Edward Wormley Buffets

Edward Wormley (USA, 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 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 these pages demonstrate, Edward Wormley conceived of a subdued sort of modernism, designing furniture that fits into any decorating scheme and does not shout for attention.

Edward Wormley Mahogany Cabinet with Tambour Doors for Dunbar, circa 1950s
Edward Wormley Mahogany Cabinet with Tambour Do...
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Sideboards
Brass, Mahogany, Teak
Edward Wormley Mahogany Cabinet with Tambour Doors for Dunbar, circa 1950s. Dark Mahogany case with simulate natural rosewood on teak tambour doors and integral brass handles. Adjus...
Edward Wormley Custom Grey Stained Credenza
Edward Wormley Custom Grey Stained Credenza
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Credenzas
Mahogany
Mid-Century mahogany credenza in a custom taupe/grey/brown stain with a semi-gloss finish. Five drawers are located in the center; the top two being lined in brown felt are flanked b...
Dunbar Cabinet by Edward Wormley, Expertly Restored, Stunning
Dunbar Cabinet by Edward Wormley, Expertly Rest...
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Buffets
Brass, Mahogany
Designed as a dining room buffet, this Edward Wormley for Dunbar storage cabinet can be used in any part of the house. But the things that make it specific to being a dining room buf...
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Credenza
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Credenza
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern Buffets
Mahogany, Textile
Edward Wormley for Dunbar, dark brown mahogany original finish. Rare custom weaved design on door fronts, vinyl like material. Three drawers on top with partitions with four sliding ...
Elegant Woven Front Credenza by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
Elegant Woven Front Credenza by Edward Wormley ...
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Credenzas
Brass, Mahogany
Elegant woven front credenza, designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, American, circa 1950s. It offers a voluminous amount of storage with three deep divided drawers at the top and th...
Ed Wormley for Dunbar Buffet with Italian Travertine Top
Ed Wormley for Dunbar Buffet with Italian Trave...
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Buffets
Stone
Exceptional Ed Wormley designed credenza with a heavy, 1.25 inch thick vein-cut Italian polished travertine top. Original opaque espresso-colored finish, with an occasional streaked ...
Edward Wormley for Dunbar "Janus" Cabinet; doors with Antique Asian Panels
Edward Wormley for Dunbar "Janus" Cabinet; door...
Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Buffets
Brass, Wood
Edward Wormley designed walnut cabinet with four doors, set with antique Japanese printing plates - over four rosewood-front drawers. Scarce, late 1950s #5724 cabinet. Functions well...
Walnut Credenza by Edward Wormley for Dunbar Made in USA, circa 1955
Walnut Credenza by Edward Wormley for Dunbar Ma...
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Buffets
Buffet in excellent, original condition by Edward Wormley for Dunbar in walnut wood with brass wishbone pulls and original labels. There are four doors on the lower portion of the c...
Dunbar Cabinet by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Cabinet by Edward Wormley
Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s Buffets
A mahogany cabinet with walnut cantilevered top and cane sliding doors. Designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar.
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Cabinet, Buffet or Sideboard, Three Sliding Doors
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Cabinet, Buffet or Si...
Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Buffets
Cane, Mahogany
Edward Wormley storage cabinet. Three drawers and three sliding doors with cane fronts revealing drawers and adjustable shelves. Excellent condition.
Cabinet or Buffet by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, Solid Brass Legs
Cabinet or Buffet by Edward Wormley for Dunbar,...
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Buffets
Brass, Cane, Mahogany
Large-scale, polished mahogany cabinet with cane front sliding doors that reveal drawers and storage. Top drawers with solid brass pulls, center drawer is double wide with built in, ...
Woven Front Cabinet by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
Woven Front Cabinet by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s Buffets
A bleached walnut woven front credenza designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar.
Cabinet Designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s Buffets
A bleached mahogany sideboard with brass hardware and removable glass tray. Designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar.
Rare Edward Wormley Drop Down Bar, Credenza for...
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s American Buffets
Rarely seen Edward Wormley drop down bar, credenza for Dunbar made of walnut & mahogany, with brass & rosewood hardware. Cabinet is in beautiful original condition with drop down mid...
Classic Sliding Door Cabinet by Edward Wormley ...
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Mahogany
Iconic Model 4117 Cabinet by Edward Wormley for Dunbar that has been meticulously restored and refinished in espresso lacquer. The wavy doors slide open to reveal two adjustable shel...
Stunning Edward Wormely Chest/Buffet/Credenza i...
Edward Wormley
Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern Buffets
Brass, Wood
A Beautiful multi-purpose case piece by Edward Wormley for Drexel, circa 1947. Wonderful design allows for use as a chest, buffet or credenza. Restored in black lacquer to provide co...
Woven-Front Sideboard by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Sideboards
Mahogany, Nickel
This mahogany sideboard has three spacious drawers above three sliding doors of mahogany veneer interwoven with nickel bars. The doors open to reveal three storage areas. The center ...
Classic Woven front buffet by Dunbar
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
20th Century American Buffets
Wood
Classic woven front buffet by Dunbar (signed). Three top drawers with dividers. Four slider doors revealing center shelves and end drawers.
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