If Christmas is a time for family, then Christmas is also surely a time to buy your gifts from a family business.
Currently being run by the 5th generation, Thonet have not only been responsible for the introduction and development of bent wood and steel tube furniture – two of the most important genres in the history of furniture design – but continue to support and develop young designers and so may just also discover the next big genre…..
Back in February while the (smow)boss was in a meeting with Nils Holger Moormann and his Moormänner in Aschau, we snuck up a near-by hill for some sledging fun with the Thonet S 333.
An experience we will never forget.
Not just because Holger Lange’s sledge goes like a rocket being chased by a pack of ferocious rocket powered dogs – but because steering is the Thonet S 333 is an art form that has to be learned before the first bend.
Fun, thrills and a genuine joy to use.
A sledge for adults the S 333 is proof that there is nothing boring and conservative about Thonet bent steel tubing.
A further development of Mart Stam’s classic cantilever chair design the Thonet S 43 mixes plywood with steel tubing to produce an unmistakable, reduced design that works just as well at a desk as at a dinning table. The S 43 is not only one of the most recognised works of the Bauhaus era, it is also one of the most copied. In 2009, however, a court in Düsseldorf decided that being a work of visual art rather than a piece of industrial design the S 43 was still under copyright and consequently could only be (re)produced by the license holder: Thonet. There are cheaper illegal copies out there, however none posses the quality of craftsmanship nor the visual unity of the Thonet original. The Thonet S 43 by Mart Stam is available in a range of woods and colours.
The thing that one must always remember about Thonet is that they began producing and trading in an era before furniture designers and industrial designers. As such a lot of the products in the Thonet archive were created by the Thonet in-house design team. Such as the B 117 side table. With its “floating” drawer unit and reduced form the Thonet B 117 is not only a classic example of early 1930s design but is a design that remains as contemporary and relevant today as then. Created from tubular steel and stained beach the B 177 can be beautifully employed , for example, as a bedside table, hall table or an additional IT office table.
The Thonet 214 is not only the chair that initiated commercial furniture production, nor is it only the chair that paved the way for Swedish gentlemen to open large warehouses next to every motorway in Europe, nor is it only the chair that almost broke Michael Thonet. The 214 is all of these things. And the Vitra Design Museum Thonet 214 Miniature is all of these things in 1:6 scale. And as such is the perfect gift for all connoisseurs of good design.
Tagged with: 214, B 117, Holger Lange, Mart Stam, Michael Thonet, Miniature, Miniatures Collection, S 333, S 43, Thonet, Vitra