- Want more images or videos?Request additional images or videos from the seller
Early Florence Knoll 3-Seat Model 26 Sofa
About the Item
- Creator:Knoll (Manufacturer),Florence Knoll (Designer)
- Dimensions:Height: 30 in (76.2 cm)Width: 95 in (241.3 cm)Depth: 30 in (76.2 cm)Seat Height: 18 in (45.72 cm)
- Style:Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Place of Origin:
- Date of Manufacture:C.1947
- Condition:Wear consistent with age and use. Overall good original condition. Upholstery with light soiling, spots of fabric wear, and light scattered stains. We kept the original for the purist. Shows well and is usable as is, but reupholstery service available, COM.
- Seller Location:Brooklyn, NY
- Reference Number:Seller: Modest Designs 5401stDibs: LU800234251512
Architect, furniture designer, interior designer, entrepreneur — Florence Knoll had a subtle but profound influence on the course of mid-century American modernism. Dedicated to functionality and organization, and never flamboyant, Knoll shaped the ethos of the postwar business world with her polished, efficient design and skillfully realized office plans.
Knoll had perhaps the most thorough design education of any of her peers. Florence Schust was orphaned at age 12, and her guardian sent her to Kingswood, a girl’s boarding school that is part of the Cranbrook Educational Community in suburban Detroit. Her interest in design brought her to the attention of Eliel Saarinen, the Finnish architect and head of the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Saarinen and his wife took the talented child under their wing, and she became close to their son, the future architect Eero Saarinen. While a student at the academy, Florence befriended artist-designer Harry Bertoia and Charles and Ray Eames. Later, she studied under three of the Bauhaus masters who emigrated to the United States. She worked as an apprentice in the Boston architectural offices of Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer; Ludwig Mies van der Rohe taught her at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
In 1941, she met Hans Knoll, whose eponymous furniture company was just getting off the ground. They married in 1946, and her design sense and his business skills soon made Knoll Inc. a leading firm in its field. Florence signed up the younger Saarinen as a designer, and would develop pieces by Bertoia, Mies and the artist Isamu Noguchi. Her main work came as head of the Knoll Planning Group, designing custom office interiors for clients such as IBM and CBS. The furniture Florence created for these spaces reflects her Bauhaus training: the pieces are pure functional design, exactingly built; their only ornament from the materials, such as wood and marble. Her innovations — the oval conference table, for example, conceived as a way to ensure clear sightlines among all seated at a meeting — were always in the service of practicality.
Since her retirement in 1965, Knoll received the National Medal of Arts, among other awards; in 2004 the Philadelphia Museum of Art mounted the exhibition “Florence Knoll: Defining Modern” — well deserved accolades for a strong, successful design and business pioneer. As demonstrated on these pages, the simplicity of Knoll’s furniture is her work’s great virtue: they fit into any interior design scheme.
As a company that produced many of the most famous and iconic furniture designs of the 20th century, Knoll was a chief influence in the rise of modern design in the United States. Led by Florence Knoll, the firm would draw stellar talents such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Eero Saarinen into its compass. Their work would help change the face of the American home and office.
The company was formed in 1938 by the German immigrant Hans Knoll. He first worked with his fellow ex-pat, the Danish designer Jens Risom, who created furniture with flowing lines made of wood. While Risom served in World War II, in 1943 Knoll met his future wife, Florence Schust. She had studied and worked with eminent emigré leaders of the Bauhaus, including Mies, Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. She won Knoll over with Bauhaus notions of industrial arts, and an aesthetic that featured flat and tubular metal frames and angular forms. When Hans died in a car crash in 1955, Florence Knoll was appointed head of the company. It was as much through her holistic approach to design — a core division of the firm was dedicated to planning office systems — as Knoll's mid-century modern furnishings themselves that she brought about the sleek and efficient transformation of the American workplace.
Today, classic Knoll furnishings remain staples of modern design collections and decor. A history of modern design is written in pieces such as the elegant Barcelona chair — created by Mies and Lilly Reich — Saarinen’s pedestal Tulip chair, Breuer’s tubular steel Wassily lounge chair and the grid-patterned Diamond chair by Harry Bertoia.
As you can see from the collection of these designs and other vintage Knoll dining chairs, sofas and tables on 1stDibs, this manufacturer's offerings have become timeless emblems of the progressive spirit and sleek sophistication of the best of modernism.
Shipping & Returns
- ShippingRetrieving quote...Ships From: Brooklyn, NY
- Return Policy
This item cannot be returned.
- Dunbar Sofa by Edward WormleyBy Dunbar Furniture, Edward WormleyLocated in Brooklyn, NYChic gold velvet upholstered sofa with down back and side cushions and sprung seat. Beautifully carved mahogany feet. This is an extremely well built and comfortable sofa, with typic...Category
Vintage 1950s American Sofas
- Frits Henningsen Mahogany Frame SofaBy Frits HenningsenLocated in Brooklyn, NYElegant and rare 3-seat neoclassical sofa designed and manufactured by Frits Henningsen for cabinet maker Rud Rasmussen. High quality and sculptural example constructed from solid ma...Category
Vintage 1930s Danish Scandinavian Modern SofasMaterials
- Edward Wormley, Early Pair Side Tables model 4774ABy Edward Wormley, Dunbar FurnitureLocated in Brooklyn, NYPerfect, architectural 3-tier mahogany side tables by Edward Wormley. This simple, streamlined design typifies Wormley’s restrained modern style of the 1940s. The pair retains thei...Category
Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern End TablesMaterials
- Hans Bellmann for Knoll, Pair Tripod TablesBy Hans Bellmann, KnollLocated in Brooklyn, NYVintage pair of Hans Bellman knock-down side or occasional tables. A great example of mid-century interest in sophisticated design in utilitarian materials to satisfy a postwar mark...Category
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern End TablesMaterials
- Pair Harvey Probber Model 915 ChairBy Harvey ProbberLocated in Brooklyn, NYElegant pair of lounge chairs in bleached mahogany with caned sides. The tapered and tailored design easily works in both traditional and ultra-modern interiors.Category
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Side ChairsMaterials
Cane, Mahogany$9,800 / item
- Rare Arredoluce Model 12128 Triennale Floor LampLocated in Brooklyn, NYThis Classic Italian modern floor lamp has all the bells and whistles: chromed brass frame with elegant monotone white and black and grey shades; stitched leather on stem, lamp arms ...Category
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Floor LampsMaterials
- Florence Knoll 3-Seat SofaBy Florence KnollLocated in Munich, DEFlorence Knoll 3-seat sofa. Nice original condition.Category
Vintage 1960s German Mid-Century Modern SofasMaterials
Fabric$2,408 Sale Price38% Off
- Unusal No.26 Florence Knoll 3-Seater Sofa with Wooden LegsBy Florence KnollLocated in Munich, DEunusual florence knoll sofa with wooden legs. original fabric and possible new foam.Category
Vintage 1960s German Mid-Century Modern SofasMaterials
Fabric, Wood$2,736 Sale Price30% Off
- Florence Knoll Sofa Model #32By Florence KnollLocated in San Francisco, CAFlorence Knoll sofa model #32. An armless sofa model #32 by Florence Knoll for Knoll Associates. The frame is black enameled steel and the cushions have been restored in a luxurious...Category
20th Century American SofasMaterials
- Florence Knoll 2-Seater Sofa, Classic Mid Century Modern, KnollBy Knoll, Florence KnollLocated in Buffalo, NYVintage Florence Knoll 2 seater 'lounge series' sofa with original 2nd generation upholstery in a coarse woven off-white mottled wool fabric. This sofa d...Category
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern LoveseatsMaterials
- Florence Knoll, Sofa Model 66A for Knoll, circa 1960By Florence Knoll, KnollLocated in Paris, FRTwo seat sofa model 66A designed by Florence Knoll and produced by Knoll International, circa 1960. This chair was manufactured only from 1958 to 1975. Newly re-upholstered with a ...Category
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern SofasMaterials
- Florence Knoll SofaBy Florence KnollLocated in Dallas, TXVery early Florence Knoll sofa circa 1950 completely restored including all new 8 way hand tied springs, all new high grade foam cushions and new ...Category
Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern SofasMaterials
Maple, Textile$5,400 Sale Price32% Off
Recently ViewedView More
10 Trailblazing Female Designers
From pioneering visionaries to contemporary talents, get to know some of the most important women in design.
Remembering Design Visionary Florence Knoll Bassett (1917-2019)
A loving look back at the life and career of a doyenne of mid-century-modern style, who died last week at the age of 101.
The 1stDibs PromiseLearn More
Expertly Vetted Sellers
Confidence at Checkout
Trusted Global Delivery