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Edward Wormley Furniture

American, 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 vintage seating, storage cabinets, bar carts and other 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 — chairs, sofas, tables and more — 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 vintage 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.

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Creator: Edward Wormley
Dealer: DeAngelis
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Coffee Table, Model 5309
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in San Francisco, CA
Rare Edward Wormley design coffee table model 5309 for Dunbar Furniture. Iconic mid-century modern coffee table made by the highest quality American manufacturer's from the period. E...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley King Size Headboard for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design King size headboard for Dunbar Furniture, Berne Indiana. Featuring an ebonized mahogany frame with a caned backrest intended for a king size mattress, no rails ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Cane, Mahogany

Edward Wormley Bench by Dunbar, Model 5429
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design bench for Dunbar, Model 5429. Classic design by Wormley in brass square frame on capped feet. Newer Jack Lenor Larsen upholstery that presents very well, ready ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley Antler Chairs for Dunbar, Model 5580
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design antler dining chairs for Dunbar, Model 5580. Rare and attractive design chair by Wormley in the height of his design career. Frames are bleached mahogany with...
Category

1950s North American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Cane, Mahogany

Edward Wormley Ottoman for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design x-base ottoman for Dunbar Furniture. Timeless and classic design by Wormley offering additional seating for any arrangement. Newly refinished and upholstered in...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

Edward Wormley Credenza Model 5668A for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design credenza model 5668A for Dunbar. Ebonized walnut case with newly caned front sliding doors and four drawers across the top. Comprising a fitted interior for mas...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Cane, Walnut

Edward Wormley Teardrop Chairs for Dunbar, Model 5106
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design "Teardrop" lounge chairs, Model 5106 for Dunbar Furniture. Uniques shape chairs newly upholstered on polished and lacquered solid brass legs, ready to install.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley Dining Chairs for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design for Dunbar set of six mahogany and cane dining chairs, comprising five side and one armchair. Perfectly refinished...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Edward Wormley Magazine Table for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley magazine table for Dunbar, Berne Indiana. Classic mid-century design by Edward Wormley, sophisticated yet modern. Newly refinished with original order tags intact, rea...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Edward Wormley Brass Bench for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Sophisticated brass square frame bench designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Very good original condition, Model #5428.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Related Items
Edward Wormley Long John Bench by Dunbar, 1960
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Edward Wormley Long John Bench by Dunbar, 1960. Bench has been completely restored. Measures 59.75" long, 18.75" deep 12" tall
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

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Wood

Side Table Model 5309 by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Rovereta, SM
Model 5309 rare coffee table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Combination of Wood and brass with the original glass top.
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1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

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Brass

1960's Pair of Vintage Chests by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in London, GB
A magnificent pair of vintage chests, these were made in the USA by Dunbar furniture, they were designed by Edward Wormley. Edward Wormley was one of the leading pioneers of mid-cen...
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Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Edward Wormley Furniture

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Edward Wormley for Dunbar Captain Chairs
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Dallas, TX
One of Edward Wormley's most famous and elegant chairs. A timeless masterpiece. The Captain Chair. We have fully restored to highlight the beautiful polished brass, cane back, curve...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Captain Chairs
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Captain Chairs
H 32.75 in W 24.5 in D 25.5 in
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Black Leather Bench, c1960
By Edward Wormley
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This wonderful bench was designed for Dunbar by Edward Wormely, c1960. Newley upholstered in dark grey/black Italian leather. On display in our Los Angeles showroom.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Leather, Wood

Classic Edward Wormley for Dunbar Bench
By Edward Wormley
Located in St.Petersburg, FL
An Edward Wormley for Dunbar upholstered (half) and open mahogany (the other half) bench. Brass spacers, original fabric, circa 1970s.
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Midcentury "Quinn" Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, Model 1170, Walnut + Wool
By Jens Risom, Dunbar Furniture, Gunlocke, Edward Wormley
Located in Decatur, GA
"Quinn" chair, Model no. 1170 by Edward Wormley for Dunbar circa 1965. Sculpted walnut arms transition seamlessly to the upholstered back creating a wonderful silhouette. Frame is so...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wool, Upholstery, Walnut

"Long John" Coffee Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Westport, CT
Introducing the epitome of mid-century elegance: the "Long John" Coffee Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, meticulously restored to its original glory by Stamford Modern. Crafted wi...
Category

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

Materials

Walnut

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Sofa
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Chicago, IL
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Sofa, early design with great scale, spring seating system, reupholstered and rebuilt reupholstered with wool ...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Sofa
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Sofa
H 31.5 in W 100 in D 37 in
Sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Dorchester, MA
This elegant sofa is a classic 1950s design by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. It features a tufted back and a long bench seat resting on tapered walnut fee...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

Sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
Sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
H 29 in W 85.5 in D 32.5 in
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Captain's "Y" Chair, ca. 1955
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Costa Mesa, CA
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Captain's "Y" chair, ca. 1955. Professionally restored walnut frame with new back caning and new upholstered seat with super soft and luxurious ivory wool f...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley for Dunbar American Mid-Century Modern Mahogany Headboard
By Dunbar Furniture
Located in Forney, TX
A scarce Mid-Century Modern mahogany headboard with rattan caning designed by Edward Wormley (American, 1907-1995) for Dunbar. Stamped plaque to eac...
Category

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

Materials

Rattan, Mahogany

Previously Available Items
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Swivel Lounge Chairs, Model 4626
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Furniture swivel lounge chairs, model 4626. Large comfortable chairs with built in half rounded arms and a deep seat. Newly upholstered in a moss mohair or ...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mohair, Mahogany

Edward Wormley Coffee Table for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design coffee table for Dunbar Furniture, Berne Indiana. Large and impressive table with a beautiful travertine stone top on a shaped round dark walnut frame on four b...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Travertine

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Sheaf of Wheat Side Table
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design Sheaf of Wheat side table for Dunbar, U.S.A. A unique side or end table for Wormley's commercially successful Sheaf of Wheat line of tables for Dunbar. In very ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Travertine

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Sheaf of Wheat Table
By Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design "Sheaf of Wheat" table for Dunbar Furniture, Berne Indiana. Interesting design that was a retail success for Dunbar offered in several different configurations....
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Travertine

Edward Wormley Snack Table for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design snack table for Dunbar furniture co. Berne Indiana. A versatile table that can be used as a side, corner or serving table. Made from the highest quality mater...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley Captain's Chair for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design armchair or Captain's chair for Dunbar, Model 5480. Elegant and iconic design by Edward Wormley executed in lacquered ash molded plywood with original cane and ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Oak, Plywood

Edward Wormley Constellation Table for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design constellation side table for Dunbar Furniture, USA. Elegant little table perfect for drinks with a laminate top inlaid with wood circles to immitate stars. Spla...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Laminate, Mahogany

Edward Wormley Captain's Chair for Dunbar, Model 5480
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design armchair or Captain's chair for Dunbar, Model 5480. Elegant and iconic design by Edward Wormley executed in ash plywood with original cane and finish with a new...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley for Dunbar X-Base Side Table
By Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design x-base folding side table for Dunbar, Model 5425. Made from the highest quality materials rosewood, walnut and a parquetry inlaid top handmade by the craftsman ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Acrylic, Rosewood

Edward Wormley for Dunbar X-Base Side Table
Edward Wormley for Dunbar X-Base Side Table
H 22.25 in W 22.5 in D 25.25 in
Edward Wormley Design X-Base Ottoman/Stools for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design X-base ottoman or stools for Dunbar Furniture co. Rare pair of mahogany and leather x-base or Thebes stools, an iconic design by Edward Wormley during his rei...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Leather, Mahogany

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Captain's Chair Model 5480
By Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Captain's chair or armchair, model 5480. Classic and elegant design by Wormley in very good condition with newer faux leather seat.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley Design Cube Tables for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design cube tables for Dunbar Furniture Co. Rare original pair of end or side tables in black laminate with mahogany parquetry inlay. Very good original condition with...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Laminate

Edward Wormley furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Edward Wormley furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wood and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Edward Wormley furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original furniture by Edward Wormley were created in the mid-century modern style in north america during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Dunbar, Paul McCobb, and Herman Miller. Prices for Edward Wormley furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $225 and can go as high as $119,500, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $6,846.

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