Named for it's founder Michael Thonet, a master carpenter who was fascinated by the industrial revolution and wanted to apply new techniques and modes of production to his own craft.
In 1859 he succeeded in developing the innovative technique of bending solid beech wood with steam, and standardised the individual production steps needed to produce the chair, creating not only the first assembly line in the history of furniture design, but also the No14 Vienna Café Chair, a true design icon recognised across the world. By 1912 Thonet were selling two million of the chairs a year.
Le Corbusier said of the 214 chair "Never before has anything been created that is more elegant and better in its conception, more precise in its design and more functional."
Not content with this success, in the 1930's Thonet turned to a new innovation, tubular steel furniture. Working with Mart Stam, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer, who were to become some of the most globally renowned designers in history, the company produced designs such as the S33 and S66.
To this day Thonet continue to produce bentwood and tubular steel furniture from their base in Frankenberg, Germany.
Viaduct is an official UK dealer of Thonet furniture.