History of the Coat Stand
The bentwood coat stand has its origins with the first bentwood furniture including the famous coffee shop "Chair 14" by Thonet.
The Coffee Shop Chair
Michael Thonet (1796 - 1871) was a German furniture maker and was founder of the Thonet furniture company. He invented bentwood furniture. In the 1830s, Thonet began trying to make furniture out of glued and bent wooden beechwood slats for chairs. His furniture making of chairs evolved into making coat stands out of bent wood using the same processes.
The Famous Coffee Shop Chair
His first success was the bentwood chair using layered wood in 1836. He established the company "Gebrueder Thonet" in 1849 and one year later he received a bronze medal for his Vienna bentwood chairs. In 1856 Gebruder Thonet receives a patent for the bentwood process of manufacturing. The 1859 chair he created Kaffeehausstuhl Nr. 14 (book "Der Kaffeehausstuhl Nr.14 von Michael Thonet" written in German available from Amazon.com), or the "coffee shop chair". 30 million were produced up until 1930. It yielded a gold medal for Thonet's enterprise at the 1867 Paris World's Fair.
First Coat Stand for Cafe Daum
Part of Thonet's first independent commission in 1849, was the Bentwood Coat Stand for the Cafe Daum in Vienna. A timeless design with classic, quintessential Thonet style. Designed to hold coats, hats and umbrellas. The bent wood coat Stand continued to evolve, see:
For more information see the History of Interior design (book on right) or Thonet Bentwood Furniture (book on left).
History of Interior Design
Styles of Coat Stands
Coat stands have their own fashion trends. The Thonet coat stand made of bent beech wood started 150 year design quest by furniture designers to create "the modern coat stand". There have been many attempts by designers to redesign the coat stand. Here are some examples.
Thonet Style Victorian Coat Stand
Modern Metal and Wood Coat Stand
Designer Tree Coat Stand made in Birch Veneer
Coat stands come back into fashion
A sign of economic prosperity
Why are coat stands popular again? Coat stands are a sign of economic prosperity. People have become more fashion conscious. They are buying more expensive clothing. This clothing needs to be looked after. Also, a professional successful outward appearance is more important in economic prosperity. Thus, coat stands are sign of things improving. Coat stands are being used for art pieces at the front entrances of houses. Coat stands are something for guests to hang their expensive clothing on. Owning an expensive coat stand means you care for guests appearances as well as your own.
Coat stands were popular furniture items in the Victorian era (19th century). The Victorian style coat stand with made from bent wood was a classic design. People placed coat stands in the entrances of their houses, often so that people could see the coat stands through the smoked or stained glass windows. Coat stands were a symbol of stability within the home - an indication that the owners looked after their clothes or outward appearance. Victorian style coat stands are becoming popular again today with the possibly short-lived, yet fashionable reappearance of Victorian values within the mayhem of modern society.
- "The coat stand comes out of the closet" - Financial Times article
- Bend me, shape me: furniture takes a playful turn
- Articles on Fine Woodworking on Bending Wood
- Designer coat stand leaning against wall
- Artnet Dr Who Coat Stand
- Sasae Designer Coat Rack
- Bentwood chair turns 150 - article on dexigner.com
- History of the coat stand - article about home improvement