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Armchair - Model B64
  • Model B64
    Breuer, Marcel Lajos, born 1902 - died 1981
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Model B64

  • Object:

    Armchair

  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (made)

  • Date:

    1928 (designed)
    1933-36 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Breuer, Marcel Lajos, born 1902 - died 1981 (designer)
    Thonet (manufacturers)
    PEL (assemblers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    ebonised bentwood and chromium-plated metal

  • Museum number:

    W.36-1983

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is the armchair version of the "B32" chair designed by Marcel Breuer in 1928 though not manufactured until about 1933. In 1927, the designers Mart Stam and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe had introduced cantilevered designs to the public. Breuer developed the cantilevered idea by designing chairs made from a single continuous tubular-steel frame. With the B32 and the B64 chairs he started incorporating a bentwood and cane seat and back into the design. Instead of running the steel frame behind the back, it supports the bentwood elements. In this chair, the B64, the steel is extended outwards to support ebonised bentwood armrests. The cane and bentwood elements were made by the firm Thonet, who was a well-known manufacturer of bentwood furniture from the nineteenth century onward.

Physical description

Armchair made from chromium-plated metal tubes. The back and seat are caned on ebonised bentwood frames which are held by the tubular structure. The armrests are made in ebonised bentwood.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (made)

Date

1928 (designed)
1933-36 (made)

Artist/maker

Breuer, Marcel Lajos, born 1902 - died 1981 (designer)
Thonet (manufacturers)
PEL (assemblers)

Materials and Techniques

ebonised bentwood and chromium-plated metal

Dimensions

Height: 80 cm, Width: 59.3 cm, Depth: 59 cm

Object history note

This chair was introduced into the PEL range between 1933 and 1936. The components were made up by Thonet, and shipped to PEL where they were assembled.

Breuer was not allowed to claim these chairs as his own design. When Anton Lorenz sold the Standard-Möbel company to Breuer in 1929, he retained the rights to Stam's cantilevered chair designs, and brought a series of lawsuits against Thonet, claiming that by manufacturing any cantilever chair, his patent rights were infringed. The court eventually ruled in 1932 that Lorenz owned the licence to produce Stam's patented cantilever and had the sole right to manufacture all rectilinear chairs with only two legs, including Breuer's designs. As a result, a dispirited Breuer gave up designing in tubular steel and Stam's name replaced Breuer's in the Thonet catalogues. Despite this, contemporary and post-war publications identified these chairs as Breuer designs. Between 1962 and 1963, production of the chairs resumed under Breuer's name. Since then the Breuer chairs have become some of the most ubiquitous of all modernist chairs.

The B&W negative no for this chair is HC2940

Descriptive line

British 1933 des. Marcel Breuer man. PEL & Thonet

Materials

Bentwood; Chrome steel; Cane

Techniques

Chrome-plating; Ebonising; Steam bending

Categories

Furniture

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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