Full Chisel Blog

November 26, 2012

Michael Thonet Child’s Arm Chair with caned seat

Filed under: Documentation,Furniture,Historical Material,Of Interest,Techniques,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 10:56 am

This is only the second old Thonet chair I have ever seen and I am not sure of the age of this chair, but I think it might be an early one.  It belongs to a friend and it was given to him by his mother for his children.  Well the kids are too big for the chair so he was going to give it to his neighbor, but wanted me to look at it first.  [He is not giving it away now].

The caned seat is in remarkably good condition, they are usually damaged.

The caned back however was damaged and the replacement of the back would require the bent wood spline from the back to be removed to expose the caning holes and groove for the caning.

The spline is difficult to see but it runs around the back in two pieces, one straight one at the bottom and one curved piece for the sides and top, nice touch.

Here is the Shop label on the inside front of the chair seat.

There are also well worn paper labels, I can make out ‘Beware of Imitators – No Goods Certified without this Trademark’.  There are also several small pieces of paper with ’24’ printed on them and glued to the undersides of the arms and inside legs, see left hand side of the picture below.

I think I am going to try and talk the owner into allowing me to restore this nice little chair.  I did some research but have not seen another image of this chair.




  1. Judging by the feet, I’ld guess very early too. Unfortunately my book on Thonet is packed away and I can’t reference it! I can’t remember seeing another chair like this one. Usually these are high chairs, but a child’s arm chair? Easily mid-high three figures and higher in the NYC or west coast area I would think.

    Restore and conserve!

    Comment by Gary Roberts — November 28, 2012 @ 10:13 am

  2. Hi there, did you ever recane this chair? I am currently restoring two Edwardian bergere chairs that came from England and am planning to have a go at the caning myself, however, some of the holes aren’t accessible. I thought at first I would have to disassemble the chair which didn’t really make sense, then I thought perhaps it was blind caning, but then came to the conclusion the holes are hidden behind veneer. I’m now trying to find information on how to remove the veneer or splines to clear the holes and do the recaning, and then replace the veneer or spline without damaging anything. This is my first attempt at doing anything like this and can’t afford to hire a professional and am terrified I’ll end up ruining the chairs. So any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.



    Comment by Bridget — May 9, 2014 @ 6:02 am

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