A Brief History of the Cesca Chair

If you’re looking for stylish and classy chairs for your home, restaurant, or even commercial property, Cesca chairs are a great choice. While these chairs have been around for nearly a century, they remain modern and aesthetically pleasing. Let’s take a quick look at the history of the Cesca chair.

The Invention of Cesca Chairs

The Cesca chair was invented in 1928, being the brainchild of Marcel Breuer, a Hungarian-American designer and architect. To this day, the chairs are often referred to as Breuer Cesca chairs. “Cesca,” by the way, comes from Francesca, Breuer’s adopted daughter. 

These chairs combine two of the best materials for making furniture: steel and rattan. Steel is a durable, high-quality building material. Most Cesca chairs use a tubular design, which adds even more strength. Breuer got the idea to use metal tubes from bicycle designs. He first applied metal tubes to the Wassily chair, which debuted a few years before the Cesca, in 1926. 

Rattan, meanwhile, is a naturally occurring wood and is used as a wicker weave. It offers excellent looks and durability, while also being lightweight. Comfort is in the eye of the sitter, but many folks find the rattan used to make the Cesca chair to be a comfortable material. This hardy wood can be used both inside and outside.

These details are important because Breuer was the first person to combine metal and rattan and then make a manufacturing process that made it relatively quick and easy to manufacture the Cesca chair. Manufacturing can keep costs more affordable and can also ensure uniformity and quality control. To make manufacturing a reality, Breuer worked with Michael Thonet.

Given all of the above, it should come as no surprise that Breuer’s chairs became quite popular rather quickly. The versatility, comfort, and durability offered by these chairs means they can work in many environments and settings. This has made them a go-to for many folks.

The Evolving History of the Cesca Chair

The Cesca chair became rather popular in the 30s and 40s but still had a long way to go. In 1950, Dino Gavina, an Italian furniture manufacturer, took control of production, with Breuer’s permission. This helped expand production and the reach and use of the Cesca chair.

In 1968, the Gavina Factory was purchased by the Knoll Group, which continued to produce the Cesca chair. Indeed, the Knoll Group still produces Cesca chairs to this day. Interestingly enough, while the Knoll Group remains the official manufacturer of the chair, the chair itself was never patented and remains in the public domain.

These days, the Cesca chair remains as popular as ever. You’ll find them in many homes, restaurants, cafés, and other properties. Talking to the New York Times in 1991, Cara McCarty, then the associate curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, hailed the chair as one of the 10 important chairs in the 20th century. The New York Times also cited it as among the ten most popular chairs. It’s not hard to see why this chair has become both timeless and ever-popular.