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Sinewy chrome legs, elegant caned seat, rich birch wood – these are the elements that make up the iconic Cesca chair. If you haven’t heard of it, you’ve probably seen it around. From museum collections to popular movie sets, the Cesca chair is everywhere. But where did it come from? And why is it so popular?

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George Dieter Post Office

The Story Begins at the Bauhaus

The Cesca chair’s story starts at the Bauhaus, the German art school founded in 1919 by architect Walter Gropius. The Bauhaus aimed to merge art and industry, creating modern, functional, and reproducible designs. Marcel Breuer, an early student of the Bauhaus, played a crucial role in revolutionizing furniture design.

Breuer and the Birth of Modern Furniture

In 1925, Breuer had a moment of inspiration while contemplating the manufacturing problem faced by the Bauhaus. He realized that bent tubular steel, like his bicycle’s handlebars, could be the answer. He created the Wassily chair, followed by a range of other chairs, tables, and even a couch. But Breuer wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to create a chair that defied gravity.

The Cantilever Chair is Born

In 1928, Breuer had his eureka moment. He flipped a stool on its side and created the cantilever chair. The b32, as it was known, became the purest manifestation of Bauhaus ideals. Made of gleaming chrome, it appeared to float on air. With its structured wooden framing and cane seat, the chair achieved a delicate balance of flexibility and stability.

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The Cesca Era

The b32, later renamed the Cesca chair after Breuer’s daughter, gained popularity in the 1960s as the mid-century modern look took hold. Italian brand Gavina began selling it, and soon it was everywhere. The chair’s success was further fueled by the fact that it wasn’t copyrighted, allowing manufacturers to produce legal replicas. By 1980, the Cesca chair had become as common and imitated as a pair of Calvin Klein jeans.

Its Enduring Appeal

Despite its ubiquity, the Cesca chair never lost its appeal. Today, it can still be found in many homes and is highly sought after. Its timeless design and association with both the Bauhaus movement and mid-century modernism contribute to its enduring popularity.

In conclusion, the Cesca chair is more than just a piece of furniture. It is a design icon, a symbol of modernity and innovation. Its sleek lines, lightness, and comfort make it a coveted addition to any space. Whether you’re a design enthusiast or simply appreciate good craftsmanship, the Cesca chair is a must-have. To learn more about design marvels like the Cesca chair, visit for a curated selection of furniture and decor that embodies style and sophistication.

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