Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 14

Rare Edward Wormley for Dunbar Desk

US$9,500

About

Rarely seen and delicately designed Edward Wormley for Dunbar desk in walnut.

Details

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: central falls, RI
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn more

About the Designer

Edward Wormley

As the longtime director of design for the Dunbar furniture company, Edward Wormley was, along with such peers as George Nelson at Herman Miller Inc., and Florence Knoll of Knoll Inc., one of the leading forces in bringing modern design into American homes in the mid-20th century. Not an axiomatic modernist, Wormley deeply appreciated traditional design, and consequently his work has an understated warmth and a timeless quality that sets it apart from other furnishings of the era. Wormley was born in rural Illinois and as a teenager took correspondence courses from the New York School of Interior Design. He later attended the Art Institute of Chicago but ran out of money for tuition before he could graduate. Marshall Field hired Wormley in 1930 to design a line of reproduction 18th-century English furniture; the following year he was hired by the Indiana-based Dunbar, where he quickly distinguished himself. It was a good match. Dunbar was an unusual firm: it did not use automated production systems; its pieces were mostly hand-constructed. For his part, Wormley did not use metal as a major component of furniture; he liked craft elements such as caned seatbacks, tambour drawers, or the woven-wood cabinet fronts seen on his Model 5666 sideboard of 1956. He designed two lines for Dunbar each year — one traditional, one modern — until 1944, by which time the contemporary pieces had become the clear best sellers. Many of Wormley’s signature pieces are modern interpretations of traditional forms. His 1946 Riemerschmid Chair — an example is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art — recapitulates a late 19th-century German design. The long, slender finials of his Model 5580 dining chairs are based on those of Louis XVI chairs; his Listen-to-Me Chaise (1948) has a gentle Rococo curve; the “Precedent” line that Wormley designed for Drexel Furniture in 1947 is a simplified, pared-down take on muscular Georgian furniture. But he could invent new forms, as his Magazine table of 1953, with its bent wood pockets, and his tiered Magazine Tree (1947), both show. And Wormley kept his eye on design currents, creating a series of tables with tops that incorporate tiles and roundels by the great modern ceramicists Otto and Gertrud Natzler. As the items on 1stDibs demonstrate, Edward Wormley conceived of a subdued sort of modernism, designing furniture that fits into any decorating scheme and does not shout for attention.
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Pawtucket, RI
Recognized Seller
These prestigious sellers are industry leaders and represent the highest echelon for item quality and design.
1stDibs seller since 2011
116 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
More From This Seller
  • By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
    Located in Pawtucket, RI
    Extremely rare coffee table designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Walnut and stained mahogany table with throug...
    Category

    Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables

    Materials

    Mahogany, Walnut

  • By Edward Wormley
    Located in Pawtucket, RI
    Very rare desk secretary designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Functional five drawers and letter slots on turn...
    Category

    Vintage 1950s Mid-Century Modern Desk Accessories

    Materials

    Brass

  • By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
    Located in Pawtucket, RI
    Rare pair of Edward Wormley designed lounge/slipper chairs for Dunbar. Frames are stained walnut. Signed with go...
    Category

    Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

    Materials

    Upholstery, Wood

  • By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
    Located in Pawtucket, RI
    Edward Wormley for Dunbar Model 6329A Angled Sofa. Completely restored.
    Category

    Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

    Materials

    Mahogany, Upholstery

  • By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
    Located in Pawtucket, RI
    Rare 9ft six leg sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. This newly upholstered sofa has tufted seat cushions, feathe...
    Category

    Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

    Materials

    Brass

  • By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
    Located in Pawtucket, RI
    Rarely seen pair of petite "Slipper benches" model #684 designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Newly upholstered...
    Category

    Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Slipper Chairs

    Materials

    Textile, Zebra Wood

You May Also Like

Edward Wormley Desk for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design six drawer desk for Dunbar, Berne Indiana. Newly refinished with a mustard leather top, gallery edge border and smooth gliding drawers, labeled. Together with ...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Desks

Materials

Leather, Oak

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Desk and Return
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in St. Louis, MO
1960s Edward Wormley desk and ensuite return, label, currently being refinished, desk. Measures: 72 W x 36.5 D x 29 H. Return 60 W x 30.5 D x 29 H.
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Desks

Materials

Wood

Edward Wormley Desk by Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Brooklyn, NY
This striking midcentury writing desk features iconic Edward Wormley design including large metal ring drawer pulls, formica style top, and two tone construction. The striking mix of...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Desks

Streamline Desk by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Dallas, TX
An asymmetrical cantilevered mahogany desk designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar.
Category

Vintage 1950s Desks

Materials

Mahogany

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Mid Century Executive Desk
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in La Grange, IL
Edward Wormley for Dunbar mid century executive desk Desk measures: 60 wide x 27 deep x 29.25 inches high with a chair clearance of 24.5 inches All pieces of furniture can be had...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Desks

Materials

Wood

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Desk
By Edward Wormley
Located in St.Petersburg, FL
A great Edward Wormley Dunbar desk with extension, bentwood handles and rear storage compartment.
Category

Vintage 1940s American Desks

Materials

Mahogany

Dunbar Desk Designed by Edward Wormley
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Providence, RI
Dunbar desk in mahogany, designed by Edward Wormley, circa 1951, for Dunbar. The front of the desk has a wraparound shelf area, as well as two storage areas ideal for books. The shap...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Desks

Materials

Mahogany

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Walnut Desk
By Edward Wormley
Located in Pasadena, TX
A Mid-Century desk designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar. Ebonized wooden case and legs with walnut drawer fronts and wood top. Three drawers. Decorative brass feet.
Category

Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern Desks

Materials

Brass

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery