Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Want this, get that: Thonet Bentwood Rocker

I have come to the realization that the chair that currently resides in our living room is a bit too big/ awkward sized for the bebe's room.  Oh, and re-upholstering it will actually cost more than the chair at its time of purchase.  Forgot to mention that!  Soooo...I will actually be selling that little guy on craigslist (and Gimlet) in order to make room for the womb chair.  Stay tuned if you are interested! 

Anyhoo, I have been on the hunt for a comfy (aka high backed) vintage rocking chair for a couple of days now, to no avail so far.  I am not discouraged, though.   I have a plan!

I want this:

Lee Kleinhelter's nursery, featuring a vintage rocker with nubby apple green fabric
I know you have seen the Pieces Princess' nursery a million times, but have you ever really examined that rocker?  It is good looking.

However, a rocker like that beaut is hard to find.  The kind-of-similar one I spyed on 1st Dibs was, unforunately, in the four figure range and such a purchase would defeat the purpose of ditching my upholstery project for a more economical option. 

Enter the Thonet Bentwood Rocker (all CAPS), of course.

How many of you had/have these or a knock off? 
I have a soft spot for them and always have...

If you would like a 25 second history lesson on the beautiful bentwood design, click here. Something I learned today was that I have always pronounced Thonet as "tho-nay" but it is actually "Tone-ette."  Makes sense, considering he was Austrian, but I digress...

Anyhoo, there are some decent options on ebay.  Not all of them are original Thonets (and those that are, of course, are cost prohibitive), but I will not let that stop me...especially if I decide that the sucker should be sprayed white or even something more fabulous than white. 

Antique Thonet, listed on ebay for $1,497.99

Knock off listed on ebay for $99.00

My plan is to search around locally as I have received a hot tip (thanks, E.Lee!) that some Thonet-y looking rockers were at Salvation Army.  I also added a Craigslist search to my google feed and have alerted some local dealers that I am on the hunt. 

That being said, Gimlet Nation, please heed my call!  If you spy one of these rockers somewhere in or near Nola, will you contact me?  I promise you will be pleased with your finders fee! 



P.S. Speaking of Lee Kleinhelter, the One Kings Lane Tastemaker Sale is featuring her selections today.  Um, there are some bentwood pieces on there.  Of course!  Check it out even if just for the eye candy and inspiration! 


  1. 1. LOVING your nursery. The drapes are 100% showstopper!
    2. Let's talk about this rocker. My mom has one and my MIL has one. They are the best! Great blast from the past. Love the re-do option!

  2. This would look great with the wood painted a fun color (apple green would look really cute, don't know if that would work with your color scheme though...). I'm sure you could easily find something similar to this rocker at many a consignment store, Craigslist, or the like.

    Also, for cute & cheap options, Ikea has cute wicker rockers. Don't know how comfortable they would be though..

  3. Actually, I have one of these beauties sitting in my storage shed. It was the first piece of furniture that Bob and I purchased almost forty years ago. Don't know if it is a Thonet. Is there a mark on them somewhere? If none of my children want it, it might need to come to NOLA for a certain sweet babe. Bob and I are on a little trip and will be home this weekend. I will check it out then. Katie did a little artistic carving on one of the arms but I think it could easily be sanded out, especially if you want to paint it.

  4. When I was little I loved rocking in my mom's bentwood. I am pretty sure that my siblings and I spent the first weeks of our lives rocking in that chair in mom's arms. Flash forward to 2005 - during our Katrina evacuation when we lived in Thibodaux (the place where our bentwood retied) I spent months rocking Lucy to sleep/nursing her/etc in that chair and regardless of how many pillows I stuffed around me I never once felt comfortable enough to fall asleep. You know I am a comfort/function over style gal, but still...

  5. I'm with Julie! I love the look of the older rockers, BUT... last night I slept in my rocker and at 1am, I was thinking of you. I almost Facebooked you in the middle of the night. You should really get a rocker that you and Beau can both be comfortable in and even nod off after a few minutes. Last night we literally rocked for hours. Cal slept in the rocker for at least an hour. Trust me on this one. Maybe two rockers?? A lot of people keep one in the living room and one in the nursery.

  6. I have a bentwood rocker that is upholstered in a tan colored fabric. Have not found another like it anywhere. The tag on bottom is no longer there. Just would like to know what is may be worth.

    1. I have what sounds to be the one you describe. However I would like to recover mine to match my future granddaughters nursery. I see no way to get that fabric off, any ideas?

  7. My family makes a nice bentwood rocker, in a more modern style. It is also 4 figures, so out of your range, but maybe some of your readers would be interested? Rapson Bentwood Rocker: Good looking and practical

  8. I have a bentwood rocker from the 1980'd. I wan to paint it. any tips?

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