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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: WYETH
Nesting Tables by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegantly detailed and finely crafted set of nesting tables in light walnut.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

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

Octagonal Gaming Table by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An octagonal gaming or entry table with a leather wrapped cruciform base with brass levelers, and the solid walnut top having an inlaid rosewood Starbur...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Magazine Tree by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An olive green stained walnut magazine tree with cantilevered shelves.
Category

1940s 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

1950s Demilune Vanity or Desk by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A solid wood double pedestal desk or vanity with demilune curve to accommodate seating and vertically stacked dowel drawer pulls.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Wood

Roll Top Writing Desk by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A stately and elegant rosewood and mahogany campaign desk having three drawers and two rosewood roll-top compartments flanking a central writing surface with a flip-down back splash,...
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

Armless Sofa by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An armless sofa or bench or banquet on laminated mahogany "sled" feet.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

1950s Bleached Mahogany Chest of Drawers by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
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 Sculpted "Janus" Dining Height Armchairs 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 putty suede upholstery wi...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

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 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

1950s Armless Slipper Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
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 Dining Height Upholstered Janus Chair 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 marble velvet...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

Wardrobe Cabinet by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A masterful three-sectioned wardrobe in bleached mahogany. Having a central seven-bank of drawers and flanking closets-one with adjustable glass shelves, the other with shelving and ...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

1950s Solid Walnut Dresser by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
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 b...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Table and Stool by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An ebonized and polished dark mahogany telephone cabinet or vanity table having a storage drawer and an innovative fold-out bench.
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Rare Dining Chairs by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An ebonized mahogany dining chair with twisted front legs, with an upholstered high back rest and oval seat.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Wood

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

Walnut Dining Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
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

1950s Set of Four Model 675 Dining Chairs by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A set of dining chairs with exposed walnut frames supporting floating laminated seats and sculptural back rests, both covered in vintage upholstery. Designed in 1953 as a component o...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

'A-Frame' Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
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

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

Set of Ten Dining Chairs by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
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

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

Drop Tambour Front Cabinet by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An innovative and uncommon drop tambour front cabinet of bleached walnut having recessed finger pulls, the cabinet with drawers, shelves and vert...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

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

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

Wall Mounted Shelf by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
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

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

Mahogany, Walnut

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

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

Pair of Swiveling Barrel Back Chairs by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
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

Low Lounge Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A low slipper chair with the original faux alligator texture yellow upholstery.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery

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

Cork Low Table by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A simple and elegant square low table with a raised cork top on a mahogany 'Parsons' base.  
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany, Cork

Walnut Low Table by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A rectangular dark walnut low table having a black laminate top and distinctive triangular legs.
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Pair of Nightstands by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A pair of ebonized 'French polish' mahogany nightstands with adjustable inner shelf and opposing hinges.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

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

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

Walnut Lectern by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A unique and elegant lectern in walnut with a roll top cover and a single drawer.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Tall Tambour Cabinet with Drawers by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A simple and refined ebonized mahogany wardrobe having tambour doors with integrated handles a top two (2) drawers with cut out handles.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

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

Janus Cabinet by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An rectilinear light walnut two-door cabinet having Chinese-influenced hardware and open and adjustable shelves, the form sitting on a plinth base.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Lounge Chair by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An architectural and substantial armchair having an exposed walnut "A"-shaped frame supporting an upholstered seat and generous floating and curving back.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

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

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

Tambour Door Console by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
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

A Walnut Sideboard by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A walnut server with central compartment having a removable glass-bottom serving tray & one adjustable shelf, flanked by two banks of four drawers over one long drawer all with brass...
Category

1940s 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

Desk Chair by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An adjustable and swiveling roll arm desk chair in the original brown leather, having a chromed four point base with casters.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Steel

Chesterfield Lounge Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A generously proportioned and highly comfortable rare Chesterfield club chair with button tufted upholstery.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Upholstery

Two-Piece Cabinet by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An ebonized mahogany secretary No. 6065 with pull-out writing desk and multiple drawers/shelves on a leather-wrapped plinth base, shown with superstructure, No. 6086, to serve as a b...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Brass

Thin-Edged Brass Mirror by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
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

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

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

Chest of Drawers by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An elegantly austere and finely crafted chest of drawers in bleached walnut having a two-over-three configuration channelled recessed pulls and dowel-form legs crafted of anodized al...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Aluminum

End Table by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A fine and uncommon pair of end tables having sculptural exposed frames in stained mahogany and expressive floating tops of molded birch with upturned edges.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany, Birch

Drop-Leaf Table by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A mahogany drop-leaf table with ebonized gate-leg base. Measures: Console table depth of 16.5" deep when closed.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Furniture

Materials

Mahogany

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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