Mystery Thonet Bentwood Chair – Seems the Thonet no 28

mystery thonet Austria bentwood chairUnusual shape

mystery thonet Austria bentwood chair

Mystery Thonet Chair StampThe stamp reads Thonet Austria

And the paper label says Thonet Vienna

One of our readers asks if there are more details known of this Thonet Austria bentwood chair that belonged to her grandmother who moved from Germany to the USA in the 20ies.

Update Februaryu 2017:

Via 1stdibs I came across this chair:

The mystery seems solved it is seems alike the Thonet no 28. The back is a variation though.

Plywood Mystery Chair

Plywood Mystery Chair
One of my twitter contacts likes to know more about this plywood mystery chair. Anybody?

On our FaceBook page we got this comment:

at a first glance it appears to be another material, perhaps vacuummolded plastic and then veneered on the surface. (because of the doublecurve) But it could perhaps be a designschool experiment of testing limits of curving plywood. What does the backrests centerline look like in a closeup examination? The combination with that type of legs suggests some kind of danish origin (or maybe, maybe could be japanese)

JFK any thoughts or better photos?

Last edited by Guido J. van den Elshout on January 4, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Einstein and Thonet

Albert Einstein leaning against a Thonet Chair in Madrid, 1923

Albert Einstein

leaning against a Thonet or Thonet alike bentwood chair in Madrid, 1923.

I received this photo today as a nice surprise for publication here from one of our Spanish readers, Álvaro de la Cruz-Dombriz. Thank you Álvaro!

The big question for me is now: “Is it a Thonet chair, and, if so, what model?” Note the leg ends resting in copper or zinc pods.

Excellent for our Chairchez L’Homme series.


Álvaro suggests in a comment this is the Thonet no. 20. However, I’m not sure or just headstrong . My first reaction when seeing the photo was: “Not a Thonet”, because if you compare the diameter of the back with the body of Einstein, the bentwood back is almost arm thick. Usually a back of a Thonet Chair is much thinner. However it is very well possible: I’ve checked Swiss Thonet expert Dieter Staedeli’s gallery of Wiener Moebel: He comments:

Thonet no. 20

Thonet No.20 chair of Vienna, around 1872. The model went into production 1870-71. The early 20s are made in a very strait and not very comfortable back design. But this very chair form is exemplary for the first production models and are sought after collectibles. At about 1875 found in all models of Thonet chair gradually switching to ergonomic back forms

Update 2: A Thonet or not a Thonet?

Further to the comment of Geert, I found a nice Bentwood dedicated blog which featured a Thonet (Halb?)fauteuil no 20:

Thonet Fauteuil no. 20

Update 3: Chairvertizing

I’ve added this post to our Chairvertizing series. What is better than to use a famous person to make your chair (more) famous, or the other way around: Take a famous chair to become (more) famous yourself;-)

Last edited by Guido J. van den Elshout on December 15, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Mystery Chair – Anybody?

Mystery Chair

This Mystery Chair was published by Campbell’s loft on their FB page. Just trying to help them with determining what this is about. Anybody of our readership?

Ouch Chair

Ouch Chair
By the looks the patient must have eaten the shrink and stuffed his couch with his guts…Ouch..

Via moggit: A Really Inappropriate Chair For A Therapist’s Office?.