Bentwood chair, Michael Thonet, beechwood, 1875-1900.
Although certainly not the first furniture maker to produce bentwood chairs (Samuel Gragg of Boston, for instance, famously produced his own bentwood chairs in the first decade of the 19th century) the Prussian cabinetmaker Michael Thonet (1796-1871) created an international market for his chairs. This labeled example is one of Thonet’s less common designs. It pairs the base of his familiar No.18 chair with a more ornamental back and curved arms. We don’t know when it arrived at Roseland Cottage but it may have been part of the 1880s redecoration.