Wassily Gavina Knoll

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In Germany somewhere around 1925-1926, Marcel Breuer designed the Wassily Chair. The other name of Wassily Chair is the Model B3 chair. It is believed that this chair was designed for a famous painter, but this is not true. The painter resided in the same place as Breuer and liked the design, upon hearing this Breuer fabricated a chair for the former’s apartments.

Who was Marcel Breuer?

Marcel Breuer (1902- 1981) was born in Hungary. He was an achiever in architecture and furniture, a master carpenter in the early 1920’s. Moreover, he was also an outstanding student and was guided by Walter Gropius, founder of Bauhaus. He worked at Bauhaus, which aimed at merging art and industry. The Wassily chair is one of the spectacular products that this industry made.

Marcel Breuer Wassily Gavina

How did Marcel Breuer get the idea of the Wassily chair?

When Breuer bought his first cycle at the age of 23, he discussed with his friend about how this cycle was in perfect condition for the last 20 years and how it was a good production. His friend replied that it was due to the bending of steel tubes in the macaroni’s shape, which made the perfect handlebars and other parts. This led to the idea of making a chair by similar bending of steel tubes. This is how the Wassily was born.

Re-Introduction of the Wassily Chair

This chair was not called Wassily when it was first manufactured in the late 1920s by the German-Australian manufacturer Thonet. Manufacturing of this version of the chair stopped during World War II, and it is very rare nowadays. Years after the war, the Wassily chair’s license went to Gavina, who introduced a new version of Wassily. The Italian manufacturer made it using different materials. All the designs of the Wassily chair which are available today have no patent rights; however, Knoll inc owns its trademark. Many reproductions are available today by different manufacturers and brands.

Materials that made the Wassily Chair

In the initial period of the late 1920s, the fabric of the chair was made from a strong and waxed cotton thread named Eisengarn and bent tubular steel. Both of these materials made the chair light, and both versions of foldable and unfoldable chairs were available.

Are they costly?

Being a rare and antique chair, the Wassily chairs are expensive. The prices depend on the originality of the chairs, which can make them quite expensive. The company that has the trademark of these Wassily chairs sells each chair for around $2893. They have many models available in different colors, and they also provide additional options for each chair. However, an “original” chair (manufactured in 19020’s) may cost between $30,000-to- $50,000.

How to make sure that your Wassily Chair is vintage?

Not every Wassily chair available in the market is real and authentic. Many people seem to be mistaken regarding these chairs and end up paying a lot of money for a fake Wassily chair. In this situation, you must pay for a real one. A vintage chair would usually have one of these marks on its back: identification mark from Breuer, Gavina, or Knoll. Buying a Wassily chair that does not have any of the above-listed marks would be an unreasonable choice. A customer should be aware of the chair and its identification before he or she sets foot into any store to buy it.

Benefits of Wassily Chair

  • This chair is extremely durable as it has existed for the past 50 years!
  • It is very lightweight, as it is made of bent tubular steel.
  • Its design and elegance make it a perfect fit for any place.
  • It also comes in a foldable version, so it is easy to transport.
  • Some of the versions can collapse, ideal for small spaces.
  • It is very comfortable.
  • All the original versions are made from high-quality leather.

Cons of Wassily Chair

This chair does not have many minuses; however, each person may observe different pros and cons regarding the same chair.

  • Some versions of these chairs may be too industrial looking for an individual.
  • These chairs, being vintage, are very costly and therefore, cannot be afforded by a majority of people.
  • Many fake and copied versions of this chair are available, making it harder to find an original one. Spending money on a fake version would be unreasonable, as they may not be as durable and light as the original one.

Is the Wassily chair comfortable?

Even though this chair was made a long way back, these rare designs have a very comfortable side. Other chairs coming from the same period are also wonderful, but sitting in them for long periods is not possible. But the Wassily chair was made from woven fabric, which adheres according to each body. Breuer was impressed by his bicycle and how comfortable it was, and no doubt that he created something similar. It is an extremely great creation, which makes this chair very comfortable after all these years.

Why is the Wassily chair iconic?

Just because Breuer liked his cycle, he created a masterpiece. This chair is deemed iconic because it is believed to be the first tubular steel chair. This steel makes it lightweight and makes it look graceful. This chair is perfect for any place and anybody. Many versions are available in different patterns, colors, and sizes. Even 80 years after its creation, this chair is still fresh, modern, and desirable. Also, it is trustworthy and is a modernist iconic chair.

How is possible to change the Wassily chair leather?

Although leathers never get worn, however, they can get torn and stretched. Also, many times, a person may want to change the color or pattern of the chair’s leather. It these situations, follow the following steps to change the leather.

  • 1: Measure the straps that now cover the chair. Buy straps of the same sizes and, if possible, of the same brand. Bad quality leather will ruin the look of the whole chair.
  • 2: Disassemble the chair by loosening the nuts and bolts.
  • 3: Remove the old leather.
  • 4: Measure the new leather straps according to the old ones to get a snug fit.
  • 5: Wrap the new straps along with the frame and sew the ends.
  • 6: Assemble the chair again.

Now, your chair is ready with whole new leather straps.

Some interesting facts

  • Breuer was afraid of criticism regarding his new model. Due to this, he worked on the Wassily chair secretly. No one knew that Breuer was experimenting with tubular steel tubes.
  • Marcel Breuer gave the prototype of the chair to a painter, Wassily Kandinsky, as a gift. The latter was interested in the chair and liked the creation very much.
  • In the early times, the chair was available in only two colors: black and white. Also, the chairs were foldable back then. The fabric straps were pulled close through the frame using springs.
  • This chair made its appearance in many cinematic productions. Some of them are House M.D., Frasier, X-Men First Class, and Revenge.
  • Marcus Breuer won the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects at the 100th annual convention in 1968 in Portland.
  • Breuer was a college dropout. He started working directly after school.
  • Marcus Breuer taught at Harvard.
  • Even though the chair was made back in the 1900s, it is still in the market today. Its design keeps getting better and contrasts with modern furniture.

Different Interior Styles of the Wassily Chair

  1. Neo-Classical: this version merges the contrast between modern aesthetics and the timeless beauty of the Wassily chair. They make the ambiance beautiful and aesthetic.
  2. Modern: this version is perfect for a modern style home as this chair adds more value to the ambiance. This also adds an aesthetic look.
  3. Contemporary: this version is very much the same as the original design. It adds grace and sophistication to one’s home.
  4. Eclectic: many people like mixing and matching different styles together at the same place. If you are one of them, then this version will get your attention. This chair adds style and also complements the other furniture in the room.
  5. 90’s Vintage: a 90’s home has all the antique furniture that makes the home look vintage. This vintage version of the Wassily chair will make it more believable. It will complete your 90’s vintage collection as it belonged to that era.
  6. Traditional: mixing traditional and modern furniture may not be a good idea. However, the perfect colors and leather of this chair will make your surroundings mesmerizing.
  7. Minimal: this style is never out of date and is termed modern aesthetics.
  8. Transitional Style: it blends all the furniture in the contemporary world and complements the design of the Wassily chair.
  9. Vintage-Kitsch: not everyone has this taste, but this makes your home artsier. You can use this chair in any way- as an accent piece, as a regular chair, or something else entirely.
  10. Retro: everyone loves retro, and how can the theme be complete without the Wassily chair. This chair would fit perfectly with the surroundings, add drama and texture, and make your home very stylish.


The Wassily chair can be put to any surroundings according to the way you like. It never fails to make any place aesthetic and loving. It will add to your standard, and make your house perfectly stylish and timeless.

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