Skip to main content

Chair, Model No. 14

Designed 1859
Designed by Michael Thonet, Austrian, 1796 - 1871. Made by Mundas, Vienna, 1907 - 1922

Inexpensive yet handsomely designed, No. 14 was Thonet’s best-known and most widely distributed chair model, defined by its circular seat and simple curves and used largely in cafés and restaurants. The smaller loop of bentwood inserted into the back made the chair more stable and provided support for the user. This model was also the first to demonstrate the factory’s fully mechanized process of steam bending, assembly, and shipping. Based on the principle of manufacturing as many chair models from as few parts as possible, this example is composed of six pieces of lightweight bent beechwood that can be packed flat, shipped economically in parts, and assembled with ten screws and two nuts. Thonet also developed special shipping crates for No. 14 that could house thirty-six dismantled chairs. The chair was shown at international exhibitions and in the firm’s growing network of salesrooms, launching Thonet furniture on the global market, where it has sold in the millions.


Object Details

We are always learning more about our collection and updating the website. Want to share your knowledge about this work with us? Contact us here.

Please note that this particular artwork might not be on view when you visit. Don’t worry—we have plenty of exhibitions for you to explore.