No name just a number. An unassuming entry in the extensive catalogue of Michael Thonet and Sons cabinetmakers. this modest anonyity belies the fact that little No. 14 is giant presence in the history of furniture. Designed by thonet in 1859, what set this chair apart was not its general form but its manufacture. In the 1850s.
Thonet pioneered a process of steam-bending wooden rods and strips. This bentwood method was hugely liberating n terms of time and skilled labour permitting simplified versions of the styles of the period. It allowed furniture to be a mass-produced. shipped as parts and assmbled at destination at very low cost, setting a precedent in the production of furniture. No14 and its retinue anticipated by more than fiftythe essential themes and axioms that wold come to define modernism. Michael Thonetdied in 1871, but by that time Gebruder thonet was the largest furniture factory in the world. The success of No.14 probably the single most commercially successful chair ever produced, has done nothing to diminish its enduring formal and conceptual charm. Today this manifestation of ninteenth-century high technology still retains a fresh and elegant utility.Chair No 14 (1859) Michael Thonet – Gbruder Thoner