Edward Wormley Set of Six Dining Chairs for Mobiel Universel For Sale
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Edward Wormley Set of Six Dining Chairs for Mobiel Universel

About

Set of six armchairs, lacquered black wood and fabric, design by Edward Wormely for Dunbar executed by Mobilier Universel, Jules Wabbes, Belgium, 1960s. This set of six grand armchairs is executed with a rare black lacquered frame and soft striped grey upholstery. The design is very simplistic, sturdy and angular giving these chairs a certain graphic appearance. The seat of the chair appears to be unusually high compared to the low backrest, yet this design is very comfortable and in fact designed for its intended purpose: dining. Mobilier Universel had the sole right to produce furniture for Dunbar. Jules Wabbes, at that time still very much involved with Mobilier Universel picked the desired models models for manufacturing which Edward Wormley designed. Between 1931 en 1968 Wormley drew about 150 models per year. Wabbes and Wormley had a lot in common, they were both inventors who did not see furniture as sculpture but as an object with a certain function that belonged to a greater whole. In his interior design projects, Wormley thought about the desires and comfort of its users and the constructive and storage facilities alike. Yet the visual function was perhaps still the most prominent. Together with Wabbes they shared a common interest in aesthetics as they were both collectors. The designs that Wabbes choose from Wormley's collections were those that featured a simplistic, clean lined that would prove the be timeless. This set of chairs belongs to that line of furniture. Edward Wormley (1907-1995) is known for his high-quality and elegant furniture. He was a master in blending classical elements of 20th century design with modern innovation. Literature: Wabbes-Ferran, Marie. Jules Wabbes. 1919-1974. Binnenhuisarchitect. Doornik: La Renaissance Du Livre, 2002, p. 91.      

Details

  • Period
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Condition
    Good
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 31.7 in. x W 25.6 in. x D 24.41 in.H 80.5 cm x W 65 cm x D 62 cm
  • Seat Height
    20.48 in. (52 cm)
  • Seller Location
    Waalwijk, NL
  • Seller Reference Number
    6354_item_6343
  • Sold As
    Set of 6
  • Reference Number
    LU933114580931
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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

4.8 / 5
Vetted
Recognized
Platinum Seller
1stdibs seller since 2012
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Associations:
20th Century Specialists
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