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Bauhaus B33 Chairs By Marcel Breuer For Thonet

Product code #OA2069

- Worldwide shipping
- All prices inc VAT
- All prices in UK shipping
- Price is for the set of 4
- Chromed tubular steel frames
- Heavy black leather seats and back rests
- Designed by Marcel Breuer
- Made by Thonet
- German ~ 1950s
- 52cm wide x 63cm deep x 85cm tall
- 47cm seat height

Thonet B33 Chair

This chair was designed by Marcel Breuer, a Hungarian-born modernist architect and furniture designer.
The design of the chair was novel for the time as it used standard pieces of chrome-plated steel tubing commonly used for bicycle frames. The genesis of the first tubular steel chair started from Breuer’s inspiration of the “strength, lightness and utility of the bicycle he was riding.” He initially experimented using lengths of tubular aluminium (an unsuccessful experiment) before opting for “precision steel”.

Tubing of this sort was also seen as hygienic, in that the surface could be easily cleaned. Hygiene was a major preoccupation of the modernist movement.

The B33 also uses the strength of the steel to create a cantilevered base, a fundamental break from the traditional use of chair legs. However it was not the first cantilevered chair. In 1926-1927 a side chair was released by Mart Stam and then a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe armchair from 1927 was launched made from tubular steel.) Breuer’s first cantilevered chair was the B32, which was never patented and consisted of a steel support, with a sturdy wooden frame to the cane seat and backing, unlike the B33 which consisted of a single continuous steel frame and “eisengarn” fabric or leather for the seat and back. After a legal dispute in the German courts due to the similarity of the chairs, Mart Stam was eventually credited as the original design and was awarded the European patent for the cantilever chair. As the shape was so similar, the difference in material and properties was thought inconsequential, even though the flexible behaviour of the Breuer chair gave real comfort . Breuer “maintained that he was working on the idea in 1926 and had even discussed it with Stam”. New research indicates that Mart Stam was inspired by a cantilever tubular steel seat he saw installed in a 1926 Tatra T12 two door saloon car.

Marcel Breuer

Marcel Breuer was born on May 21, 1902, in Pécs, Hungary, a small town near the Danube River, his friends and family affectionately called him Lajkó, but the rest of us know him as Marcel Breuer, the Hungarian-American designer whose career touched nearly every aspect of three-dimensional design, from tiny utensils to the biggest buildings. Breuer moved quickly at the Bauhaus from student to teacher and then ultimately the head of his own firm. Best known for his iconic chair designs, Breuer often worked in tandem with other designers, developing a thriving global practice that eventually cemented his reputation as one of the most important architects of the modern age. Always the innovator, Breuer was eager to both test the newest advances in technology and to break with conventional forms, often with startling results.

Condition Report

Some very light patina to the chrome and leather, both have been lightly cleaned and buffed.

As with all of our products this product is an original piece and has lived a life before it arrived at Otto's HQ. It has been sympathetically restored by the Otto's team to ensure it has a life for many more years to come. All of our products will show signs of patina and cosmetic wear, this we believe is what gives our products their unique charm. If you have any further questions regarding the condition of this product or any others please don't hesitate to contact us and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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