Edward Wormley for Dunbar Elliptical Conference / Dining Table
About the Item
- Creator:Dunbar Furniture (Manufacturer),Edward Wormley (Designer)
- Dimensions:Height: 28 in (71.12 cm)Width: 105.13 in (267.04 cm)Depth: 55.88 in (141.94 cm)
- Style:Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Place of Origin:
- Date of Manufacture:1960s
- Condition:Wear consistent with age and use. A few scratches on top but overall very good condition.
- Seller Location:Denton, TX
- Reference Number:Seller: KMT&G00620231stDibs: LU2538333054452
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.
Revered for its handcrafted and highly collectible mid-century modern sofas, coffee tables and other furnishings, Dunbar Furniture was founded in 1910 in Berne, Indiana, but it didn’t gain widespread recognition until the ’30s, following the introduction of its president to a designer who would leave an indelible mark on the company’s legacy: Edward Wormley.
After a stint at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Oswego, Illinois-born Wormley worked as an interior designer for Marshall Field’s before joining Dunbar in 1931. Initially focused on developing the company’s cheapest furniture line, which could be bought with soap coupons, he was soon leading Dunbar Furniture into a new era of residential furniture for modern American homes. He would serve as the company’s design director for over three decades, designing about 150 pieces each year.
During that time, he oversaw the production of designs in a wide range of materials, with influences ranging from Scandinavian modernism to Art Deco. There were modern upholstery pieces, like swiveling lounge chairs and low-slung sofas, and experiments with textural wood on bar carts and cabinets as well as minimal, sculptural tables and functional office furniture. A passionate collector of Tiffany Studios lamps, Wormley used their glass tiles in Dunbar tables in 1956. He also worked on the reproduction of pieces by designers such as Jean-Michel Frank and Richard Riemerschmid.
One standout Dunbar Furniture collection was Janus, introduced in the 1960s, with Austrian-born ceramicists Otto and Gertrud Natzler. These pieces see the Natzlers’ uniquely artful ceramic tiles set into several styles of wooden tables. They remain some of the most sought-after mid-century modern Dunbar pieces on the vintage market today. During the peak of his design career and, indeed, the height of Dunbar Furniture’s history, Wormley amassed a whopping 30 Good Design awards between 1950 and 1955 through the “Good Design” exhibition, hosted by the Chicago Merchandise Mart and the Museum of Modern Art. Dunbar today produces a limited selection of archival Wormley designs, but many sales of original Dunbar pieces are through the resale market.
Find a collection of authentic vintage Dunbar Furniture today on 1stDibs.
Shipping & Returns
- ShippingRetrieving quote...Ships From: Denton, TX
- Return Policy
A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.
- Paul Evans "Cityscape" Dining TableBy Directional, Paul EvansLocated in Denton, TXPaul Evans cityscape for Directional dining table with chrome-plated steel and burled wood base. Glass not included Base dimensions: 63 L x 19 D x 28.38Category
20th Century North American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room TablesMaterials
Steel, Chrome$12,000 Sale Price20% Off
- Henning Kjærnulf Round Rosewood Dining Table Model 62 for Sorø StolefabrikBy Henning KjærnulfLocated in Denton, TXCombination of solid and veneered rosewood round Danish Modern dining table with four leaves, one has a matching apron the other three do not have ...Category
Mid-20th Century Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room TablesMaterials
- Mastercraft Brass, Burl, & Smoked Glass Dining TableBy MastercraftLocated in Denton, TXBrass, burl, & smoked octagonal shaped glass dining table by Mastercraft, Lotus design with four curved brass legs and a burl wood center hub with a octagonal...Category
Vintage 1980s Modern Dining Room TablesMaterials
- European Hand Painted Art Deco Dining Table by Kelly L. GergesLocated in Denton, TXExtendable European Hand Painted Art Deco Dining Table. Off white color with hand painted swirls throughout. This table is truly one of a kind! With leav...Category
20th Century Art Deco Dining Room TablesMaterials
- Edward Wormley for Dunbar CredenzaBy Dunbar Furniture, Edward WormleyLocated in Denton, TXClassic Edward Wormley for Dunbar mahogany credenza with solid brass hardware. Nine drawers with center cabinet.Category
20th Century North American Mid-Century Modern CredenzasMaterials
Brass$6,000 Sale Price20% Off
- Edward Wormley for Dunbar CabinetsBy Dunbar Furniture, Edward WormleyLocated in Denton, TXTwo Edward Wormley cabinets with corrugated wood sliding doors and center drawer section in a grey brown finish Each cabinet is 20" deep by 49" wide by 31.25 high.Category
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern CredenzasMaterials
- Edward Wormley for Dunbar Walnut Elliptical Conference or Dining Table, 1960sBy Edward Wormley, Dunbar FurnitureLocated in South Bend, INAn extremely rare and exceptional Mid-Century Modern custom 14-foot walnut conference or dining table Designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar Furniture USA, 1960s Figured waln...Category
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Conference TablesMaterials
Chrome$7,995 Sale Price60% Off
- Vintage Wormley Tawi Conference or Dining Table for DunbarBy Edward Wormley, Dunbar FurnitureLocated in Pasadena, TXRare beautiful wood 12 feet to 14 feet 1/2 vintage Wormley extension dining/conference table for Dunbar This came from the executive conference room of the former Bank of the Southw...Category
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Conference TablesMaterials
- Conference Dining Work Table Designed by Wormley for Dunbar 2 availableBy Knoll, Ward BennettLocated in New York, NYSpectacular large table, designed by Edward Wormley , Manufactured by Dunbar, having an X, or cross, form base, constructed of polished stainless steel, with screw in disk feet, and ...Category
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Conference TablesMaterials
- Dunbar Dining/Conference TableBy Dunbar Furniture, Edward WormleyLocated in Chicago, ILRoger Sprunger for Dunbar dining table, could seat 6 to 8 people. Rounded edged walnut top with good figured patterns, dark walnut pedestal base. Dunbar Berne Indiana metal tag on ...Category
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room TablesMaterials
- Mid-Century Modern Mahogany Dining Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar FurnitureBy Dunbar FurnitureLocated in Dayton, OHMid-Century Modern mahogany dining table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar Furniture Edward Wormley for Dunbar Furniture Co. Mid-20th century mahogany dining or conference table. Featu...Category
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Dining Room TablesMaterials
Mahogany$1,320 Sale Price40% Off
- Edward Wormley for Dunbar Mid Century Conference TableBy Edward Wormley, Dunbar FurnitureLocated in Countryside, ILEdward Wormley for Dunbar mid century conference table This table measures: 90 wide x 42 deep x 29 inches high, with a chair clearance ...Category
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Conference TablesMaterials
Recently ViewedView More
The 1stDibs PromiseLearn More
Expertly Vetted Sellers
Confidence at Checkout
Trusted Global Delivery