Laminated Chair (Pretzel Chair)

N° 5890, N° 5891
Chair: H 29 3/4", W 20", D 19 3/8"
Armchair: H 31", W 26", D 19"

This plywood chair was intended to complement Series 5200. The design was inspired by classical Thonet bentwood chairs, used as office seating in the Nelson firm. The first small series of the chair was produced without armrests in 1952. For this early version, the ends of the back rest and the chair legs were outfitted with hardwood tips. In the seat, there were eight holes to affix a seat cushion. Twelve models were presented at a Herman Miller showroom. In early 1953, the chair was also presented in the magazine Interiors. Since the chair (due to high production costs) was more than $100, it never went into serial production. In 1957, the company Lawrence Plycraft claimed they could produce the chair more affordably. The chair was then reintroduced in the 1957/58 Herman Miller catalog, now also with armrests, under the catalog numbers 5890 and 5891. This time, approximately 100 chairs were produced. George Nelson kept one of these, in walnut, in his office. Several models were also produced in birch, with a core of walnut in the legs and armrest supports. This series had no holes in the seating surface and no hardwood ends. After disagreements between Herman Miller and Plycraft, production was ended. In 1985, Nelson allowed the Italian company ICF to again produce the Pretzel Chair, as it is now called, in oak or painted black. In 1986, the new version was presented in the magazine Domus. To mark the 100th anniversary of George Nelson's birth, Vitra produced the armchair in 2008 in a limited series of 1,000.

Produced by Herman Miller from 1958 to ca. 1959.

1952 / 1958–ca. 1959
John Pile, an associate at George Nelson's office
The Pretzel chair, whose design was inspired by classic Thonet bentwood furniture, was only produced in small numbers.
From the Vitra Design Museum Collection.
Bentwood or Laminated Chair