Posted 5 years ago
I just scored 4 mismatched "Cesca" chairs at a local thrift store this weekend—spied them being unloaded from a donations truck as I was walking by and went back to scoop them up. Pretty happy with the price of $18 each.
Marcel Breuer designed this famous tubular steel, wood, and caned-seat chair in 1928, and originally called it model B-32 . They were first produced by German company Thonet, then Italian company Gavina (who renamed it "Cesca" after Breuer's daughter Francesca), which was purchased by Knoll, who still makes them today. However, Breuer never patented the design, so many companies make unofficial versions (legally).
All four of the the chairs have "Made in Italy" either stamped into the wood or marked with a sticker, but I'm not sure if that indicates anything about what company made them. I'm guessing this group is from the 1970s or '80s, and are probably knockoffs. There are a couple spots where the caning is roughed up, and one looks to have been rewoven, but otherwise they're in good shape. :)
Here's a short NYTimes piece on the chairs from 1991: http://www.nytimes.com/1991/02/07/garden/the-many-lives-of-a-very-common-chair.html
If you have any ideas about attribution, let me know!
**update: I've added a fourth photo above to show the chairs as they look in their new home, along with a refurbished mid-century table. :)