Rocking Chaise Lounge by Edward Wormley for Dunbar

Buyer Protection Guaranteed


A beautiful and rare rocking chaise lounge by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. A highly-desirable icon of Mid-Century American furniture, a Thonet-inspired piece in bent ash, woven cane, and brass. Back-height is adjustable to three positions. In great, all original condition. An exceptional example of period, American Mid-Century design.


    Wear consistent with age and use
    35 in. H x 70 in. W x 20 in. D
    89 cm H x 178 cm W x 51 cm D
    Seat Height
    16 in. (41 cm)
    Seller Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Reference Number

About Edward Wormley (Designer)

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.

About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2010

Typical response time: 6 hours

Located in Los Angeles, CA

More from this Seller

Aluminum Chaise Longue by Halliburton
Aluminum Chaise Longue by Halliburton
An unusual and sexy chaise longue form and a Classic example of American Machine Age Industrial Design. An elegant and undulating seating concept, manufactured in tubular aluminum by th...
Tufted Leather and Oak "Freud" Chaise Longue
Tufted Leather and Oak "Freud" Chaise Longue
Leather, Oak
An exceptional, tufted, black leather and oak chaise longue. Evoking the dawn of psychoanalysis, an extraordinary seating option of great detail perfectly aged, tufted leather; wood wea...
Modernist Steel Low Lounge Chair
Modernist Steel Low Lounge Chair
A unique and wonderfully Minimalist, custom-made steel lounge chair. Almost Judd-like in design: one horizontal plane and one reclining plane supported by four square-stock buttress pos...
Knoll Model 700 Daybed Sofa by Richard Stein
Knoll Model 700 Daybed Sofa by Richard Stein
Knoll, Richard Stein
Upholstery, Walnut
A fantastic Knoll model 700 daybed sofa by Richard Stein. A walnut frame with elegant, Mid-Century styling featuring an expansive seat and foot-lever-controlled reclining back. Wonderfu...
Machine Age Steel Lounge Chair
Machine Age Steel Lounge Chair
A monumental, welded-steel lounge chair of exceptional scale and form: expertly constructed and thoroughly rectilinear; a strong, architectural simplicity evoking the work of Donald Ju...
Pair of Iron and Woven Leather Stools by Lila Swift & Donald Monell
Pair of Iron and Woven Leather Stools by Lila Swif...
Swift and Monell
Leather, Wrought Iron
A handsome pair of wrought iron and woven leather stools by Lila Swift & Donald Monell. Beautifully simple, three-legged constructions with great, contrasting patinas; thick leather str...
Wood and Leather Armchairs by Monteverdi-Young
Wood and Leather Armchairs by Monteverdi-Young
Wood, Leather
Beautiful pair of armchairs designed by Maurice Bailey for Monteverdi-Young. Wonderfully stylized and elegant with a modern take on an Asian design. Original olive green leather and opt...
Sling "Sloucher" Chair by Don Shoemaker
Sling "Sloucher" Chair by Don Shoemaker
Don S. Shoemaker
Leather, Rosewood
A sling "Sloucher" lounge chair designed by Don Shoemaker, one of the principal designers of the Mexican Mid-Century Modern Movement. Constructed of a local Mexican rosewood and origin...
Set of Four Mid-Century Wrought Iron Chairs
Set of Four Mid-Century Wrought Iron Chairs
Dorothy Schindele
Fabric, Wrought Iron
A fantastic set of four Mid-Century, wrought iron chairs. An angular, elegant, rakish form of bent and intersecting iron rods with stylishly-short arms, pitched rear legs and an upholst...
French Faux-Bois Outdoor Bench
French Faux-Bois Outdoor Bench
Iron, Wood
A wonderful, early 20th-century, French outdoor bench of iron and wood. Faux-bois, cast iron bench-ends evoking bent and twisting vines connected by simple wood slats for its seat and ...
Organic Redwood Side Chair
Organic Redwood Side Chair
A wonderful side chair beautifully constructed of redwood. An asymmetrical, free-edge stump base holding a disc seat and back featuring bolt fasteners intentionally exposed. An unusual ...
Leather Elephant Footstool
Leather Elephant Footstool
Abercrombie and Fitch, Dimitri Omersa
A wonderfully worn, leather elephant footstool. Clearly of the period and after or possibly by Dimitri Omersa for Abercrombie and Fitch. A playful and iconic item with an unusually even...