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'Senior' Chairs by Marco Zanuso, 1951,very rare early examples with wood frames


Superb pair of fully restored, very early production, iconic ''Senior' lounge chairs designed by Marco Zanuso for Arflex, Italy in 1951. These extremely rare very early production examples are identified by their handmade wood frames which were superceded quickly by the more production efficient and therefore less costly pressed sheet steel frames. This fact is confirmed in Daniele Baron's tome on the history of Arflex entitled 'Arflex 1951-81' (page 8) which was published in 1981. The larger 'senior' chair was the big brother to Zanuso's equally iconic and beautiful 'lady' chair and they complement each other perfectly. The entire cover page of Domus' January 1953 issue was devoted to Zanuso's 'Lady' and 'Senior' chairs. Please see image 3. This pair is signed with the early original fabric Arflex labels which we saved from the original upholstery during the restoration process, Please see image 9. These chairs have undergone a full ground up restoration, starting by stripping both chairs right back to their bare wood frames. Please see image 10. They have been lovingly reupholstered in beautiful Danish Kvadrat 'Tonica ' 100% wool fabric including completely renewing the Pirelli rubber seat support webbing and the expensive latex foam rubber as per the original specification. We took photos throughout the restoration process which we will make available to interested clients so you can see the work involved and the underlying very early original wood frames. The 'Senior' and 'Lady' armchairs were amongst the very first to exploit the aesthetical implications of using foam rubber to replace conventional upholstery materials. The new materials potential for soft curves and lightness made it ideal for translating the streamlined aesthetics of objects made of wood and metal into comfortable furniture items. Literature: 'Domus' , issue December 1952, page 78. 'Domus', January 1953, Cover page. Please see image 3. 'Arflex 1951-81', pages 9,10,11, Daniele Baroni, A'Lucini e C, Milan, 1981 (page 8 confirms that the very earliest production examples of the 'lady' and 'senior' chairs had hand made wood frames before switching production to pressed steel frames. Giuliana Gramigna, "Repertorio del Design Italiano1950-2000", Allemandi, 2011, page. 25.  


  • Period
  • Materials and techniques
  • Condition
    Excellent. Excellent. Totally restored with new Latex foam, Pirelli Rubber Strapping and Kvadrat 'Tonica' 100% wool upholstery fabric. The brass legs have been polished and show minor wear consistent with age and use..
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 39.38 in. x W 29.93 in. x D 34.45 in.

    H 100 cm x W 76 cm x D 87.5 cm

  • Seat height
    16.15 in. (41 cm)
  • Seller location
    bergen op zoom, NL
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Reference number

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