Marcel Breuer Long Chair By Isokon circa 1970
Marcel Breuer 'Long Chair' Birch bent ply with a Siberian Blue Bute Tweed seat pad by Isokon circa 1970, the ‘Long chair’, with its bent frame of laminated birch wood supporting the shaped timber seat and back.Designed by Marcel Breuer, the design of the Long Chair spreads a person’s weight across a larger area than a regular chair, giving greater comfort. The advertising at the time the chair launched claimed that 'the Long Chair gives scientific relaxation to every part of the body, immediately creating a feeling of well-being.'
The long chair ranks as one of the highlights of inter-war modernism, its use of moulded plywood anticipating the direction of post-WWII furniture design and manufacture. With its variants, and along with the plywood chairs of the renowned Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto, from the 1930s, the ‘Long chair’ is one of the earliest examples of ‘organic’ plywood furniture. Marcel Breuer (1902-1981) was born in Hungary. He attended the Weimar Bauhaus between 1920 and 1924 and then was the ‘Young Master’ of its furniture worksop in Dessau from 1925-1928. From 1922, Breuer designed innovative wood-slat furniture and from 1925 also metal furniture beginning with his now iconic ‘B3’ (known as the ‘Wassily chair’ from the 1960s), the first modern tubular-steel chair for the domestic interior. From 1929 Breuer also designed cantilevered chairs from bent metal tubing, beginning with ‘B32’, later known as ‘Cesca’. (The first cantilevered chair was designed by Mart Stam in 1926).
The experimental nature of plywood as a new material for furniture making, saw the ‘Long chair’ undergo several modifications over time for strength and durability. Nonetheless, its gentle contouring and simple, lightweight, elegant form anticipate concerns further elaborated on by prominent post-war designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson and Eero Saarinen. Marcel Breuer left Bauhaus in 1928 and then worked in Berlin, Switzerland and England. He migrated to America in 1937 where he, along with Gropius, attained a celebrated architectural career.
Condition report: Structurally stable, minor scratches, marks and knocks to frame consistent with age and use, the seat would probably benefit from a clean or being reupholstered.
Height 32” inches / 82cm
Width 24” inches /61cm
Length 52” inches / 132cm