THONET Michael ( 1796 / 1871 )
Rocking chair chair in thermoformed beech with removable footrest.
Work around 1900.
Height : 39,76 in
Depth : 51,18 in
Width : 20,47 in
Michael THONET is a German-Austrian cabinetmaker and industrialist born on July 2, 1796 in Boppard, Germany, and died on March 3, 1871 in Vienna.
He uses a wood bending process, and is one of the first to streamline production to industry.
Michael Thonet created in 1819 a small furniture company. In parallel, he experiments assemblages and ways of bending wood.
It is spotted by Prince Clemens Metternich, Chancellor of Austria, who becomes his admirer and protector. Thanks to him, he goes to Vienna in 1842, where he presents his achievements to the emperor.
He then began working for a cheap furniture manufacturer, whose methods of production at low cost he retained.
Employed by Clemens List, the leading Viennese cabinetmaker (100 workers), he recommends it to the English architect of the Prince of Liechtenstein, and he is entrusted with the realization of furniture - so-called "flying" chairs and the parquet of the Liechtenstein Palace. .
In 1851 he decided to create a new company, and developed the chair No. 14 he created to meet the order of Anna Daum, director of the coffee Daum, who dreams of "practical chairs, elegant and compact." The orders follow one another very quickly, and Thonet decides to produce the number 14 in series; it will become its first industrial model and make its success, even its name.
In July 1851, Thonet presented a series of his latest furniture at the London World's Fair, and he received the Bronze Medal, which contributes to his international fame. Faced with the influx of orders, he expanded his facilities and bought his first steam engine. Forty employees work in the company when he passes it on to his five sons, including a chemist; he will continue to lead it until his death.
International exhibitions are further developing markets, and Thonet is increasing production. For this reason, in July 1856 he moved the factory to Koryčany, in Moravia, a region rich in beech forests in the Black Forest and enabled him to employ a cheaper labor force. The factory employs 300 workers and produces 200 pieces of furniture a day.
The creation of the No. 14 chair further increases the demand: it opens a second site in Bystřice pod Hostýnem where it manufactures it in real series, maintaining quality but reducing costs. The production is done according to the principles of planning and rationalization, and a form of subcontracting is even put in place with the peasants of the region.
The increase in production always requires more raw materials, and Thonet buys an entire forest estate in Nagy Ugrocz, Hungary, near which he built a third plant specialized in cutting and bending wood.
When he died in 1871, his company had six factories in Europe, which supplied a commercial network of 14 sales outlets worldwide, including 15, Boulevard Poissonnière in Paris, which will become the headquarters of Thonet Frères France. Other points of sale are from that time in Chicago and New York.
During the 1920s, under the impetus of businessman Leopold Pilzer, Thonet merged with Kuhn-Mundus, but this Konzern disappeared in 1937 due to Nazism and Pilzer's exile. After 1945, Gebrüder Thonet's headquarters are in Frankenberg, Germany. In 1976, the Austrian branch became independent under the name of Thonet Wien. In 2006, the German company became Thonet Gmbh, comprising nearly 200 employees.
Width : 52 cm
Height : 101 cm
Depth : 130 cm
Category : Seating > Armchairs
Style : Art Nouveau
Period : 20th century
Price on demand
Go to seller's website