Edward Wormley for Dunbar Desk

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

About

Edward Wormley design executive desk for Dunbar with grey leather inlay. Walnut desk with rosewood pulls and caned modesty panel.
Professionally refinished.

Details

    Dimensions
    29 in. H x 84.5 in. W x 38.5 in. D
    74 cm H x 215 cm W x 98 cm D
  • Seller Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Number of Items
    1
  • Reference Number
    LU80806084593

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 2005

Typical response time: 5 hours

Located in Los Angeles, CA

Associations:
  • 20th Century Specialists

More from this Seller

Hans Von Klier Desk for Skipper
Hans Von Klier Desk for Skipper
Hans Von Klier
Stainless Steel, Leather, Mahogany
Gorgeous black mahogany and leather executive desk by Hans Von Klier for Skipper. Massive surface with three small pull-out drawers. Desk has large inset black leather blotter on surfac...
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Cabinets
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Cabinets
Dunbar Furniture
Leather, Mahogany
Dunbar cabinet with corrugated wood front. Beautiful, well designed piece, corrugated slide wood doors to hide center drawers and then reveal side shelving. Base is leather wrapped. Ori...
Desk by J.A. Muntendam
Desk by J.A. Muntendam
J.A. Muntendam
Oak
Fantastic oak desk by J.A. Muntendam. Modernist design with cantilevered cube cabinet floating asymmetrically on the right side. Red laminate double doors open for storage. Oak top, sid...
Andre Sornay Desk
Andre Sornay Desk
André Sornay
Oak
Wonderful desk by French designer Andre Sornay. Warm French oak with contrasting wood handles on two drawers and pencil centre drawer. Prouve style angled legs. Fantastic piece!    ...
Andre Sornay Writing Desk
Andre Sornay Writing Desk
André Sornay
Laminate, Wood
Writing desk by Andre Sornay with black laminate top, white back and wood drawer and legs.          
Gio Ponti Desk
Gio Ponti Desk
Gio Ponti
Gio Ponti designed desk for the National Labor Office. Beautifully refinished walnut with polished brass hardware. Top is original formica in shades of blue.
Pierre Jeanneret Desk
Pierre Jeanneret Desk
Pierre Jeanneret
Teak
Pierre Jeanneret library desk from the administrative building designed for the city of Chandigarh, India. Great scale and terrific design.
Gio Ponti Desk
Gio Ponti Desk
Gio Ponti
Wood
Gorgeous architectural desk by Gio Ponti for the University of Padova. Three drawers with lock suspend from right side of desk. Great lines, classic design. Newly refinished in cerused ...
Gio Ponti Desk
Gio Ponti Desk
Gio Ponti
Mahogany
Gorgeous desk by Gio Ponti. Original brass hardware. Impressive in size and scale with two pull-out drawers flanking each side of the desk. A fantastic example of Gio Ponti design. A va...
Desk by Gio Ponti
Desk by Gio Ponti
Gio Ponti
Gorgeous desk by Gio Ponti. Original brass hardware. Impressive in size and scale with pull-out drawers flanking each side of the desk. A fantastic example of Gio Ponti design. A varian...
Arthur Umanoff Desk
Arthur Umanoff Desk
Arthur Umanoff
Rush, Iron, Wood
Arthur Umanoff for Raymor desk with slatted wood top, rushed floating shelf and iron legs. New laminate blotter insert.  
Executive Desk by Osvaldo Borsani
Executive Desk by Osvaldo Borsani
Osvaldo Borsani
Aluminum, Wood
Handsome ebony lacquered desk by Osvaldo Borsani. Floating boomerang shaped desk top sits on tripod aluminium bases with articulating left side storage cabinet which features three draw...