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Butterfly Chair

Designed 1956

Few forms embody the legacy of L.Ercolani as consummately as that of the modest BUTTERFLY CHAIR — the iconic everyday dining chair designed by Lucian Ercolani. Launched in 1956, the subtle curves and sculptural refinement of the BUTTERFLY CHAIR helped transform the chair into a beloved mid-century classic. A purposeful study in simplicity, the clean form of the BUTTERFLY CHAIR reflects Lucian Ercolani’s signature design ethos and heartfelt commitment to traditional craftsmanship. Ercolani was able to yield the optimal balance between form and function by removing all unnecessary elements from the chair’s construction — creating a timeless furnishing that is equal parts elegant and accommodating.

Redolent of its winged namesake, the distinctive shape of the BUTTERFLY CHAIR is imbued with a sense of lightness and purity. The chair’s simple, pared-back form references the intrinsic piety of the Windsor-style furniture which inspired Lucian Ercolani’s early designs.

Gently rounded to hug the body’s natural contours, the steam-bent curves of the BUTTERFLY CHAIR invites users to sit and enjoy a moment of comfort and repose. While its playful silhouette elicits amazement and surprise, the chair’s most extraordinary features lie in its minute details. The BUTTERFLY CHAIR features the traditional Windsor wedge and tenon joinery, a technique in which the chair’s legs are extended through the seat and secured with a wedge. These joints are then sanded until they lie flush with the seat to create a strong and durable base, built to withstand the demands of daily life.

The Upholstered Butterfly Chair is a new addition to the iconic chair. This option introduces a softer aesthetic and seat, with warmth very much keeping with the way we live today. The Upholstered Butterfly Chair sits within the Soft Seating collection.

Offered in ash timber with an ash veneer steam-bent ply seat and back, the BUTTERFLY CHAIR is an attractive and eye-catching accompaniment to the heartening ritual of dining with loved ones.

The chair is available in nine statement-making finishes and is now available with an upholstered seat, in a variety of harmonious textiles and colour-palettes.

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Measurements:Show Metric
Dimensions (imperial)
W 20.07 x D 18.11 X Height: 32.28 inches
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Born in Italy in 1888, Lucian's family moved to London in the 1890s. There he went to night school at the Shoreditch Technical Institute where he studied drawing, design and the theory and construction of furniture. In 1907 he made his first piece of furniture — a musical cabinet, inlaid with mother of pearl. Years later the company tracked this down and we still have it to this day.

In 1944, the young furniture maker, influenced by local artistry and classic British design traditions, was awarded a Board of Trade Utility Furniture contract for 100,000 Windsor Chairs. Ercolani then stripped the Windsor Chair’s design to its simplest form, focusing on increasing durability and production efficiency. This commission would define a new design direction for the company, a shift that is still reflected in our ever-evolving portfolio of furniture design. The nuances of this distinct yet classic presence continues to befit contemporary living, dining and working settings, remaining just as relevant and treasured as they were in the years prior. L.Ercolani remains firmly rooted in our founder’s signature design ethos and heartfelt commitment to traditional craftsmanship.

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