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Reclining Rocking Chair (Italy)

This is a Reclining rocking chair. It was designed by Antonio Volpe and manufactured by Societa Anonima Antonio Volpe. It is dated ca. 1905 and we acquired it in 2007. Its medium is bent beechwood, woven caning. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Long considered to be a Josef Hoffmann design, this chair is now recognized as being by Antonio Volpe. The chair is illustrated in a 1922 sales catalogue from the Società Anonima Antonio Volpe, although research shows that the piece was designed much earlier.[1]
Volpe began producing bentwood furniture in 1884 and was intent on making “models of its own invention, not derived from products of other manufacturers.” The firm’s publications focus on the originality of its designs and the firm’s “serious attention to industrial values.” This chair is very inventive in its use of the fold-away caned leg support and shaped edges to accommodate the thighs. It is also noteworthy for the beautiful oval it becomes when folded.
[1] Derek E. Ostergard and Alessandro Alvera, Bent Wood and Metal Furniture, 1850-1946 ([Seattle]: University of Washington Press, 1987).

It is credited Museum purchase from the Members' Acquisitions Fund of Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

  • Rocking Chair
  • steamed, bent sawn oak slats, nailed to bent hickory wood bark-covered branches.
  • 2014-44-1

Its dimensions are

H x W: 102.9 x 73.7 cm (40 1/2 in. x 29 in.)

Cite this object as

Reclining Rocking Chair (Italy); Designed by Antonio Volpe; Manufactured by Societa Anonima Antonio Volpe; bent beechwood, woven caning; H x W: 102.9 x 73.7 cm (40 1/2 in. x 29 in.); Museum purchase from the Members' Acquisitions Fund of Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; 2007-7-1-a/c

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Looking Forward/ Looking Back: Recent Acquisitions in 20th- and 21st-Century Design.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Reclining Rocking Chair (Italy) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=29 January 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>