1 of 8 images

Edward Wormley Tête-à-Tête Sofa (Model 5944) for Dunbar, circa 1950

About

Offered for sale is a rare Dunbar tête-à-tête sofa (model 5944) designed by Edward Wormley, circa 1950. Beautifully upholstered in a rich royal purple velvet on a walnut frame with brass details.

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent.
  • Dimensions

    H 28 in. x W 81 in. x D 28 in.

    H 71.12 cm x W 205.74 cm x D 71.12 cm

  • Seat height
    18 in. (45.72 cm)
  • Seller location
    Miami, FL
  • Reference number
    LU197438309503

Shipping, Returns & Payment

  • Online Payment Methods
    1stdibs accepts the following payment methods
  • Item Invoice
    Generate an invoice that you can customize and print.

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

Top Seller
Vetted
1stdibs seller since 2016
Typical response time: <1 hr
Located in Miami, FL
You may also contact the seller by phoneCall seller through 1stdibs

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries

More From This Seller
NaN Sale Price / set
41% Off

Mid-Century Modern Curved Tallback Armchairs by...

Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley

American Chairs

Wood

Pair of elegant and extremely comfortable wood framed armchairs attributed to Edward Wormley for Dunbar. These chairs are totally restored. Including having been reupholstered in blu...

NaN

Midcentury Upholstered and Chrome Sofa Attribut...

Dunbar Furniture

American Sofas

Fabric, Chrome

Offered for sale is a sleek low-profile Mid-Century Modern upholstered sofa with a curved chrome frame attributed to Dunbar. The sofa has been reupholstered in a black and white ligh...

NaN

Italian Modern Sofa by Gigi Radice, circa 1950

Gigi Radice

Italian Sofas

Brass, Velvet

Offered for sale is a striking 1950s Italian modern sofa by Gigi Radice. The sofa has been newly upholstered in an unusual burn-out look velvet which is quite durable. The brass legs...

NaN Sale Price
20% Off

John Hutton for Donghia Wicker Reed and Mahogan...

Donghia, John Hutton

American Sofas

Wicker, Mahogany

This is an exquisite John Hutton (1947-2006) design from the Merbau collection for Donghia produced, circa 1995. These pieces are quite rare and demonstrate the talent for original d...

You May Also Like
NaN Sale Price
20% Off

Dunbar Tête-à-Tête Sofa by Edward Wormley

Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley

American Sofas

Brass, Fabric, Mahogany

Dunbar tête-à-tête sofa by Edward Wormley.

NaN / item

Dunbar Tete-a-tete Sofas by Edward Wormley

Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley

American Sofas

Brass, Velvet, Mahogany

Pair of Dunbar Tete-a-tete sofas by Edward Wormley. Model 5944. Original Jack Lenor Larsen printed velvet over refinished espresso tone bases with brass details.

NaN

Janus Sofa, Model 6329, by Edward Wormley for D...

Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley

American Sofas

Upholstery, Mahogany

Edward Wormley created this sofa, model 6329, for Dunbar's Janus Collection. Angled for comfortable conversation, it is attractive from every view. Sitting on a light mahogany base, ...

NaN

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Sofa, Model 5604, 1956

Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley

American Sofas

Mahogany, Silk

Edward Wormley for Dunbar sofa, newly upholstered silk on mahogany base, USA, circa 1956. Matching settee available. 92 W x 30 H x 33 D in, 17 seat height, 24 arm height.

NaN

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Open Arm Sofa, 1950s

Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley

American Sofas

Leather, Mahogany

Open arm sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar in premium leather upholstery. USA, circa 1950s. Leather, stained mahogany. Measures: 90 W x 32 D x 28 H inches.

NaN

Edward Wormley Sofa for Dunbar

Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley

American Sofas

Fabric, Wood

Edward Wormley sofa for Dunbar in great form.

NaN

Edward Wormley Sofa for Dunbar

Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley

American Sofas

Mahogany

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

NaN

Edward Wormley Sculptural Sofa for Dunbar, circ...

Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley

American Sofas

Leather, Wool, Mahogany

Edward Wormley sculptural sofa Model 486 Dunbar USA, 1961 Literature: Weinberg, Larry. 'Edward Wormley: The Other Face of Modernism', New York: Designbase, 1997; Dunbar, Manufa...