Michael Thonet (1796-1871) and his five children were the most successful manufacturers of furniture in the Industrial Age. Having been invited to develop a trademark in Austria by Chancellor Metternich, who had seen his products at the Exhibition held by the society of friends of arts in Koblenz, in 1842, Michael Thonet left Boppard in Germany, to settle in Vienna, where in 1853 he founded the company “Gebrüder Thonet” by involving his five sons.
In the Hapsburg capital, Michael Thonet abandoned the more traditional technique of glued lamellar wood in favour of the industrial chemical-mechanical steam bent process. This innovation led him to begin producing wooden furniture, presenting a collection of elegant, yet practical designs that could be manufactured on a larger scale. In 1911, the Gebrüder Thonet catalogue boasted 980 different models.
By the end of the second world war, independent production plants had been set up in various different countries. More recently, Gebrüder Thonet Vienna has developed its work in a successful blend of the traditional and the modern, of continuity and renewal, with a new production programme that begins by re-editing a series of Gebrüder Thonet classics.
At the same time, the Gebrüder Thonet Vienna name stands for contemporary furnishing.