Edward Wormley Dunbar Sideboard, Drawers and Doors with Shelves, circa 1958

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

About

Edward Wormley Dunbar with multiple drawers with tab pulls and middle doors with shelves, label, USA, circa 1958.

Brass Dunbar plaque label.

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Dimensions
    30 in. H x 72 in. W x 18 in. D
    76 cm H x 183 cm W x 46 cm D
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Number of Items
    1
  • Reference Number
    f79601509012982273fs

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 2004

Typical response time: 17 hours

Located in New York, NY

Associations:
  • 20th Century Specialists

More from this Seller

Paolo Buffa Parchment Sideboard on Tapered Legs W Curled Bentwood Encasement
Paolo Buffa Parchment Sideboard on Tapered Legs W ...
Paolo Buffa
Parchment Paper, Wood, Mirror, Glass
A Paolo Buffa parchment sideboard or bar on tapered legs with a curled bentwood encasement. Center drop-down and two additional side doors exposing a lighted mirrored interior with shel...
Aldo Tura Red Parchment Commode with Ten Drawers
Aldo Tura Red Parchment Commode with Ten Drawers
Aldo Tura
Goatskin
Aldo Tura red parchment commode with ten drawers.
Jacques Dumond 'Attributed' Bar Console with Glass Supports, France, circa 1950
Jacques Dumond 'Attributed' Bar Console with Glass...
Jacques Dumond
Glass, Wood
Jacques Dumond ‘attributed’ bar console with glass supports, France, circa 1950, with top opening compartment and lower shelves with doors.
Lanvin Glass and Bronze Vitrines with Glass Shelves, Originally from the 1920s
Lanvin Glass and Bronze Vitrines with Glass Shelve...
Bronze, Glass
Lanvin glass and bronze vitrines with glass shelves, originally from the 1920s, M. Lanvin Maison, France.
French Parchment and Cerused Oak Cabinet, circa 1940s
French Parchment and Cerused Oak Cabinet, circa 19...
Oak, Parchment Paper
French parchment and cerused oak cabinet, circa 1940s.
Paul Evans Burled Wood and Chrome Multifaceted Cabinet
Paul Evans Burled Wood and Chrome Multifaceted Cab...
Paul Evans
Metal, Fiberglass, Burl
The rectangular cabinet with double bend back doors, with high relief multiple angled panels veneered in chrome and burled wood, with fiberglass top and base.
Jean Royere Buffet with Studded Sun Pattern
Jean Royere Buffet with Studded Sun Pattern
Jean Royère
Wood
Jean Royere Buffet with Studded Sun Pattern.
Large Mirrored Cabinet with "Diamond Lattice" Front, France
Large Mirrored Cabinet with "Diamond Lattice" Fron...
Mirror, Wood
Large mirrored cabinet with "Diamond Lattice" front, France.
Three-Tier Glass Etagere 'Siegel Paris,' France, circa 1930
Three-Tier Glass Etagere 'Siegel Paris,' France, c...
Siegel Paris
Glass, Nickel
Three-tier glass etagere 'Siegel Paris,' France, circa 1930.
Fine Osvaldo Borsani Parchment and Maple Wardrobe or Chest
Fine Osvaldo Borsani Parchment and Maple Wardrobe ...
Osvaldo Borsani
Parchment Paper, Wood
The large cabinet with five square sections lacquered parchment doors, the right side with a series of drawers, the left and center being hanging closets.
T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb Three-Drawer Commode
T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb Three-Drawer...
T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings
Walnut
T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb three-drawer lacquered chest, 1950s, two smaller drawers on the left, bottom draw full length.
Widdicomb Double Chest, 1940s Designed by C. G. Kimerly
Widdicomb Double Chest, 1940s Designed by C. G. Ki...
C. G. Kimerly
Walnut
Widdicomb double chest, 1940s, designed by C. G. Kimerly, with two sets of six graduated drawers, under an overhang.