Double Drawer Slab Desk by Edward Wormley

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

About

A simple and elegant walnut desk of rectilinear form with a floating thick-planked overhanging top supported by parallel rectangular slabs.

Details

  • Date of Manufacture
    1950s
  • Period
    1950-1959
  • Condition
    Excellent
    Dimensions
    30.5 in. H x 62 in. W x 36 in. D
    77 cm H x 157 cm W x 91 cm D
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Number of Items
    1
  • Reference Number
    U1005178903118

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 2010

Typical response time: 4 hours

Located in New York, NY

Associations:
  • 20th Century Specialists

More from this Seller

Writing Desk by Edward Wormley
Writing Desk by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Brass, Mahogany
An elegant and finely proportioned double pedestal desk with ample storage in dark lacquered mahogany having raised edges and brass pulls, the form floating on dowel-shaped brass legs.
Roll Top Writing Desk by Edward Wormley
Roll Top Writing Desk by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Brass, Rosewood, Walnut
A stately and elegant rosewood and mahogany campaign desk having three drawers and two rosewood roll-top compartments flanking a central writing surface with a flip-down back splash, fl...
Walnut Lectern by Edward Wormley
Walnut Lectern by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Walnut
A unique and elegant lectern in walnut with a roll top cover and a single drawer.
Expanding Dining Table by Edward Wormley
Expanding Dining Table by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Walnut
A superbly detailed and impeccably crafted expandable Arts & Crafts-influenced dining table having a floating top fashioned of contrasting pegged planks of bleached and natural walnut r...
Janus Dining Table by Edward Wormley
Janus Dining Table by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Mahogany, Walnut
An elegant and restrained expandable mahogany and walnut rectangular dining table showing a Classical Chinese influence for Dunbar's Janus line.
Drop-Leaf Table by Edward Wormley
Drop-Leaf Table by Edward Wormley
Edward Wormley
Mahogany
A mahogany drop-leaf table with ebonized gate-leg base. Measures: Console table depth of 16.5" deep when closed.
End Table by Edward Wormley
End Table by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Mahogany, Birch
A fine and uncommon pair of end tables having sculptural exposed frames in stained mahogany and expressive floating tops of molded birch with upturned edges.
Triangular Table by Edward Wormley
Triangular Table by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Walnut
A geometrically pure and finely detailed two-tiered table in bleached walnut of triangular form with distinctive beveled edging at a 45 degree angle.
Utility Bar by Edward Wormley
Utility Bar by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Metal, Walnut
A wired walnut utility or bar cabinet on casters with black laminate bar surface including a storage compartment containing three collapsable serving table.
Occasional Table by Edward Wormley
Occasional Table by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Oak, Brass
An interesting and uncommon occasional table on casters having a cruciform structure intersected by two circular planes, the top of the table surfaced with leather.
Rolling Cart by Edward Wormley
Rolling Cart by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Brass, Cork, Walnut
A two-tiered rectilinear bar cart made of walnut and cork having a floating central drawer and brass casters with a laminate end grain cutting board.
Simple Nightstand by Edward Wormley
Simple Nightstand by Edward Wormley
Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Mahogany, Leather
An architectural two tier mahogany nightstand with a single drawer and leather wrapped feet.