A stylish office meeting room, or conference room, set in black and chrome featuring 8 Mart Stam Thonet S43 chairs matched to a large Milo Baughman style table.
The S43 chair was designed by Dutch architect Mart Stam in the 1920s and was, from the very, beginning produced by Thonet, who still maintain the exclusive license to produce the chair to this day. It’s a great example of the Bauhaus aesthetic being both simple and functional with clean, uncluttered lines.
In all of his furniture designs, Mart Stam relied on straightforward forms, an aesthetic economy of means in the construction and the benefit of improved sitting comfort. In the case of S 43 he combined the tubular steel frame with moulded plywood beech wood shells for seat and back and thus created an absolute reduction in form to the most basic components. Despite the lack of padding it’s actually a comfortable chair to sit in by virtue of the ergonomically designed moulded seat and back and the flexing effect of the frame.
It was originally produced as a task chair and therefore works well as an office meeting room chair or conference chair, but could also work as a more industrial, modernist dining room chair in the right setting.
Its first major implementation was in the reading hall for natural sciences of the German National Library in Leipzig in 1933. More than 70 years later, Thonet delivered a new shipment of S 43 chairs to the library, but not as replacements; they were an addition to the existing furniture – such is the quality and hard wearing nature of the design.
The chairs are matched to a large oval table with a thick plywood construction that features a pressure treated black melamine top sat on two chrome bases. The table has no manufacturing marks so I cannot say who designed or produced it, but the quality is evident in the details. From the heavy chrome Milo Baughman style semi-circular bases to the quality of the top, it’s clear it’s been very well designed and produced especially when you consider the underside of the table has such beautiful veneer – it’s unusual to see such detailing in the underneath of a table top, as of course that’s not the part you see!
Milo Baughman is one of the most enduring American designers of the mid century modern period and his work is still produced today by Thayer-Coggin. Often considered one of the founders of the ‘California Modern’ look, Baughman designed functional furniture with a creative form. He based his aesthetic on the use of materials like chrome, brass, glass, leather and burl wood and built upon the legacy of Bauhaus greats like Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Mart Stam in valuing simple functional furniture above all else. His trademark is in utilising flat bar metal frames that encase lounge chairs and sofas, and as here, in creating free standing metal bases (often in a semi-circular form as shown) for dining and coffee tables.
The set offered here are all of recent manufacture – the Thonet chairs have the branded labels on the base and on the rear of the back rest and are in very good used condition. Save just two of the chairs, which have some small depression marks on the back corner of the seats (as detailed in the photos), there are no other major marks in the wood or on the chrome frame. The table too is in very good used condition with just light marks to the top and chrome bases.
All in all it’s a great looking, clean lined set that’s both stylish and practical with a stripped back look that combines elements of both Bauhaus and Modernism.
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Meeting, or conference room set with 8 S43 chairs and Milo Baughman style table
Steel, Chrome plating and Plywood
Bauhaus, Mid Century, Contemporary
Date of the original design
Chairs - 1930
Table - 2000s
Date of production
Chairs: H83 x W43 x D50cm
Seat Height: 48cm
Table : H73 x W238 x D120cm
Number of pieces included in price
Very good used condition
Do you have questions or would like to discuss this set further? Please contact me via the contact page HERE. I'm always happy to help.