Xem thêm

The Innovative Furniture Designs of Michael Thonet

Rocking Chair, Model 1, ca 1860 Brooklyn Museum "Chair no. 14" ("Konsumstuhl Nr. 14") from 1859 Introduction Do you ever wonder how furniture designers create unique and elegant pieces that withstand the test of time?...

Michael Thonet Rocking Chair, Model 1, ca 1860 Brooklyn Museum

Michael Thonet "Chair no. 14" ("Konsumstuhl Nr. 14") from 1859


Do you ever wonder how furniture designers create unique and elegant pieces that withstand the test of time? Well, one such designer is Michael Thonet, a German-Austrian cabinet maker renowned for his innovative bentwood furniture designs. Let's delve into the fascinating world of Michael Thonet and discover his revolutionary contributions to the furniture industry.


Michael Thonet was born on July 2, 1796, and passed away on March 3, 1871. After completing a carpenter's apprenticeship, he established his own cabinetmaking business in 1819. Thonet's breakthrough came in the 1830s when he started experimenting with glued and bent wooden slats, leading to the creation of his famous Boppard layerwood chair in 1836.

Thonet's Bopparder Schichtholzstuhl Thonet's Bopparder Schichtholzstuhl

Thonet's innovative technique involved bending wood using hot steam, resulting in the production of lightweight, durable, and stylish furniture. One of his significant achievements was presenting his furniture, especially his chairs, to the Imperial Family at the Vienna court.

Thonet's designs gained popularity, and in 1859, he created his iconic chair, known as "Chair no. 14" or "Konsumstuhl Nr. 14." This chair, with over 50 million units produced to date, became a design phenomenon. Its unique feature of being disassembled into a few components revolutionized the industry, allowing for easier transportation and mass production.

Thonet's Chair no. 14 Thonet's Chair no. 14

Thonet's success continued to soar, and his furniture designs garnered international recognition. He received the bronze medal at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London for his Vienna bentwood chairs. In 1855, at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, he was awarded the silver medal for his continuous improvement in production methods. Thonet's enterprise thrived, with millions of different products manufactured and sold worldwide by 1912.

Thonet Today

The legacy of Michael Thonet lives on through Thonet GmbH, a company rooted in his master joiner craftsmanship. Today, the company is led by Thorsten Muck, and Michael Thonet's direct descendants remain actively involved in the business. Thonet GmbH offers a collection of famous bentwood furniture, timeless tubular steel classics from the Bauhaus era, and contemporary designs by renowned architects and designers.

Thonet Furniture Thonet Furniture Collection

For furniture enthusiasts, the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK Vienna) houses the largest collection of original Thonet chairs in Austria, showcasing the exquisite craftsmanship and innovation of Michael Thonet.


Michael Thonet's indelible mark on the furniture industry is evident through his revolutionary bentwood designs. His ability to create elegant and lightweight furniture using his innovative bending technique changed the way we perceive and appreciate furniture. Thonet's timeless designs continue to captivate and inspire furniture makers and enthusiasts worldwide.


  • Üner, Stefan: Gebrüder Thonet, in: Wagner, Hoffmann, Loos und das Möbeldesign der Wiener Moderne. Künstler, Auftraggeber, Produzenten, ed. by Eva B. Ottillinger, Exhib. Cat. Hofmobiliendepot, Vienna, March 20 - October 7, 2018, pp. 149-152, ISBN 978-3-205-20786-3.
  • Albrecht Bangert: Thonet Möbel. Bugholz-Klassiker von 1830-1930. Heyne, München 1997, ISBN 3-453-13047-2
  • Hans H. Buchwald: Form from Process. The Thonet chair. Carpenter Center for the Visual arts, Cambridge Mass. 1967
  • Danko, Peter. Thoughts on Thonet - "Fine Woodworking" January/February 1985: 112-114.
  • Del Ducca, Giuseppe. Michael Thonet. 9 November 1999. [2] (11/9/99)
  • "Galerie Thonet." Galerie Thonet. 8 November 1999. [3] (11/8/99)
  • Gatsura, Genrih (Henry). THONET FURNITURE. "Brothers Thonet" on the furniture market of Imperial Russia. Moscow, 2001, 2013; ISBN 5-7949-0088-1
  • Andrea Gleininger: Der Kaffeehausstuhl Nr. 14 von Michael Thonet. Birkhäuser, Frankfurt/M. 1998, ISBN 3-7643-6832-2
  • Heinz Kähne: Möbel aus gebogenem Holz. Ein Blick in die Sammlung der Stadt Boppard. Boppard 2000
  • Heinz Kähne: Thonet Bugholz-Klassiker. Eine Einführung in die Schönheit und Vielfalt der Thonet-Möbel. Rhein-Mosel Verlag, Briedel 1999, ISBN 3-929745-70-4
  • Labelart WebPage design. Thonet Vienna-Chair No. 14. 9 November 1999. [4]
  • Brigitte Schmutzler: Eine unglaubliche Geschichte. Michael Thonet und seine Stühle. Landesmuseum, Koblenz 1996, ISBN 3-925915-55-9
  • Reider, William. Antiques: Bentwood Furniture. Architectural Digest August 1996: 106-111.
  • Thonet. American Craft December 1990: 42-45.
  • Thonet. Gebrüder Thonet GmbH. (11/9/99)
  • Alexander von Vegesack: Thonet: Classic Furniture in Bent Wood and Tubular Steel. Rizzoli, New York, 1997, ISBN 0-8478-2040-8
  • RENZI/THILLMANN, sedie a dondolo Thonet - Thonet rocking chairs, Silvana Editoriale, Milano 2006, ISBN 978-88-366-0671-9
  • LARA, NATASCHA/THILLMANN, WOLFGANG, Bugholzmöbel in Südamerika - Bentwood furniture in South America - Muebles de madera curvada, La Paz 2008
  • THILLMANN, WOLFGANG / WILLSCHEID, BERND, MöbelDesign - Roentgen, Thonet und die Moderne, Roentgen Museum Neuwied, Neuwied 2011, ISBN 978-3-9809797-9-5
  • Alexander von Vegesack, "Mass Production Chair Man", 1 December 1996, The Independent. [5]

Note: External links and additional details have been excluded to meet the provided guidelines.