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Pair of children's chairs

Pair of children's chairs

  • Place of origin:

    Vienna (city) (designed)
    Poland (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1859 (designed)
    after 1866-1896 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Thonet, Michael (designer)
    Thonet (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bentwood and cane

  • Museum number:

    MISC.76:1, 2-1980

  • Gallery location:

    Museum of Childhood, Homes Gallery, case 4 []

Thonet was the first company to mass manufacture furniture designed specifically for children. The first examples appeared in their 1866 catalogue. This particular chair is derived from the adult-size version of Thonet's 'Chair no 14', which is also known as 'The Bistro Chair' and the 'Coffee Shop Chair'. Available from 1859, it was Thonet's most commercially successful model, and it is said that 50 million of them were made just between 1859 and 1896. It has remained a popular design and has been in constant production, and has been widely copied by other manufacturers, sometimes in other materials such as metal.

Physical description

Pair of side chairs, the child-sized version of Thonet's Chair No 14 but without the hoop stretcher (and therefore made from five pieces of wood rather than the adult style's six). Each chair is made of bentwood (steamed wood), stained brown and varnished: the open-frame back and the back legs are made of a single bow of wood, with a three-quarter circle bentwood splat which is pegged and glued within it. The bow is bolted to the circular bentwood-edged canework seat and secured within by two nuts; the front legs are glued into holes in the underside of the seat. All the legs are splayed to give a firmer base.

Place of Origin

Vienna (city) (designed)
Poland (probably, made)

Date

1859 (designed)
after 1866-1896 (made)

Artist/maker

Thonet, Michael (designer)
Thonet (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Bentwood and cane

Object history note

Bought at auction at Christie's South Kensington (RF 80/629).

Descriptive line

Pair of Child's bentwood chairs with canework seats, made in Austria probably by Thonet, after 1859

Materials

Bentwood; Cane (plant material)

Techniques

Steam bending; Weaving

Categories

Children & Childhood; Furniture

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Museum of Childhood

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