Historical information

Bentwood furniture is a type of furniture made by bending wooden rods into the required shape after they have been heated with steam. Mundus bentwood chairs are among the most successful examples of early mass-produced furniture. The inventor of manufacturing chairs using this method was Gebrüder Thonet.
The subject item was made at Josef Jaworek small factory that produced bentwood chairs and was the only Polish member associated with the Mundus furniture company of Vienna. This company was founded in 1907 and Mundus went on to merge with J & J Kohn in August of 1914. Mundus furniture was a significant manufacturing company, active in several places in the Austro Hungarian Empire, at the end of the 19th century and early 20th century. Factories seem to have existed in multiple locations including Poland. Their products carry diverse labels, such as "Budapest", "Borlova", "Czechoslovakia", etc, some of the furniture was co-signed with "Jacob and Josef Kohn". Mundus also merged with Gebrüder Thonet in 1922 the inventor of the bentwood chair.


The subject item is believed to be associated with the original Warrnambool Town Hall and would have been part of the buildings furnishings. The town Hall played a significant role in both local government and social events of local and district areas. It was not only a place for Council meetings but community events and social events.
The item is significant as it is an early example of mass-produced manufactured furniture from a company in Austria that pioneered this type of furniture around the turn of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This item is now regarded as a collector's piece giving it additional significance and interest.

Physical description

Bentwood chair (3 of 4), painted black, inner back is curled loop. Seat is plain wood (replacing original). Splayed legs with bracing ring. Marks; Stamped into wood under seat, a small paper label and a label, cream with dark print. Paper label on rim under seat says the chair is made in Austria.

Inscriptions & markings

Marks; Stamped into wood under seat is "49" and a small paper label with "49". Makers label, cream with dark print; on either side are 2 coins, top left coin has bust of a man, top right has an emblem with 1885 under it. Text of label "MOBEL-FABRIKEN / von / JOSEF JAWOREK / Teschen, osterr, Schlesien"