What’s Old is New Again: The Prague 811 Chair

Dining Room with Prague 811 Chairs

Everything comes around again, doesn’t it? The classic design of the Prague 811 chair is nearly one hundred years old, and it still looks fresh today.

Home Nook with Prague 811 Chair
Image: The Marion House Book

Also known as a Stendig chair, the Prague 811 was designed in 1925 by Josef Hoffman. Originally manufactured by Stendig in Czechoslovakia during the mid-sixties, the chair came in beech bentwood, and used caning for the seats and backs. Most were sold in the natural beech color, but they could also be found in black.

Kitchen with Prague 811 Chair
Image: Covet Garden, via SF Girl by Bay

Not to be confused with the Cesca chair by Marcel Breuer (seen above mixed with two Prague chairs), Breuer’s Cesca was designed in 1928; it has metal tubing and a different base shape, vs. Hoffman’s all wood design with four legs. The Prague 811 is also often mislabeled as a Thonet chair. So, if you’re searching for one online, give “Thonet” a try.

Dining Room with Prague 811 Chair
Image: Sofia Coppola’s Apartment

Sofia Coppola has had hers in at least two of her homes (shown above and below). So perfect, right?

Dining Room with Prague 811 Chairs
Image: Sofia Coppola’s Apartment

The chairs have that perfect trinity of vintage furniture. One, they were popular enough that many were manufactured. Two, they were well-made enough that the ones that are still around are often in good sturdy condition. And three, they aren’t so popular these days that you can’t get your hands on one. They’re fairly easy to find via Craigslist, eBay, Etsy, and 1st dibs.They mix well with other furniture, and could fit into most any home with the right styling.

Would you use the Prague 811 chair in your home?

3 Comments

  1. I have a set of 5, possibly 6. 4 are in perfect condition. My father was an architect and we shared a passion for the classic architectural modern furniture. He passed away last month and i am selling these wonderful Prague chairs. One of the chairs has a small break in the cane, and a small discoloration. Barely noticeable. I do have a 6th chair at my office. I’ll have to take a look at it to see the condition, and I took the arms off so it would fit under my Eames table. These have the synthetic cane, which holds up unbelievably well. These are authentic Stendig chairs – Stendig sticker still on the bottom, along with a stamped Made in Czechoslovokia mark.

  2. Saw your message-Have been looking for new Prague (Hoffman) arm chairs and haven’t found. I need four. Who makes these now. Thonet seems to be out of this business.

    Thanks,

    Jim Davis
    AIA
    St. Simons Island, GA

  3. I just stumbled on a set of four of these at a barn sale, love them!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
24 × 9 =


About The Author

Profile Photo
Nicole Balch
Designer Nicole Balch transforms the so-so into the lovely. As she begins decorating her new home, a Victorian painted lady, she invites readers of her blog, Making it Lovely to follow along, offer advice, and gain inspiration from her creative process. Making it Lovely was named one of the 50 World’s Best Design Blogs by the London Times Online, and Nicole’s work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune Magazine, Time Out Chicago, ReadyMade, Everyday with Rachael Ray, CS Interiors, and other publications.