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Edward Wormley Sideboard Model 671 A for Dunbar Custom Order 1953

$9,600

About

An Edward Wormley designed walnut sideboard manufactured by Dunbar, model 671A, circa 1953. An exquisite Japanese inspired cabinet featuring four sliding walnut doors with two drawers with cast bronze pulls. An unusual detail of the sideboard is that the door faces are decorated with custom ordered hand-painted silver foil. The paper resembles hand painted Laverne silver foil wall paper of the period and may have been a Laverne studio product. There is a subtle shimmer to the foil panels in a raking light. Behind the doors, the interior has four adjustable shelves and two pull-out trays. The cabinet rests on four legs with exposed mortise and tenon joinery. The cabinet has a green Dunbar Berne Indiana label. The plate stand/ shelf shown in image #2 is available as a separate listing. The cabinet is in excellent condition. In addition( see image #3) we have separate listings for a matching bar cart, a bookcase/ plate stand and a dining table with leather cuffs which are all part of the original dining room suite. If interested in purchasing the suite we will be happy to offer you a group price.

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    Ships From: Camden, ME
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    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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About the Designer

Edward Wormley

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 — chairs, sofas, tables and more — 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 vintage items on 1stDibs 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
5.0
Located in Camden, ME
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Established in 1984
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188 sales on 1stDibs
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