leather Lounge Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
Dunbar leather lounge chair its frame having slightly raised sides as well a slight 'wing' effect to the back together forming channels which the button tufted seat and back cushions...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Stainless Steel

1960s Tete a Tete Conversation Sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
Traditional form reinterpreted with modern sensibilities by Wormley for his 1959 ‘New Career’ collection creating a new Classic in upholstered seating. Essentially two opposing, Laws...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

1960s Burl Birch Shelf Unit or Side Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An architectural three-tiered end table with burl Finnish birch shelves supported by a pale orange painted steel frame.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Steel

1950s Sculpted "Janus" Dining Height Armchairs by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A rare dining height Janus armchair designed by Mid-Century Modern master Edward Wormley. Each chair features sculpted dark mahogany frames and the original putty suede upholstery wi...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

1950s Petite Armchair in Oak and Oil Drop Leather by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A petite chair in oak with a curved backrest and arms, having tapered legs, brass spindles and a floating oil drop upholstered seat.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

1950s Dining Height Upholstered Janus Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A rare dining height Janus armchair designed by Mid-Century Modern master Edward Wormley. Each chair features sculpted dark mahogany frames and the original marble velvet upholstery ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

Lacquered Mahogany Lounge Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An uncommon pivot-back lounge chair in lacquered mahogany with vintage velvet geometric upholstery. Designed in 1948 by Edward Wormley.
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Velvet, Mahogany

Pair of Swiveling Barrel Back Chairs by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A pair (2) of continuous arm swivel chairs in laminated walnut having tan button tufted leather cushions and a cruciform stretcher detail.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Leather, Walnut

1960s Pair of Petite Lounge Chairs by Edward Wormley for Dunbar in Red Velvet
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A pair of model 5936 original upholstery red velvet lounge chairs on casters designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. From the 1960 Dunbar catalog, "In a mature and civilized way Dunba...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

'A-Frame' Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A Mid-Century Modern Classic 'A-Frame' armchair with a woven caned backrest, upholstered black leather seat and brass capped feet. Designed by Edward Wormley, produced by Dunbar in t...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

1950s Bleached Mahogany Chest of Drawers by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegant and well proportioned eight (8) drawer bleached mahogany cabinet having distinctive laminated end pulls, on tapered dowel legs.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

1950s Tufted Lounge Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An armless button tufted lounge chair of generous proportion having exposed walnut base. Model: 5000.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

1960s Leather Lounge Chair and Ottoman by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
With a nod to the immense popularity of Charles Eames's swivel lounge chair and ottoman, Wormley capitalized on the popularity of his own stationary, winged lounge chair and ottoman ...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Leather

1950s Wall Mounted Cabinet by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A wall mounted cabinet with two doors, four drawers and open shelving from the Janus collection.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Walnut Side Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A Mid-Century Modern round-topped side table in figured oiled walnut having sculpted and tapered legs and an organic shaped lower stretcher. Designed by Edward Wormley, manufactured ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Mahogany Writing Desk by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An octagonal mahogany writing desk designed by Edward Wormley with a single drawer. Made by Dunbar in the USA, circa 1957.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut, Mahogany

Set of Ten Dining Chairs by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A classic set of ten (10) dining chairs, each features solid walnut wood construction, spindle back detail with brass stretchers. Set includes 8 side chairs and 2 armchairs, all reta...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut, Leather

End Table with Book Display by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A Mid-Century Modern dark walnut end table designed by Edward Wormley. Table features angled shelves for books or magazines, and tapered slab legs finished with solid brass runners. ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Wall Mounted Shelf by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An Edward Wormley designed shelf in solid walnut supported by two (2) laminated mahogany brackets in the original black lacquer finish. Manufactured by Dunbar in the 1960s. Shelf is ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Drop-Leaf Desk by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An architectural drop-leaf desk with a trapezoidal walnut top floating above a bank of drawers (with open shelving on the back) suspended within a painted metal frame and brass feet....
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Steel, Brass

Headboard by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An innovative and elegant king size headboard in darkened mahogany having channeled upholstery, adjustable back rests and two pairs of drop-down arms.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany, Upholstery

Thin-Edged Brass Mirror by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A rare and beautifully rendered thin-edged square mirror in warmly patinated brass.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Parsons End Table by Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A bleached walnut 'Parsons' end table.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Magazine Table by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A triangular ash table with an inset cream leather top over two web strap magazine holders.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Ash, Leather

Armchair by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A sculptural and finely detailed armchair in walnut having a floating seat and back cushions that retain their original textured wool upholstery.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut, Upholstery

Bridge Chair by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegant game or dining chair with a curved back and generous seat atop walnut tapered dowel legs, with rear legs that continue up to support the back.  
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

Low Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An ebonized mahogany low table with a lower shelf and singe drawer on cylindrical dowel legs.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Walnut Dining Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A sculptural and finely detailed armchair in walnut having a floating seat and back cushions, retaining the original black leather upholstery.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Teak

Square Raffia Mirror by Edward Womley
By Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A square mahogany wall mirror with a woven raffia boarder.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany, Glass, Raffia

Asymmetrical Coffee Table by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A low console or table with a spare mahogany frame that supports an asymmetrical top with brass capped feet.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

End Table by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A tailored two-level square end or lamp table in walnut having splayed tapering legs.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wood

Dining Set for Six by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A drop-leaf console table opens to seat, six (6) for dining. Set complete with two banquette chairs and four side chairs.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut, Upholstery

Vanity Stool by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An excellent and architectural stool with a series of vertical ebonized ash slats held by a single ring footrest and disappearing into the seat.
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Ash, Suede

Pair of Rare Armchairs by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A pair of upholstered armchairs fluted with dark fluted mahogany legs and "tusk" arm supports.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

Set of Six Cane Back Dining Chairs by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegant and unusual set of six dining chairs with a cane wrapped barrel back and an upholstered seat atop four slender legs.
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany, Upholstery

Tambour Door Console by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A rare curved front console in rich grained rosewood with a single drawer and slatted tambour storage.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Triangular Table by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A geometrically pure and finely detailed two-tiered table in bleached walnut of triangular form with distinctive beveled edging at a 45 degree angle.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Tambour Drum Cabinet by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A remarkable end table discreet bar with butterfly hinged top drawers and a tambour cabinet with adjustable shelf.
Category

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

Materials

Mahogany

Low Table or Bench by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A low table or bench with an ebonized walnut frame which rises slightly above the table surface and can hold a loose cushion if used as a bench.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Parsons End Table by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A rare low Dunbar "Parson's" end table with the original yellow-orange lacquered frame and a black epoxy top with a constellation of random walnut doy inlays.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Bow-Shaped Sofa by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A deep sofa resting on six squared feet having a subtle bowed shape, two slab seat cushions and four back cushions, upholstered in a rich caramel-toned linen velvet.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut, Upholstery

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