Benko Chair

Michael Thonet’s company designed the No. 811 Bentwood Chair in the 1920s. Sometimes also called the “Prague chair” the No. 811 bentwood chair is often attributed to Josef Hoffmann, but is more likely the design of Josef Frank. The A811 bentwood chair was first introduced as the A64F and had a different version of front legs than later versions.  The No. 811 bentwood chair is also one of the first versions of bentwood chairs to be offered in a variety of colored finishes that were not previously offered.  The No. 811 bentwood chair was one of the company’s most popular 20th-century designs and is still widely used by designers worldwide.

In the 1840s Michael Thonet began experimenting with bentwood furniture made by bending wood that had been steamed into a soft and pliable state. Over the next 20 years, Michael Thonet and his sons developed the processes and machines that would allow them to build bentwood furniture in unprecedented quantities. It was in this time period that he developed what has become thought of as the “traditional” Michael Thonet designed bentwood chair: one featuring a backrest and back legs made from a single piece, a rounded cane or laminated seat, and front legs. In his effort to reduce the number of pieces used in building bentwood chairs, he had to connect the main elements that existed on different planes.  This could only be achieved by bending wood.  Michael Thonet’s further experimentation with bending wood yielded amazing results.  By the 1850s, Michael Thonet’s bentwood styles had become mainstream, and he was on his way to creating a catalog of bentwood chairs yet to be rivaled.

The output of Michael Thonet’s factories was vast, due in part to his idea of designing separate pieces that would be combined to make a large number of models. Michael Thonet stands out as a designer and pioneer both in mass production and in design, as he artistically explored the new forms and unique qualities of his newly invented technique.  Remarkably few changes have been necessary over the last 150 years. The factory still follows the 19th-century production methods developed by Michael Thonet to produce stylistically accurate, handsome, and sturdy bentwood chairs, bentwood stools, tables, and accessories.

Materials:  Bentwood chair.  Frame in solid natural beechwood or beechwood with stain.  Upholstered seat with fabric or leather.




80 cm 45 cm 54 cm 46 cm