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Edward Wormley Benches

American, 1907-1995
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 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
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 Benches

Materials

Walnut

1940s Edward Wormley for Dunbar Stool
By Edward Wormley
Located in Saint Louis, MO
Mahogany frame stool by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, refinished and reupholstered. Want to see more beautiful things? Scroll down below and click "View All From Seller" or favorite our...
Category

1940s American Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Mahogany

Walnut and Teak Coffee Table or Bench by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Kansas City, MO
Walnut and teak coffee table or bench designed by Edward Wormley, produced by Dunbar. Expertly refinished. The walnut top is inlayed with a teak veneer design (see photos). We also h...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Teak, Walnut

Edward Wormley for Dunbar "Serene" Bench, Model 4955
By Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design "Serene" bench for Dunbar, Berne Indiana. Model 4955 is a rare and important design by Wormley with the introduction of his signature hairpin leg and Dunbar's h...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Upholstery

"Long John" Coffee Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Stamford, CT
Rare 48" sample of Edward Wormley's "Long John" coffee table designed for Dunbar Furniture, circa 1950s. Its top is constructed of joined solid walnut boards, with narrow channeled g...
Category

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

Materials

Walnut

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Bench, 1960
By Edward Wormley
Located in Chicago, IL
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Bench, 1960. Restored and reupholstered in gray mohair.
Category

1960s Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Mohair, Walnut

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Custom Settee
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Denton, TX
This assemblage of three chairs into a settee with bentwood arms was custom ordered by Stephens Financial for their office in Michigan. New upholstery may be desired.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Upholstery, Ash, Rosewood

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Mid Century Mahogany Low Credenza or Bench
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Countryside, IL
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Mid Century mahogany low credenza or bench. Credenza measures: 49.5 wide x 18 deep x 21 high All pieces of furniture can be had in what we call restored v...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Mahogany

Early Edward Wormley for Dunbar Vanity Stool or Bench with Original Leather
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Early Edward for Dunbar Vanity Stool with original leather. Mahogany legs to be touched up prior to shipping and buyer may want to update upholstery. Inquire on reupholstery cost. ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Leather, Mahogany

Brass Bench and Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in Dallas, TX
A brass bench with upholstered leather top and matching brass table with glass top. Designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Priced and sold separately.
Category

1950s Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Handsome Edward Wormley for Dunbar Long Bench Mid-Century Modern
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Pemberton, NJ
Handsome Edward Wormley for Dunbar upholstered mahogany bench. Brass spacers, original fabric, circa 1970s. The original textured woven fabric is actually quite nice in that it has g...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Brass

Mid Century Modern Edward Wormley for Dunbar Leather Upholstered Mahogany Bench
By Edward Wormley
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Original vintage Edward Wormley for Dunbar leather upholstered solid mahogany six-leg bench with brass accents.
Category

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

Materials

Brass

Edward Short Wormley Bench
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Edward Short Wormley bench, Solid mahogany wood with brass supports, reupholstered in boucle. [Dunbar plate on underside].
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Bouclé, Wood, Mahogany

1938 Dunbar Slipper Bench
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in New York, NY
Diminutive and gently curvilinear slipper bench designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar Furniture. This rarely seen design is shown as model #2425B in the 1938 Dunbar catalog. Newly re...
Category

1930s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Fabric, Wood

Pair of Petite Edward Wormley for Dunbar "Slipper Benches"
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Pawtucket, RI
Rarely seen pair of petite "Slipper benches" model #684 designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Newly upholstered frames on zebra wood legs.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Textile, Zebra Wood

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Upholstered Bench
By Edward Wormley
Located in St.Petersburg, FL
A Classic bench by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Half of the top is upholstered and other half is raised mahogany with brass spacers. Dunbar label.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

1940's Edward Wormley for Dunbar Mahogany Regency Style X Form Bench or Stool
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in St. Louis, MO
Early design for Dunbar, mahogany bench or vanity stool model 1050. Curved or X form base with classical styling, with older upholstered seat. Mahogany frame will be restored prior t...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Leather, Mahogany

Pair of Edward Wormley for Dunbar Janus Collection Ottomans
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Dallas, TX
These are in great shape and fabric is too. A rare hard to find pair of Edward Wormley for Dunbar Janus Collection ottomans/benches.
Category

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

Materials

Upholstery, 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 Benches

Materials

Mahogany

Edward Wormley Bench for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Edward Wormley bench, legs with Asian influence, cushion straps onto the frame, green label, price includes refinishing and upholstery c.o.m.
Category

1940s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Bermuda Bench as Found Condition
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Ferndale, MI
Edward Wormley design for Dunbar furniture of Berne Indiana. Elegant design rectangular bench on tall taper legs with high sides. I am offering the bench in solid and stable as found...
Category

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

Materials

Wood

Edward Wormley Mahogany Bench for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in Stamford, CT
An Edward Wormley for Dunbar upholstered six leg mahogany bench with brass detail.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Brass

Mid Century Modern Bench or Coffee Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in Bedford Hills, NY
Sap walnut "Long John" bench by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Mid-Century Modern. 1950s. Great as a bench or coffee table.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Walnut

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Table or Bench with Magazine Display
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Dallas, TX
An exceptional Dunbar coffee table or bench (Model 5933a) with built-in brass rods for suspending magazines. Another option would be to recess a glass top over the rods to use as a s...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Edward Wormley Long John Bench for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design "Long John" bench for Dunbar, Berne Indiana. Original dark mahogany finish with manufacturer's labeled.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Mahogany

Pair of American Modern Oversized Dark Walnut Benches/ Ottomans
By Edward Wormley
Located in Hollywood, FL
This pair is the rare oversized ottomans that wormley produced small numbers.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Upholstery, Wood

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Long John Bench
By Edward Wormley
Located in St.Petersburg, FL
A Classic Edward Wormley for Dunbar "Long John" bench. This is a rare short version (36" L) with bentwood mahogany legs and sap walnut top. Desirable green label. Multifunctional as ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Edward Wormley Brass Bench
By Edward Wormley
Located in Chicago, IL
Wormley for Dunbar tubular brass bench model 5429 Reupholstered with great plains nubby cotton-poly. Tufted buttons and label on underside.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley Benches, Model #5428
By Edward Wormley
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A rare pair of upholstered benches from the Hemisphere collection. the benches retain their original Dorothy Liebes' hand-loomed fabric. Dunbar Label below.
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Brass

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 Benches

Materials

Brass

Rare Clover Stool by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in Dallas, TX
A rare clover ottoman designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar with mahogany legs and brass feet. Reupholstered in greenish-brown vintage leather.
Category

1950s Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Leather

Edward Wormley benches for sale on 1stDibs

Edward Wormley benches are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our collection of Edward Wormley benches to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. In-stock we have 38 vintage editions of these items, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many of the original benches by Edward Wormley were created in North America during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. Many customers also consider benches by Milo Baughman, Dunbar and George Nelson if you are looking for additional options. Prices for Edward Wormley benches can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. 1stDibs's price starts at US$2,000 and tops out at US$19,500, while pieces like these can sell for US$4,800 on average.

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