Something New: Thonet Coat Rack

We were really excited when we found this coat rack. Thonet pieces are some of our favorite vintage pieces. (As you can tell by the chair in the photo too!) This coat rack caught our eye for a few reason. One is that it's pretty big, so it makes an impact. Another reason is that its signature curvy Thonet lines adds lots of character to any entry, which is a space that can be, (but shouldn't be), pretty boring.

And who is Thonet, you may ask? Well, it's a guy's name first of all. Michael Thonet was German, born in 1796. He was a furniture maker and designer running a regular business but then he started to play around with the idea of bending the wood. Starting with veneer strips and then working with solid rods of beechwood, Thonet created his trademark curved furniture shapes starting in 1830s. That was cool enough but then he was also a pretty good business man, jumping on the factory mass production bandwagon of the time. By the 1850s his designs had won awards at the London and Paris World's Fairs and he was on his way. One of his most famous designs is chair Number 14, from 1859, which was a kit if parts.

The designs were not only for chairs but also for other items such as coat racks (as you know), tables, and settees.

After his death in 1871 no new design were created, however the company was again innovative in asking architect's to design furniture for their new lines - so that's not such a new idea when we see it happen now. Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffman and Adolf Loos are among the architects who designed for Thonet.

Otto Wagner for Thonet
Thonet Brothers' furniture was not the sought after prized furniture that it is today though. Instead, Thonet furniture was the light weight everyday furniture that filled houses and public spaces.

Each design was numbered and each pieces was numbered as well. On vintage pieces you can usually either see a stamp of Thonet, or a Thonet label.