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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: Assemblage Ltd.
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Rosewood and walnut Square Coffee Table
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Classic design from one of periods giants. Bleached rosewood top and walnut frame, parsons coffee table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar furniture. This piece is timeless. It would easil...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Rosewood, Walnut

Modular Six-Piece Credenza by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Very rare and unusual piece by Edward Wormley. This modular credenza in walnut can be put together in a host of different configurations. Detailed with large Moorish style solid bras...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Pair of Edward Wormley Walnut Open-Arm Lounge Chairs
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Two architectural open arm lounge chairs in walnut by Dunbar, with green and blue horizontal stripe upholstery.
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Rare Edward Wormley Custom Mahogany and Natural Rosewood Oval Dining Table
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Outstanding custom-made large oval dining table designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Dark stained mahogany border, incised apron and squared legs. Inlaid bookmatched rosewood venee...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany, Rosewood

Eight Edward Wormley Mahogany, Leather and Brass Dining Chairs
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Set of eight mahogany wood and apricot leather curved panel back dining chairs by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Set is comprised of two arm chairs and six...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany, Leather

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Walnut and Rosewood Parsons Leg Coffee Table
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Chicago, IL
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Parsons style coffee table. Exceptional rosewood grained top with clean lined walnut frame. Transitional piece that could work with many design plans. Gold ...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Rosewood, Walnut

Pair of Edward Wormley "Bucket Seat" Leather and Mahogany Club Chairs
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Pair of Edward Wormley for Dunbar camel leather and mahogany armchairs. Original channeled leather seats and backs with mahogany legs and stretchers. Rare design from Wormley and Dun...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Leather, Mahogany

Pair of Edward Wormley Mahogany and Grey Wool Barrel Back Chairs
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Edward Wormley for Dunbar barrel back arm chairs in mahogany and blue/gray wool upholstery. Great understated design that reveals unique qualities, would...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Edward Wormley Lounge Chair in Moss Green Wool Upholstery
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Edward Wormley for Dunbar lounge chair with unique setback front legs, and clad in moss green wool upholstery. Extremely comfortable with deep seat cushion and slight angle of the th...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wood, Wool

Edward Wormley Mahogany and Rosewood Raised Edge Credenza
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Edward Wormley for Dunbar mahogany cabinet with four large drawers and a center shelved cabinet on plinth base. The pair of ...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Walnut, Rosewood and Aluminium Inlaid End Table
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Chicago, IL
Edward Wormley figured walnut Parsons style side table with unusual aluminium inlaid legs. Incised corners start at the top and move all the way down the legs with aluminium inlay. R...
Category

1960s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Aluminum

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Solid Brass and Marble Coffee Table
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Clean lined Dunbar brass and marble coffee table designed by Edward Wormley. Solid brass bar frame with solid brass rod stretchers and brass square plate feet. Beautifully veined rou...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Marble, Brass

Edward Wormley Bleached Mahogany Corner Table for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Chicago, IL
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Minimalist design bleached mahogany corner table number 4977. Nicely grained woods with open design and expert craftsma...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Uncommon Edward Wormley Five-Leg Walnut Coffee Table for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Dunbar five-leg walnut coffee table. Another uncommon Wormley design with the addition of a fifth canted leg. Excellent wood grain, recessed apron and brass sabots.
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Edward Wormley Walnut and Olive Ash Burl Tall Cabinet for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Described in Dunbar catalogs as "#6027 High Piece" this incredible curved front cabinet is constructed of walnut with olive ash burled lower cabin...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Bleached and Glazed Walnut Parsons End Table
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Elegantly simple bleached and glazed walnut square Parsons end table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar.
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Edward Wormley Bleached Mahogany Reeded Curule Leg Table
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
An uncommon and early Edward Wormley design for Dunbar, this reeded Curule leg end table has a three-sided gallery framed top, three part stretcher connecti...
Category

1940s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Related Items
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Dining Chairs, Set of 8
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St.Petersburg, FL
A set of 8 rare dining chairs designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. This set features two arm or "Captain's" chairs along with 6 side chairs. Great form with a gentle curved back an...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Large Scale Square Coffee Table in Mahogany for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Dallas, TX
This beautiful, large-scale coffee table was designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar Furniture in the 1960s and is constructed with a mahogany parquetry top and a dark mahogany frame w...
Category

Mid-20th Century Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Set of Six Cane Back Dining Chairs by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
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

Set of Six Edward Wormley for Dunbar Caned Dining Chairs
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Rio Vista, CA
Labeled set of six mid-century modern caned dining chairs featuring new modern boucle upholstery redux. Iconic chairs designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar having walnut frames in an angular design with an ebonized finish. The rectangular back has a cane inset...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Bouclé, Cane, Wood

Edward Wormley Lounge Chairs for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Brooklyn, NY
This pair of 1950s high back lounge chairs by Edward Wormley for Dunbar features iconic Mid-Century design and comfortably sculpted seat backs. Spacious seats with plush vintage fabr...
Category

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

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

Edward Wormley Pair of Dining Chairs in Red Leather
By Mobilier Universel, Edward Wormley
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Edward Wormley for Dunbar by Mobilier Universel, armchairs model '5762', lacquered black wood, red leather, Belgium, design 1957 This pair of grand armchairs by Edward Wormley desig...
Category

1950s Belgian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Leather, Wood

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Cabinet / Credenza in Mahogany and Walnut
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Culver City, CA
This buffet is absolutely stunning! This ebonized mahogany and walnut sideboard / buffet designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar features heavy brass accents and pulls in a gorgeous chinoiserie feel. A piece like this is so elegant and clean it can really seamlessly inject a modern, refined look into any environment. We currently have this piece in our gallery paired with a brass Mastercraft dining table, accented with brass Paul Evans cityscape dining chairs...
Category

1950s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany, Walnut

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Oval Dining Table
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley for Dunbar oval dining table, model # 696. Mahogany slight oval with sculpted legs and inset apron. Two 14" leaves. Extends to ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Credenza
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Elegantly crafted credenza made of walnut. Credenza features distinctive half moon drawer and door pulls.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Credenza
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Credenza
H 29 in W 63 in D 20 in
"Long John" Coffee Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
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

Pair Edward Wormley for Dunbar Lounge Chairs
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Fraser, MI
Please feel free to reach out for accurate shipping to your location. Pair Edward Wormley for Dunbar Lounge Chairs. Wedge side profile. Slight Pie shape top profile with generous cu...
Category

1950s Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Fabric, Walnut

Pair Edward Wormley for Dunbar "Y" Modernist Lounge Chairs
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Buffalo, NY
Stunning Pair Dunbar Lounge Chairs designed by Edward Wormley,,Retains early 'D' metal badge label,, minor damage to caning ( see photo),, E...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Leather, Cane, Wood

Previously Available Items
Pair of Edward Wormley for Dunbar Wing Chairs
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Pair of unrestored Edward Wormley for Dunbar wing chairs.
Category

1940s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany, Down

Early 1940 Edward Wormley Wing Chair for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Uncommon wide wingback chair with an embroidered green, yellow and taupe linen upholstery. Simple clean line mahogany curved front apron and legs. A documented and very early Wormley...
Category

1940s American Georgian Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany, Linen

Edward Wormley Glazed Elm Dresser for Drexel
By Edward Wormley, Drexel
Located in Chicago, IL
From Drexel's Precedent collection, Edward Wormley ten-drawer caramel glazed silver elm dresser with aged brass over zinc pulls. Recessed plinth base on all four sides.
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass, Zinc

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Rolled Back Club Chair
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Edward Wormley for Dunbar club chair with rolled back, ash wood Parsons style legs with solid brass sabots and castors. Older saffron silk upholstery with embroidered harlequin patte...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley Flame Mahogany and Glass Coffee Table for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Shallow mahogany cylinders provide the base and cap to a central octagonal body of flame mahogany. New glass top is forty-two inches in diameter and five-eighths of an inch thick, pe...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Glass, Mahogany

Edward Wormley Bleached and Glazed Mahogany Side Chair
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Bleched and off-white glazed mahogany side chair #4632, with turquoise vinyl covered seat and caned back by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Excellent side or occasional chair or desk chai...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Cane, Mahogany, Naugahyde

Rare Edward Wormley Hexagonal Mahogany and Tawi Dining Table
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Uncommon hexagonal dining table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Tawi wood top, bordered with ebonized mahogany. Ebonized mahogany legs and notched apron. Sold with three offset grain T...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wood, Mahogany

Edward Wormley for Dunbar English Oak and Rosewood Four-Drawer Credenza
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Chicago, IL
Rare Edward Wormley for Dunbar credenza with rosewood sled based open bottom casement. Four large file sized drawers with English oak fronts and patinated bronze pulls. Matching desk...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Oak, Rosewood

Edward Wormley Walnut and Rosewood Executive Desk
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Rare Edward Wormley for Dunbar sculpted walnut and rosewood executive desk. Upturned carved lip to the solid walnut top that levels out at the knee hole center. Eight drawers with lo...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Dunbar Walnut and Cane Credenza by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Edward Wormley for Dunbar walnut and cane sideboard on recessed plinth base. Gullwing style side doors open to reveal three storage compartments for each door. Centre figured walnut ...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Walnut X Stretcher Side Table
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Classic X stretcher side table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Clean lines, excellent wood grain with brass sabots to each canted leg.
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Pair of Edward Wormley Janus Collection Lounge Chairs by Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Pair of Edward Wormley for Dunbar Janus collection armchairs. Carved walnut arms and legs with exposed frame. Raspberry red linen upholstery with a button tufted back with curved and...
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Linen, Walnut

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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