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Edward Wormley Carts and Bar Carts

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
Edward Wormley Bar Cart for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Los Angeles, CA
An ebonized bar cart by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, USA, c.1960s. The cart features a white laminate flip top surface with a double sided caned door f...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Carts and Bar Carts

Materials

Brass

Dunbar Bar Cart by Edward Wormley in Rosewood, Cork and Slate
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Dallas, TX
A sculpted rosewood bar cart with single drawer, cork shelves and slate top. Designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar.
Category

1970s Vintage Edward Wormley Carts and Bar Carts

Materials

Slate

Cork Bar Cart by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, 1960s, Signed
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This classic Edward Wormley for Dunbar bar cart, circa 1960s, features a cork top with brass trim and the two lower platforms also w...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Carts and Bar Carts

Materials

Wood, Cork

1950s Edward Wormley for Dunbar Bar Cart
By Edward Wormley
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Bar cart by Dunbar. Glass top with two leaves. Made of mahogany.
Category

1950s Vintage Edward Wormley Carts and Bar Carts

Materials

Mahogany

Mid-Century Modern Bar Cart Edward Wormley for Dunbar C1953
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Port Jervis, NY
Fabulous bar cart/server with a drop down top which is 27 inches and 54 when raised, shelves for bottles, cupboard for glasses and other necessities. Model # 5433 created out of waln...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Carts and Bar Carts

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Mahogany Drop Leaf Bar Cart Model 4487, circa 1950
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Saint Louis, MO
This beautiful Dunbar Model 4487 bar cart was designed by Edward Wormley in the early 1950s and features the iconic and whimsical silhouette form made from bent mahogany wood. Dunbar produced some of the most elegant and sought after midcentury furnishings of the time, and this bar cart exemplifies the merger of artful design with function. The bentwood frame is complimented by curved drop leaves that add counter space for preparing your favorite cocktails or for displaying tasty hors d'oeuvres. The top shelf is made of glass - which makes clean up easy and worry free with no risk of staining. Ready to serve? Bottom trays are removable for presentation and for serving your guests. Casters make it easy to roll the bar cart up to center stage for entertaining and returning it to its desired place. In terms of finish and condition, this 1950s Dunbar bar cart...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Carts and Bar Carts

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley for Drexel Precedent Rolling Bar Cart
By Edward Wormley, Drexel
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Pistachio green rolling bar cart from the Precedent series by Edward Wormley for Dunbar circa 1960. 3 tiered rolling cart featuring a textured glass top and casters. Precedent by Drexel...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Carts and Bar Carts

Materials

Wood

Handsome Edward Wormley Precedent Collection Bar Cart, Mid-Century Modern
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pemberton, NJ
Handsome Edward Wormley for Drexel Precedent collection bar cart. Original light finish with textured glass top and tapered legs on casters. This piece is in vintage condition and do...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Carts and Bar Carts

Materials

Elm

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 Carts and Bar Carts

Materials

Wood

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Flip-Top Serving or Bar Cart
By Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
Description: Serving cart, two drawers, base in mahogany with brass castors, top in walnut with flip-top for extra serving surface, gold Dunbar label, model number 215, white laminat...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Edward Wormley Carts and Bar Carts

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley Dunbar Party Server Bar
By Edward Wormley
Located in St.Petersburg, FL
Edward Wormley for Dunbar "party server" or bar cabinet on wheels. Rare and iconic early Wormley design. When extended the top becomes 53.5"L.
Category

1950s American Vintage Edward Wormley Carts and Bar Carts

Materials

Brass

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A stunning design by Edward Wormley for Dunbar; this bar could be used as a side table, nightstand or accent piece in any contemporary environment. High quality construction, signed ...
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By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
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By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Atlanta, GA
Clean lined bar or serving cart, designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, American, circa 1950s. This piece is currently being refinished and can be completed in your choice of color. ...
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H 31.5 in W 36 in D 18 in
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By Edward Wormley
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Edward Wormley for Dunbar rolling cart with one pull out drawer. Shelves are covered in cork and top is slate. Rosewood shows some fading, but overall v...
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Located in Kansas City, MO
Edward Wormley for Dunbar serving cart or bar trolley with drawer on brass casters. Beautiful mix of materials: Sculpted Brazilian rosewood frame (see details in photos), shelves are...
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Slate, Brass

Edward Wormley carts and bar carts for sale on 1stDibs.

Edward Wormley carts and bar carts 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 carts and bar carts, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original carts and bar carts by Edward Wormley were created in the mid-century modern style in united states during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider carts and bar carts by Dunbar, Charles Hollis Jones, and Drexel. Prices for Edward Wormley carts and bar carts can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $1,850 and can go as high as $7,500, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $3,650.

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