Edward Wormley Sofa for Dunbar

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

About

Early and rare sofa model 4623 by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Fully restored. New upholstery over espresso finish base.

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Dimensions
    30 in. H x 88 in. W x 31 in. D
    76 cm H x 224 cm W x 79 cm D
  • Seat Height
    18 in. (46 cm)
  • Seller Location
    Chicago, IL
  • Number of Items
    1
  • Reference Number
    f91871603234337593fs

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 2011

Typical response time: 1 hour

Located in Chicago, IL

Associations:
  • 20th Century Specialists

More from this Seller

Dunbar Sofa by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Sofa by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Mohair, Mahogany
Sofa floats on espresso tone mahogany legs. Designed by Edward Wormley circa 1950s.
Dunbar Sofa by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Sofa by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Brass, Mohair, Mahogany
Classic Dunbar sofa by Edward Wormley. Fully restored and reupholstered in light grey mohair.
Dunbar "Janus Sofa" by Edward Wormley
Dunbar "Janus Sofa" by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Velvet, Mahogany
"Janus sofa" by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Wide angle sofa model #6329. Fully restored. New velvet upholstery over refinished mahogany base. An outstanding juxtaposition between desi...
Dunbar Curved Back Sofa by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Curved Back Sofa by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Upholstery, Wood
Curved back sofa designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Newly upholstered and bases refinished.
Dunbar Janus Daybed Sofa by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Janus Daybed Sofa by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Mohair, Walnut
Edward Wormley designed Janus daybed for Dunbar. Fully restored and refinished. Walnut frame with new charcoal mohair upholstery.
Dunbar Sofa by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Sofa by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Long four-seat sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Fully restored. New turquoise upholstery over refinished bases.
Monumental Dunbar Open-Arm Sofa by Edward Wormley
Monumental Dunbar Open-Arm Sofa by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Brass, Velvet, Mahogany
Large-scale open-arm sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Sculptural form sofa with walnut bracket frames that come up the back side of sofa. Fully restored and reupholstered in low pile ...
Dunbar Sofa by Edward Wormley in Grey Velvet
Dunbar Sofa by Edward Wormley in Grey Velvet
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Velvet, Walnut
Beautiful 9.5' sofa deigned by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, circa 1950s. Fully restored and refinished. Rare fluted walnut legs. Original Dunbar label.
Dunbar Bracket Back Sofa with Flared Arms by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Bracket Back Sofa with Flared Arms by Edwar...
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Velvet, Mahogany
Rare flare armed bracket back sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Fully restored, refinished and reupholstered in charcoal velvet. Espresso tone on bracket back frame with brass screws.
La Gondola Sofa in Gray Mohair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
La Gondola Sofa in Gray Mohair by Edward Wormley f...
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Mohair, Mahogany
Monumental 10' La Gondola sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Fully restored. Refinished mahogany base in walnut finish with brass hardware. Newly upholstered in smoke gray mohair.
Dunbar Sofa by Edward Wormley, Model 5485
Dunbar Sofa by Edward Wormley, Model 5485
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Rare form Dunbar sofa by Edward Wormley. Fully restored. New upholstery with refinished walnut stained mahogany ski bases. Retains original Dunbar decking.
Dunbar "Harlow" Sectional Sofa by Edward Wormley
Dunbar "Harlow" Sectional Sofa by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Two-piece sectional sofa designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Newly upholstered in woven Great Plaines fabric. Long sofa 93" L x 38" W x 25" H. Seat 15" H. Smaller sectional piece:...