Edward Wormley for Dunbar Gondola Style Sofa

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About

Wormley for Dunbar rare sofa, features tufted button back with solid bleached walnut tapered legs, incorporating exposed bracket-back supports as functional design detail, reupholstered with Great Plains wool.

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use
  • Dimensions
    30 in. H x 89.25 in. W x 29.75 in. D
    76 cm H x 227 cm W x 76 cm D
  • Seller Location
    Chicago, IL
  • Number of Items
    1
  • Reference Number
    LU84748908253

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 2008

Typical response time: 1 hour

Located in Chicago, IL

Associations:
  • 20th Century Specialists

More from this Seller

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Pair of Edward Wormley Paddle Arm Sofas for Dunbar...
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Model No. 488. Reupholstered, with new foam and down filled back cushions. Dunbar decking underneath seat cushions (image 10).
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Edward Wormley Curved Corner Sofa
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Pair of Wormley for Dunbar curved back sofa with solid sculpted leg design. This sofa completely restored using Great Plains fabric cotton velvet fabric. Additional dimensions: Outs...
Edward Wormley Curved Bracket Back Sofa
Edward Wormley Curved Bracket Back Sofa
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Wormley for Dunbar four bracket curved back sofa. Mahogany frame securely holds a reupholstered seat and back with Great Plains woven fabric. This item is currently on view in our NYC ...
Edward Wormley Sofa
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Wormley for Dunbar, three-seat sofa model 4908. Features three down filled back cushions, sofa has been stripped down and restored, springs retied, recovered with great plains fabric w...
Edward Wormley Sofa
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Reupholstered with Herringbone cotton velvet patern and original Dunbar decking. Solid polished chrome legs.
Edward Wormley Sofa
Edward Wormley Sofa
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Wormley for Dunbar Sofa, model 488, features arched back and angled wing arms. Seat cushions and pillows are down filled. signed deck [Dunbar] repeat This item is currently on view in ...
Edward Wormley "Big Texan" Sofa
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Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Monumental Big Texan sofa, deep roomy button tufted deck and seat included six back pillows 3" thick foam and 5" thick down filled for adjustable depths. Reup...
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Roger Sprunger designed sofa, great plains mohair upholstery with walnut base. Dunbar text on decking. Attached button tufted fixed cushions.    
Edward Wormley Long John Coffee Table for Dunbar
Edward Wormley Long John Coffee Table for Dunbar
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Long John bench or coffee table designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Tongue and groove walnut top with drawer, supported by bentwood hairpin legs. [Gold Label Dunbar].
Edward Wormley Wingback Lounge and Ottoman for Dunbar
Edward Wormley Wingback Lounge and Ottoman for Dun...
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Wingback lounge chair and ottoman designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Diamond tufted back, reupholstered with Great Plains high quality woven wool fabric. Lounge chair measuremen...
Set of 14 Edward Wormley Dining Chairs for Dunbar
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Edward Wormley for Dunbar handle-back dining chairs.Model 4710. Mahogany frames with brass handles, reupholstered with Great Plains woven cotton-poly blend fabric. Armchair dimensions:...