Side chair

  • Designer / Maker

    Designed by Marcel Breuer (1902–81)
    Manufactured by the Isokon Furniture Company (1936–39)

  • Detail

    Birch-faced plywood and afromosia plywood

    76.5 × 41 × 51 (maximum) cm

    English (London), designed 1936, manufactured circa 1936–39

  • Labelled

    Remains of a paper label (illegible), behind front of seat

  • Provenance

    […]; with Abel Sloane; H. Blairman & Sons, 2015; private collection 2016-22

  • Notes

    The design of this stacking chair derives from Breuer’s gossamer 1936 side chair made, with the exception of the back, from one piece of plywood: see Christopher Wilk, Marcel Breuer Furniture and Interiors, 1981, fig. 133. This, the model that went into production, employs nine elements in its construction and is strengthened by side supports under the seat and separately attached legs. Still remarkably light and thin, this second version nonetheless remained inherently weak, and failed to achieve widespread commercial success.

    Of the few examples of this chair known to survive, all are from the production series. There are two in the Museum of Modern Art, New York (58.1946.12), and three in the Victoria and Albert Museum (79A-C-1975).