Introduced in 1850, the No. 4 Cafe Daum Bentwood Chair proved to be an instant success. The chair was first ordered by the proprietor of the Cafe Daum in Vienna, a meeting place for foreign correspondents and members of the military. The chairs were made of bent mahogany and laminated wood strips. They later appeared in a slightly different form as Chair No. 4 in the company's catalogs. Michael Thonet's new cafe chairs were lightweight, elegant, strong, and were characterized by a grace and fluidity of line which made them unique in European furniture of the period.
Through the years, many variations of the No. 4 Bentwood Chair were made. This particular model is made at one of Michael Thonet's original factories located in the Czech Republic. The factory still exists over 150 years after its inception creating bentwood in classic as well as contemporary styles.
In 1830, German cabinet maker Michael Thonet began experimenting with furniture made by bending wood that had been steamed into a soft and pliable state. Over the 20 years, Michael Thonet and his sons developed the processes and machines that would allow them to build bentwood furniture in unprecedented quantities. It was in this time period that he developed what has become thought of as the "traditional" Michael Thonet designed bentwood chair: one featuring a back rest and back legs made from a single piece, a rounded cane or laminated seat, and front legs. The output of Michael Thonet's factories was vast, due in part to his idea of designing separate pieces which would be combined to make a large number of models. Michael Thonet stands out as a designer and pioneer both in mass production and in design, as he artistically explored the new forms and unique qualities of his newly invented technique.
Remarkably few changes have been necessary over the last 150 years. The factory still follows the 19th century production methods developed by Michael Thonet to produce stylistically accurate, handsome, and sturdy bentwood chairs, stools, tables, and accessories.
Made in the Czech Republic
Dimensions: H 34 1/4" D 21 3/4" W 16 1/4" Seat height 18 1/4"
Materials: Frame in solid natural beechwood or beechwood with stain. Seat upholstered with fabric or leather.
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