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Wire Side Chair


Harry Bertoia

Wire Side Chair


Harry Bertoia
The Wire Chair Front View
A chair made entirely from metal, yet light as air: thus Bertoia created one of the most original and distinctive icons of mid-century design. The Bertoia Side chair is the ultimate chameleon. It fits in and blends into any space, modern or more traditional, thanks to its softened use of steel rods, curved and bent into a gentle form. You can almost see right through it, making it a great option in smaller spaces where heavier furniture might overwhelm.

“If you look at these chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculptures. Space passes right through them!”

Harry Bertoia
The Wire Chair Front View

Bertoia and the Eames’ came out with their wire chairs within 2 years of each other. The Eames’ won a patent dispute regarding the use of the double wire frame, but Bertoia’s chair was simply amended to use a thicker, single frame all around.    

The Side Chair is used in the Sculpture Garden of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Bertoia’s work can also be found at the Addison Gallery of American Art in Massachusetts, the Brooklyn Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden in Washington and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City and many more. 

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Surprisingly Comfortable

Bertoia was an early student of ergonomics, before the field was even known by that name. Accordingly, his Wire Side Chair is curved to the individual’s body shape with generous seating space. An unexpected inherent flexibility in the metal rods affords a much more comfortable seat than one might imagine. A polyurethane foam pad decks the seat, for a softer seating experience. Seat cushions are secured to the chair frame with hook and loop (i.e. “Velcro”) straps.

Quality and Craftsmanship
The Bertoia Side chair’s delicate lattice appearance disguises its strength and durability. It has a striking and stable structure of wire rods welded together securely. The powder coated metal versions are also suitable for outdoor use.
Harry Bertoia was born in San Lorenzo, Italy on 10 March 1915. At the age of 15 he joined his older brother, Oreste in Detroit in the USA. In 1936 he won a one-year scholarship to the School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts where he studied painting and drawing and started experimenting with jewelry design. His talents afforded him another scholarship to the prestigious Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, where he met Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen and Isamu Noguchi. He worked with the Eames’ at the Moulded Plywood Division of Evans Product Company while also teaching metalwork and jewelry making. In the late 1940s he learnt welding and sculpture. In 1950 he moved to Pennsylvania. Following the financial success of his wire furniture designs there, Harry Bertoia could once again focus on creating sculptures, which he continuing doing until his death in 1978.
“The urge for good design is the same as the urge to go on living.”
Harry Bertoia
Product Literature
12 Vertical and 22 horizontal stainless steel rods are arranged in a grid to form the chair’s horizontal (seating) and vertical (back rest) axis. The interconnected rods are bent, soldered and welded together. Edges are sanded, honed and buffed to remove any imperfections that result from the soldering process.
Product Materials

Frame: Stainless steel 

Cushion: Polyurethane foam 

Upholstery: Top grain Italian leather

Product Dimensions


Depth: 58cm 

Width: 54cm 

Seat height: 46cm 

Carrying weight: 140kg

Weight as shipped5kg 

Care Instructions

Metal Do not use an abrasive material on the metal. Clean the item with a mild detergent and water. You can dip a soft-bristled toothbrush in the solution or a non-abrasive pad and use it to scrub off any residue or dirt on the item. Dry any residual moisture with a soft, dry cloth. 

Leather: Occasionally remove dust from the leather with a damp, lint-free cloth. Small soiled spots can be gently removed with a  colourless  eraser. Liquid spills should be immediately dabbed dry and wiped off with a little water. Once a year, the leather should be treated with a special leather care product, but never with any type of strong cleansing agent. Only use quality leather products which do not leave residue. Oily build-up on the leather makes it susceptible to bacteria, which can destroy the leather. Clean the stitching with a soft-bristle brush. 

Make sure that your leather furniture is not positioned close to heat sources, so that it does not dry out and become brittle. In addition, we recommend that leather surfaces are not permanently exposed to intense sunlight, because direct sunlight over an extended time period can diminish the quality of the leather. 

Leather can be treated occasionally with conditioners to keep it in its original state. Liquid spills should be blotted up immediately, not wiped. For daily cleaning, dust leather with a soft cloth.

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