Early Pair of Étagères by Edward Wormley for Dunbar For Sale
Want more images?
Request additional images from the seller
1 of 11 images

Early Pair of Étagères by Edward Wormley for Dunbar


A rare and early pair of petite étagères designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar.


  • Period
  • Condition
  • Condition Details
    Good original condition. Nice overall patina.
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 62 in. x W 14.5 in. x D 11 in.H 157.48 cm x W 36.83 cm x D 27.94 cm
  • Seller Location
    Dallas, TX
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Reference Number
Buyer Protection Guaranteed
Our Promise To You: If you're not happy with the way an item arrived, we'll work with the seller on your behalf to ensure you're satisfied with the resolution. Read more

Delivery, Returns & Payment

  • Delivery
    Rates vary by destination and complexity
    Shipping methods are determined by item size, type, fragility and specific characteristics.
    Shipping costs are calculated based on carrier rates, delivery distance and packing complexity.
  • Return Policy

    This item can be returned within 3 days of delivery.

    View details
  • 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

5 / 5
Gold Seller
1stdibs seller since 2008
Located in Dallas, TX
More From This Seller

Pair of Chests by Edward Wormley for Dunbar

By Edward Wormley
$9,500 / set
Pair of Chests by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s Commodes and Chests of Drawers
A pair of matching walnut and bleached mahogany chests with brass hardware. Designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar.

Pair of Chests by Edward Wormley for Dunbar

By Edward Wormley
$12,000 / set
Pair of Chests by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s Commodes and Chests of Drawers
An elegant pair of three-drawer chests in black walnut with rosewood pulls and brass feet. Designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar.

Pair of Tables by Edward Wormley for Dunbar

By Edward Wormley
$4,800 / set
Pair of Tables by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s End Tables
A pair of walnut Janus end tables designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar.
Early Beverly Bookcase by Ettore Sottsass for M...
Ettore Sottsass
Vintage 1980s Bookcases
The Beverly bookcase designed by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis, 1981. This early example with Memphis label number 33.
You May Also Like
Modular Wall Mount Cabinets by Edward Wormley f...
Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s American Bookcases
A versatile modular wall system consisting of four cabinets, one with interior light and magazine rack and a larger bi-fold door bar cabinet by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, American, c...
Dunbar Mahogany and Glass Four Shelf Etagere
Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s American Bookcases
Elegantly curved and tapered open structure in rich, dark stain, with original glass shelves and finish. By Edward Wormley for Dunbar.
Freestanding Pyramidal Bookcase in the Style of...
Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s American Bookcases
Freestanding bookcase in dark finish on silver elm, z. In the style of Wormley, unmarked, three shelves in ascending widths.
Walnut and Birch Magazine Tree by Edward Wormle...
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Shelves
Birch, Walnut
Edward Wormley designed this multi-tiered magazine tree, model number 4765, for Dunbar in the late 1940s. The trunk and limbs are constructed in birch, while the five shelves feature...
Pair of Chinese Lacquer Étagères
Early 20th Century Chinese Shelves
Each fitted with two drawers with beautifully patinated bronze handles, and cracked ice design on base. Property from a Hillsdale, NY collector.
Pair of Directoire Style Etageres
Vintage 1960s Directoire Shelves
Pair of Directoire style mahogany etageres or bookcases. Has brass pineapple finials at the top.
Pair of Faux Bamboo Etageres
Vintage 1970s American Hollywood Regency Bookcases
Pair of Faux Bamboo etageres. Nice bronze finish. A total of six shelves on each etagere. Classic designer style with clean lines. Great for books or displaying a collection or both.
Pair of Lighted Lucite Etageres
Vintage 1970s Shelves
Beautiful pair of lighted Lucite etageres with "cracked ice" details at the top and bottom of the etageres, late 1970s. There are two recessed lights at the top of each etagere. Vers...

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries