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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: Metro Retro Furniture MCM Furniture
Pair of Lounge Chairs by Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
A pair of Mid-Century Modern lounge chairs by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Down cushions with a textured beige fabric and casters. Reupholstery recommended.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Fabric

One Dunbar Tuxedo Sofa by Edward Wromley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Mid-Century Modern Tuxedo sofa designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Down cushions with a textured beige fabric and casters. As shown in the last image, we also have a matching pair...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Fabric

Dunbar Wormley 2 Piece Sectional Sofa
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Dunbar Wormley 2 piece sectional sofa 1950s Rare sectional sofa designed by Edward Wormley, manufactured by Dunbar. The sofa consists of two...
Category

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

Materials

Walnut

#6027 Edward Wormley for Dunbar Super Structure Display Cabinet
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Super Structure display cabinet Stunning cabinet constructed of dark walnut with a brass plated plinth base. Concave f...
Category

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

Materials

Walnut

84" Vintage Edward Wormley for Dunbar Executive Credenza
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
7' vintage Edward Wormley for Dunbar executive desk and credenza In 1931 Leander Dunbar realized the need to create furnit...
Category

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

Materials

Bronze

Janus Sofa #6329 by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Janus sofa #6329 by Edward Wormley for Dunbar Stunning sofa recently restored in champagne velvet with tufting. Mahogany base.  
Category

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

Materials

Mahogany

Midcentury 101in Model 488 Sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Dunbar Edward Wormley Wormley has pioneered in a broad field of design, he was one of those unique designers who was sensitive to the interplay involved in selling modernism and st...
Category

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

Materials

Fabric, Down

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Mahogany Adjustable Headboard
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Wormley has pioneered in a broad field of design, he was one of those unique designers who was sensitive to the interplay involved in selling modernism and still preserving the nostalgic touch of intimacy, warmth and detail. His first Dunbar chairs, produced in 1932, were reproductions of antique designs, but when they became popular Wormley augmented the set with new pieces to form a full line of furniture for almost every room in the house. Rare Edward Wormley for Dunbar Mahogany Adjustable Headboard...
Category

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

Materials

Mahogany

Edward Wormley for Drexel Drop-Leaf Precedent Dining Table
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
A Mid-Century Modern dining table designed by Edward Wormley for Drexel's Precedent collection. The drop leaf table measures 50" x 28" when folded and 70" x 50" when fully extended.
Category

1950s Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Ash

Vintage Wormley Tawi Conference or Dining Table for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Rare beautiful wood 12 feet to 14 feet 1/2 vintage Wormley extension dining/conference table for Dunbar This came from the executive conference room of the former Bank of the Southw...
Category

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

Materials

Wood

Edward Wormley Drexel Precedent Nightstand
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Precedent four drawer nightstand. Beautiful in design and material, the Precedent series was designed by Edward Wormley in 1947. Nightstand features wood construction, four pull-o...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Bronze

Midcentury #5526 Wormley Dunbar Armless Sofa
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Wormley has pioneered in a broad field of design, he was one of those unique designers who was sensitive to the interplay involved in selling modernism and still preserving the nostalgic touch of intimacy, warmth, and detail. Wormley attended the Art Institute of Chicago in 1926. After attending there he worked for Marshall Field`s Design Studio in 1930, and then a year later he began working for Dunbar. His collaboration with Dunbar made him a household name for decades. His first Dunbar chairs, produced in 1932, were reproductions of antique designs, but when they became popular Wormley augmented the set with new pieces to form a full line of furniture for almost every room in the house. He was given a contract under which he would produce two lines of furniture each year, one traditional and one modern 5526 Knowland vintage 6 ft midcentury Dunbar armless sofa...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wool

Edward Wormley for Precedent by Drexel Coffee Table
By Drexel, Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Vintage 2 tier Coffee Table designed by Edward Wormley for Drexel Precedent line 271 1949 Heavy solid with textured glass serving tray...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Glass, Wood

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 Drexel Precedent Rolling Bar Cart
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
A beautiful rolling bar cart as part of Edward Wormley's Precedent series. Blonde wood, 3 tiered rolling cart with glass shelf and casters. The top features a frosted glass insert. Precedent by Drexel...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wood

Four Edward Wormley Precedent by Drexel Dining Chairs 239-4 8 Available
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Edward Wormley designed for Precedent Side Chairs series 239-4 in 1947, neoclassical area. Set of 4 dining chairs, solid wood construction, natural finish. 8 available
Category

1940s American Neoclassical Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wood

Related Items
Edward Wormley for Drexel Black Lacquered Sideboard Credenza, Newly Refinished
By Drexel, Edward Wormley
Located in South Bend, IN
An exceptional Mid-Century Modern sideboard, credenza, or bar cabinet By Edward Wormley for Drexel, "Precedent" Collection USA, 1940s Black lacquered elm wood, with original...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley Lounge Chair for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Chicago, IL
A nice simple and dramatic armchair lounge chair form by Edward Wormley. Should be purchased with the intent to reupholster. Needs to be softer on inside back.
Category

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

Materials

Upholstery

  • Edward Wormley Lounge Chair for Dunbar
  • Edward Wormley Lounge Chair for Dunbar
  • Edward Wormley Lounge Chair for Dunbar
  • Edward Wormley Lounge Chair for Dunbar
H 29.5 in. W 23 in. D 25.75 in.
Edward Wormley Walnut Credenza for Dunbar, circa 1955
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Costa Mesa, CA
Edward Wormley walnut credenza for Dunbar, circa 1955. This piece has been expertly restored.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Gondola Sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, USA, 1950s
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
A Gondola sofa designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar’s Janus Collection in the 1950s. This sculptural sofa features angled arms and a floating back attached to the base with walnut s...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Rare Set of Floating Cabinets by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, circa 1950s
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Stamford, CT
Set of fully restored floating cabinets in walnut designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, circa 1950s. Bi-fold doors open up to reveal two shelves, proving ample storage space for books or silverware...
Category

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

Materials

Walnut, Rosewood

Edward Wormley Ebonized Mahogany & Walnut Cabinets for Dunbar, circa 1955
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Costa Mesa, CA
Edward Wormley walnut & ebonized mahogany cabinets for Dunbar, circa 1955. This pair has been expertly restored.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany, Walnut

Tambour Door Cabinet by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, Model 959
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Brooklyn, NY
A chic and versatile cabinet with blond tamowood top and burnt almond walnut tambour doors on a dark mahogany case. Nice details like the razor-thin brass door pulls, and dappled var...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Woven Front Cabinet
By Edward Wormley
Located in Dallas, TX
A large mahogany cabinet with woven bleached rosewood sliding doors on brass legs. Designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar.
Category

1950s Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Pair of Curvaceous Tufted Lounge Chairs attributed to Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Atlanta, GA
Pair of Curvaceous Mid Century Tufted Lounge Chairs, attributed to Edward Wormley for Dunbar, unsigned, American, circa 1950s. These...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Wood

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Model 495 Sofa
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Dallas, TX
This sofa has beautiful lines and a gently curved back. A true classic. The fabric is original and in very good condition. It is a rich and high-quality texture that looks like embro...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

Dunbar "Big Texan" Sofa by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Los Angeles, CA
"Big Texan" sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Fully restored and reupholstered in mohair.  
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mohair

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Mid Century Bleached Mahogany Sliding Door Credenza
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Countryside, IL
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Mid Century Bleached Mahogany Sliding Door Credenza This credenza measures: 41.5 wide x 18 deep x 34 inches...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Previously Available Items
Restored Edward Wormley Leather Bench for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Vintage midcentury Edward Wormley bench for Dunbar Ebonized mahogany base with brass details. Newly upholstered tufted leather seat cushion, circa 1960s.
Category

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

Materials

Mahogany

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Walnut Dining Table 13FT
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
A stunning Edward Wormley walnut dining table with ebonized legs. Leather-wrapped feet. Expands from 8ft to 13ft with the addition of four leaves. Drop down center support legs ar...
Category

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

Materials

Walnut

6ft Vintage Midcentury Wormley Dunbar Party Sofa
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Wormley has pioneered in a broad field of design, he was one of those unique designers who was sensitive to the interplay involved in selling modernism and still preserving the nosta...
Category

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

Materials

Velvet

1 Wormley Drexel Precedent Dresser
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Edward Wormley (1907-1995) created many classic furniture designs throughout the 40s, 50s, and 60s for Dunbar and later Drexel. After working for Dunbar for 14 years he opened his ow...
Category

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

Materials

Elm

  • 1 Wormley Drexel Precedent Dresser
  • 1 Wormley Drexel Precedent Dresser
  • 1 Wormley Drexel Precedent Dresser
  • 1 Wormley Drexel Precedent Dresser
H 33 in. W 32 in. D 19 in.
Vintage 8ft Dunbar Wormley Party Sofa
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Vintage 8ft Dunbar Wormley Party Sofa 1950s design Large-scale iconic sofa in a chesterfield style. Reupholstery recommended. 6ft sofa available. ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Velvet

  • Vintage 8ft Dunbar Wormley Party Sofa
  • Vintage 8ft Dunbar Wormley Party Sofa
  • Vintage 8ft Dunbar Wormley Party Sofa
  • Vintage 8ft Dunbar Wormley Party Sofa
H 27 in. W 104 in. D 37 in.
Vintage Mid-Century Dunbar Wormley Headboard
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Vintage Wormley Dunbar curved headboard. Rare Asian inspired curved headboard. Maple. MFG marks.  Measures: 90in.  
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Maple

Edward Wormley Dunbar Burl Walnut Burl Two-Tier Coffee Table
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Rare Wormley coffee table of bentwood burl with ebonized tapered legs. Two-tier tray style.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut, Burl

Three Edward Wormley for Drexel Stacking Cube Tables
By Drexel, Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
A set of three Mid-Century Modern stacking side tables designed by Edward Wormley for the Drexel Precedent series in 1947. Painted ash bases with leatherette top inserts. The bases h...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Faux Leather, Wood

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Executive Desk
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
Desk designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. The desk features six drawers and two writing pull outs, and is crafted of walnut. Desk has a 75" x 38" Glass Top. Desk also feature...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Executive Desk and Credenza
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
These timeless classics, desk and credenza, are the perfect touch of elegance for any home or office. The desk has six drawers and two writing pull outs. The desk and credenza are...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Edward Wormley For Drexel White Lacquer Dresser
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
A mid century modern ten drawer dresser designed by Edward Wormley and made by Drexel. Part of the Precedent series, it is newly finished in white lacquer, it is an elegant addition...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wood

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Writing Desk in Rosewood and Mahogany
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Pasadena, TX
A mid century modern writing desk designed by Edward Wormley and made by Dunbar. An ebonized mahogany top and legs with rosewood drawer front and brass and rosewood pulls.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Edward Wormley's furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of Edward Wormley furniture there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. In-stock we have 925 vintage editions of these items, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many of the original furniture by Edward Wormley were created in North America during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Herman Miller, Milo Baughman and Dunbar. The prices for Edward Wormley furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at $225 and tops out at $42,000, while pieces like these can sell for $6,424.

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