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Edward Wormley Benches

Edward Wormley (USA, 1907–95)
Edward Wormley (USA, 1907–95)

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 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 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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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

Set of Edward Wormley for Dunbar Brass Stretcher Benches, 1950s
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Stamford, CT
Stunning and rare pair of benches newly upholstered in off-white chenille, designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Walnut fully restored. Brass stretchers newly polished. Priced as...
Category

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

Materials

Brass

1950s Walnut Bench with Drawer by Edward Wormley 'e'
By Dunbar Furniture, George Nakashima, Edward Wormley
Located in Frankfurt, Hessen, DE
Edward Wormley bench made out of solid walnut wood with single drawer can also be used as a coffee table. The remarkable feet are plywood. Manufactured by Dunbar. We have two more ex...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Walnut, Plywood

Dunbar Stainless Steel Stool by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Chicago, IL
Polished stainless steel frame bench by Edward Wormley for Dunbar.
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20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Stainless Steel

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

"Long John" Bench by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Stamford, CT
A rare 84 inch long sample of Edward Wormley's "Long John" designed for Dunbar Furniture, circa 1950s. Walnut frame fully restored, new removable cushion fitted to the frame upholst...
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Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Bouclé, Walnut

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Walnut Bench or Coffee Table, Newly Refinished
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in South Bend, IN
An exceptional Mid-Century Modern bench or coffee table By Edward Wormley for Dunbar USA, circa 1950s Bookmatched walnut, with solid walnut legs and brass-capped feet. Me...
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1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Brass

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

Walnut and Teak Coffee Table or Bench by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
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 Early Long Coffee Table or Bench, Early 1950s
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Lambertville, NJ
Classic and impressive long coffee table or bench in an Asian motif in walnut, designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, early 1950s. Retains early green label. Original distressed two-...
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1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Walnut

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Mid Century Mahogany Low Credenza or Bench
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in La Grange, 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

Mid-Century Modern "Long John" Bench 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

1950s Walnut and Mahogany Coffee Table by Edward Wormley 'f'
By Dunbar Furniture, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Edward Wormley
Located in Frankfurt, Hessen, DE
Coffee table, walnut and mahogany, brass feet, Edward Wormley, USA, 1957. A wonderful coffee table in walnut and mahogany. The table comes in a very good condition, both the table...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Brass

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 Short Bench
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Chicago, IL
Wormley for Dunbar bench, buttoned surface reupholstered with great plains cotton-poly blend. Solid mahogany wood lacquered with brass details. [Brass Dunbar label applied underside...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Brass

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

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 Dunbar Thebes Stools by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley
Located in Dallas, TX
A beautifully restored pair of Dunbar Thebes stools designed by Edward Wormley. Bleached mahogany frames with leather upholstery.
Category

1950s Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Leather

1950s Walnut Long John Bench by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
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

Pair of Dunbar Benches, Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Chicago, IL
Pair of benches by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Fully restored mahogany bases with brass accents and new upholstery.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Brass

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

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

Pair of American Modern Oversized Dark Walnut Benches/ Ottomans
By Edward Wormley
Located in Miami, 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 Mid-Century Modern Bench Newly Upholstered
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Topeka, KS
Handsome Mid-Century Modern bench designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. It wears its original finish on the wood frame which is lovely even though it has nicks and dings from age. W...
Category

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

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Custom Tufted Blue Leather Long Benches, Two Available
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in South Bend, IN
A rare and exceptional Mid-Century Modern custom tufted leather bench by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. The bench features gorgeous high grade tufted teal leather on an ebonized plinth b...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Leather, Wood

Dunbar Vanity Stool by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley
Located in Dallas, TX
A bleached mahogany stool with blue velvet upholstery. Designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar.
Category

1950s Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Pair of Benches by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in Dallas, TX
A matching pair of bleached mahogany benches by Edward Wormley for Dunbar.
Category

1950s Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Dunbar Coffee Table or Bench in Light Ash
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Dallas, TX
Designed by Ed Wormley for Dunbar this is the Model 5402 table and part of the Interlocking table group. It can be used stand alone as a coffee table (as shown in Dunbar Fine Furnit...
Category

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

Materials

Laminate, 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

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

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

Pair of Edward Wormley X-Base Benches, 1950s
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Hamburg, PA
A stylish pair of Edward Wormley X-base benches, model #5002 for Dunbar. Original fabric on seat with age appropriate wear to finish on ebonized mahogany legs. Description: 17.25" H...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

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

Pair of Leather Benches
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
This stylish pair of benches were designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar in the 1940s and they retain their original dark brown leather which works works beautifully with the mahogany...
Category

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

Materials

Leather, 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

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

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

"Long John" Bench by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in Dallas, TX
A walnut "Long John" table/bench designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar.
Category

1950s Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

Extra Long "Long John" Bench by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley
Located in Dallas, TX
A beautifully grained long john table/bench with single drawer. Designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Early green label and longest of the available options.
Category

1950s Vintage Edward Wormley Benches

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