Chairs like the N.1 models, designed for the Schwarzenberg Palace in Vienna, or the historical N.14, the arrival point of Michael Thonet’s research, well exemplify the elements that made famous the company: the curved wooden structure steamed and the Vienna straw seat. Even after the death of Michael Thonet, the company continued to prosper and expand, albeit amid events, and had the opportunity to work with the masters of the Viennese Secession and the German Bauhaus.
After the Second World War the productive units present in different nations became independent and each took its own path. The one of the Gebrüder Thonet Vienna, refounded by Fritz Jakob Thonet, brought the company to Italy, the new home of design: in 2003 it was purchased by Poltrona Frau at the behest of its historic president Franco Moschini, who became after a decade the effective owner thanks to a reorganization within the group.
The new course of GTV Design is not limited to the protection of such a prestigious past, through a careful policy of faithful re-editions, but looks beyond and aims to combine the classic Thonet style with an idea of modern furniture, involving in this project some of the most important designers of the international scene. The production is therefore concentrated on chairs and armchairs, but there are also sofas and armchairs, tables, small tables, stools and benches.
The traditional curved wood remains at the center of the Gebrüder Thonet Vienna catalog, but is flanked by experiments with new materials such as the leather upholstery of the Twiggy chairs. The new headquarters are based in Torino and most of the suppliers are chosen in Friuli, which is already part of the Austro-Hungarian empire from which many historical collaborators of Michael Thonet came from using ancient working techniques, the same of the ‘Nineteenth century.