You’d most likely instantly recognise these beautiful metal chairs even if you don’t know the maker! Thanks to the growing trend for industrial vintage, Tolix has become the seat du jour.
In this article, we uncover the history of an iconic seat – The Replica Tolix Chair.
The History Of The Tolix Chair
The designer of the Tolix style chair, Xavier Pauchard, was born in 1880 in Le Morvan, France. His family were zinc roofers, and this knowledge of metal was important in his innovative design of a metal chair – the Tolix.
That classic chair, a favourite of cafés and retro kitchens worldwide, was designed in 1934 and modified in the 1950s so that you can now stack 25 Tolix chairs to a height of 2.3 metres! This is one reason they were immediately popular, not just in cafés but also in factories, offices and hospitals. Made from galvanised steel and with holes in the seat, Tolix chairs can be left outside virtually all year long.
Sir Terence Conran says about the Tolix chair, “Over the years, this chair has come to symbolise what I like to term democratic excellence, meaning that it’s mass-produced and universally acceptable.”
Furthermore, the chair’s status was boosted when Josephine de la Baume modelled the Agent Provocateur 2011 collection on the chair.
A Unique & Practical Design
Only some mid-century furniture designs move beyond their original, practical purpose and take on a universal appeal, which means they can work in almost any setting.
For example, The Converse Trainer is one. Almost no one uses them to play serious basketball anymore, but instead, they wear them in almost any other situation, from hanging around on the beach to adding an unexpected twist to a formal suit.
The Tolix Metal Chairs by Xavier Pauchard are surely another! Mass-produced for French restaurants, its beautiful ubiquity means that it now looks equally at home as garden furniture or in your dining room (or any other room of the house or office) as colourful, comfortable seating.
Because of this, for many years, the Tolix Chair was treated very much as a practical item, often given away by French breweries to businesses that agreed to stock their beer, but it gradually took on the mantle of a design icon. Today, it is recognised by design museums worldwide, including MoMA in New York, the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Vitra design collection in Weil am Rhein in Germany.
The Tolix collection of stainless steel chairs has profoundly shaped the history of industrial design, providing the movement with some of its most iconic pieces that continue to captivate public attention for almost a century after they’ve been originally designed. In case you missed it, we have a great article on How To Make An Industrial Home Your Own.
At Pash Classics, we have high-quality reproduction chairs in various colours like black, blue, green, grey, orange, red, sage green, white and yellow. Personally, we like to mix them up in neutral settings to create a vibrant splash of colour, but wherever you use it, the Tolix can always add charm and vitality to any space.
Easily stackable, these lightweight seating solutions are there for your comfort and to meet your requirements while simultaneously providing your home with a recognisable aesthetical expression that is sure to catch the attention of every true design enthusiast. Our own Tolix Chairs have been designed with great attention paid to detail and construction quality whilst representing outstanding value for money!
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