The History of the Tolix Chair

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Our collection of Tolix chairs represents a piece of design history that is as functional and beautiful today as it was more than 80 years ago. Far from going out of style, these chairs have seemed to transcend style with their timeless French industrial-chic look.

It was back in 1907 when a young French roofer from Burgundy, Xavier Pauchard, discovered that he could protect sheet metal from rust by dipping it in molten zinc. The process of galvanizing was born. Years later, he developed his original Tolix chair to be outside in all types of weather, which is why there are holes in the seats – to allow water to drop through.

Pauchard’s first iteration of the Tolix A Side Chair could soon be found on the Normandie ocean liner, as well as lining French café patios and equipping hospitals. These durable, stackable chairs were even the choice of US naval forces in World War II, before making their way into countless private homes.

Today, we’re delighted that these classic Tolix chairs are still manufactured by hand in Burgundy. Even the original galvanizing vat remains in use.

As with all Tolix furniture, the A Side Chair has become an icon in today's design world. The internationally revered chair has been around since the 1930s and is part of collections at museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Vitra Design Collection in Weil am Rhen in Germany.

 Explore our complete collection of Tolix chairs here.

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