Cf: Christopher Wilk, Marcel Breuer. Furniture and Interiors, New York, 1981, pp. 51 & 63, ill. 41 & 58
See also: Magdalene Droste, Marcel Breuer, Cologne, 1994, p. 62, pl. (d)
This design was conceived by Breuer in 1925 and was his earliest experiment with tubular steel furniture. The influence of the ideas of Rietveld and the De Stijl group, disseminated at the Bauhaus by Theo van Doesburg - professor there from 1922-23, are clear, (see Lots 59, 60).
The very first example produced in 1925 by Breuer and his assistants was welded throughout; the result was a chair that was structurally weak. The structure was swiftly revised to a model composed of separate elements bolted together, resulting in a chair which was both stronger and easier to produce in numbers.
The earliest pieces, of which this particular chair is a very good example, were produced under Breuer's direction by Standard Möbel in 1926. They had an open 'U' shaped back which was later modified for all subsequent production.
This first version was intended for the houses of the Bauhausmeister, including Moholy-Nagy, Gropius and Kandinsky whose praise was effusive. It is illustrated here in the house of Josef Albers, who was quick to comment of the chair: 'People are usually taken aback when they see the chair....but when they try it out, it becomes clear that it was not the chair that provoked their original reaction, but...the fact that they looked at it with conventional eyes'.