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  • Place of origin:

    Vienna (city) (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1905 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Steam-bent beech, stained, with a caned seat

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This settee illustrates the adaptation of traditional bentwood chair models to contemporary Viennese taste. It was produced by the Gebrüder Thonet manufactory. While still using the caned seat of earlier designs, the apparently simple structure of the settee and its corresponding chair (W.42-1979) is more sophisticated than that of most earlier bentwood chair models. The geometry of this design and the cut-out motifs used on the backrail were equally novel.

Unfortunately, the designer is not known; the settee may have been a product of the Thonet design studio. Both settee and chair remained in production from at least 1905 to 1911.

Physical description

Sofa, of beech, bent and stained. The front and back legs are bent from one continuous length of wood, forming the arm supports,. The rounded back is formed of one continuous bent length of wood also, joined by to the front legs toward the bottom and acting as a diagonal stretcher and joined by an additional short, curved length of wood to the back legs. The back rail is a deep rail of square outline with two groups of five circular cut-outs arranged geometrically. This is joined to a lower rail of square section by two sets of five square bars. Seat of woven cane.

Place of Origin

Vienna (city) (made)


ca. 1905 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Steam-bent beech, stained, with a caned seat

Marks and inscriptions

1) Makers's mark; branding

1) Makers's mark; paper label


Height: 108 cm, Width: 106.5 cm, Depth: 56.5 cm

Historical context note

This model and the armchair en suite, W.42-1979, remained in production from at least 1905 to 1911. Their designer is not known: they may be products of the Thonet design studio.

Descriptive line

Settee of steam-bent beechwood, stained, with a caned seat, made by the Gebrüder Thonet, Vienna, ca 1905.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Jervis, Simon: Furniture Of About 1900 From Austria & Hungary In The Victoria & Albert Museum, London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1986, no.25, p. 62, 63
Greenhalgh, Paul (Ed.), Art Nouveau: 1890-1914 . London: V&A Publications, 2000


Beech (wood); Stain; Cane (plant material)


Joining; Staining; Caning




Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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