Edward Wormley Sculptural Sofa for Dunbar, circa 1960s

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

About

Edward Wormley sculptural sofa
Model 486
Dunbar
USA, 1961

Literature: Weinberg, Larry. 'Edward Wormley: The Other Face of Modernism', New York: Designbase, 1997; Dunbar, Manufacturer's Catalog, Unpaginated

In excellent condition - meticulously restored and reupholstered in Holland & Sherry Chamonix Boiled Wool (White & Camel) and Edelman Cashmere Calf Leather (Slate).

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent. In excellent condition - meticulously restored and reupholstered in Holland & Sherry Chamonix Boiled Wool (Camel & White) and Edelman Cashmere Calf Leather (Slate).
  • Dimensions
    29.5 in. H x 85 in. W x 29 in. D
    75 cm H x 216 cm W x 74 cm D
  • Seller Location
    LAGUNA BEACH, CA
  • Number of Items
    1
  • Reference Number
    LU229538588953

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 2014

Typical response time: 4 hours

Located in LAGUNA BEACH, CA

More from this Seller

Adrian Pearsall High Back Chair, circa 1960-1969
Adrian Pearsall High Back Chair, circa 1960-1969
Adrian Pearsall
Upholstery, Walnut
Adrian Pearsall Midcentury high back chair, circa 1960-1969 Upholstery, walnut Measures: 57 H x 23 W x 26 D inches.  
A.R. Cordemeijer 'Cleopatra' Daybed for Auping
A.R. Cordemeijer 'Cleopatra' Daybed for Auping
A.R. Cordemeijer, Auping
Metal, Leather, Teak
1960s Cleopatra style daybed by A. R. Cordemeier. Teakwood ends with powder-coated black metal frame. New white leather upholstered mattress and black leather bolster.
Norman Cherner Rare Prototype Armchair for Plycraft
Norman Cherner Rare Prototype Armchair for Plycraf...
Norman Cherner
Rosewood
Rare Norman Cherner prototype armchair for Plycraft.
Antoine Philippon and Jacqueline Lecoq 'Comfort' Armchair
Antoine Philippon and Jacqueline Lecoq 'Comfort' A...
Antoine Philippon and Jacqueline Lecoq
Metal, Wool, Mahogany, Plywood
Antoine Philippon and Jacqueline Lecoq ‘Comfort’ Armchair France, c. 1950 Meticulously restored and reupholstered in luxurious Holland & Sherry White Chamonix Boiled Wool. Molded Mahog...
Charles and Ray Eames Pair of 'DAX' Chairs
Charles and Ray Eames Pair of 'DAX' Chairs
Charles and Ray Eames
Steel, Plastic, Fiberglass
Charles and Ray Eames Pair of 'DAX' chairs The DAX chairs were designed by Charles and Ray Eames and was manufactured in the United States by Herman Miller in 1955. It is made from ...
Pierre Jeanneret Desk and Stool from Chandigarh
Pierre Jeanneret Desk and Stool from Chandigarh
Pierre Jeanneret
Wool, Teak
Pierre Jeanneret Desk and stool from Chandigarh circa 1950 -1959 France/India   Measures: Desk 27 H x 31.5 W x 23 D inches Stool 16 H x 16 W x 13 D inches.
Jørgen Kastholm & Preben Fabricius 'Grasshopper' Lounge Chair
Jørgen Kastholm & Preben Fabricius 'Grasshopper' L...
Alfred Kill International, Jørgen Kastholm & Preben Fabricius
Canvas, Leather, Steel
Jørgen Kastholm & Preben Fabricius 'Grasshopper' lounge chair made by Alfred Kill GmbH
Egmont Arens Fiberglass Chair
Egmont Arens Fiberglass Chair
Egmont Arens
Steel, Fiberglass
Rare biomorphic molded fiberglass chair designed by Egmont Arens Designer: Egmont Arens Period/style: Mid-Century Country: US Date: 1950s.