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Set of Four Edward Wormley for Dunbar Horned Dining Chairs

US$24,000per set

About

Iconic and rare set of four horned antler chairs designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Known as 5580 model dining chairs crafted from mahogany with a caned seat. Arguably these are the most beautiful chair designs he ever created and one of the most elusive as very few were ever made. Small losses to cane on each seat with one being patched prior. The set consists of two armchairs and two side chairs the later measuring 19.5 inches wide. From an estate in Beverly Hills, CA. Three of the four chairs retain the original Dunbar tag under the seat. Dunbar: Fine furniture of the 1950's Pina. ppg. 59, 104, 107.

Details

  • Creator
    Dunbar Furniture (Maker),Edward Wormley (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 93.98 cm (37 in.)Width: 58.42 cm (23 in.)Depth: 53.34 cm (21 in.)Seat Height: 43.18 cm (17 in.)
  • Sold As
    Set of 4
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    Mid-20th Century
  • Condition
    Repaired: Old repairs. Wear consistent with age and use. Excellent joinery and craftsmanship with losses to cane as seen in photos. Minor old repairs difficult to see. Age appropriate wear and fading.
  • Seller Location
    Rio Vista, CA
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU1555223857542

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Ships From: Rio Vista, CA
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 1 day of delivery.

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About the Designer

Edward Wormley

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.

About the Seller
5.0
Located in Rio Vista, CA

Erin Lane Estate is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and its team of furniture restorers, art curators, professional appraisers and Asia specialists sources prime vintage and antique furniture from the finest estates in Northern and Southern California. Erin Lane Estate specializes in Hollywood Regency, McGuire, Chinese and Japanese pieces.

Diamond Seller
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Established in 2000
1stDibs seller since 2015
2,181 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
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