A stunning, iconic 1960’s set of six Marcel Breuer Cesca (B32) dining chairs, consisting of 2 armchairs and 4 side chairs manufactured by Gavina of Italy and distributed under Stendig of New York. Comprising of shiny chrome frames, upholstered in rich black Italian leather, over padded seats, and padded armrest for comfort, the manufacturer’s label is attached beneath each seat (stendig inc). The B32 classic chair designed in 1928 by Marcel Breuer during his time at Bauhaus features a single chrome tubular frame and updated modern leather seat and back. In 1962, Gavina began manufacturing the B32 when the chair was re-named “Cesca” after his adopted-daughter Francesca. The simple design combines an Industrial Age aesthetic of tubular steel inspired by a bicycle handlebar is one of the first tubular designs. Breuer molded the chrome tube into a single, sinuous outline onto which he attached the seat and back frame. The bent form of the frame where the seat and back are supported only by the legs at the front, comprise the first cantilevered chair design in history, a feat only possible due to the seamless steel tubing that resists collapsing when bent. The padded rich black leather is stretched over the cantilevered frame and also pads the arm adds to comfort and design. The black Italian leather has a rich striking, black hue that has aged beautifully. Breuer’s design thus marries the traditional methods of craftsmanship with the industrially mass-produced tubular steel. An ideal set with striking color and classic design.
Condition Report: Original Italian leather upholstery; no tears in leather, structurally sound and very comfortable seating. Beautiful chrome finish with some light wear, very sturdy.
Place of Origin: Foligno Italy
Date of Manufacture: 1962-1968
Period: Mid Century Modern
Materials and Techniques: Chrome, Leather
Wear: Wear consistent with age and use
Measurements: side chair 22 1/4″ overall depth x 30″ overall height x 18” wide x 18″
Seat Height (Armchair – 22 5/8” Wide x arm height 26 5/8″)
Michael Thonet manufactured model B32 from 1928 until World War II. From 1962-1968 Gavina manufactured them in Foligno, Italy when it was renamed Cesca after the designer’s adopted-daughter. The Cesca chairs were made and distributed under the Stendig name from 1962-1968. In 1968 Gavina sold the company to Knoll. Later reproductions lack the slight upward bow on the bottom of the backrest frame. Also, earlier mid century Gavina under Stendig showed slightly lower backrest height-with the bars close to the top.
These chairs are part of the most important list from the 20th century design furniture collection. Upon its debut, Breuer’s design broke new ground by artfully fusing structure and ornament, a driving principle of the Bauhaus. No accent chair like it existed at the time. An original 1928 Breuer chair had been added to the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.