Even if you do not recognise the name, you will have no doubt come across Xavier Pauchard’s iconic furniture at some point: there are few chairs more universally recognised than his Tolix Bistro Chair.
Perhaps one of the most iconic modern chairs to come out of the twentieth century, the Tolix Bistro Chair has a fascinating history, and to this day remains a stylish feature in many homes and businesses. Combining utility with style, his chairs evoke the major advances in production, engineering and design that took place during the twentieth century, as well as the sleek aesthetic of the modernist movement.
Born in 1880, Xavier Pauchard grew up in an idyllic, rural area known as the ‘green heart of France’. For his neighbours, wood remained the most important resource for construction, but Xavier Pauchard came from a family of zinc roofers. When he was twenty-seven, he developed his own process for galvanising sheet metal – by coating it in molten zinc, he could stop it from developing rust, making it a far more versatile medium.
Xavier Pauchard applied his process to a number of household items, and began manufacturing them on a large scale under his Tolix brand. In 1956, the chair was created, and soon became a symbol of large-scale industrial progress all around the world.
Initially designed for use in bistros and cafes, Xavier Pauchard’s Tolix Bistro Chair also found use in hospitals, bars, and offices. The chairs also became a popular promotional aid for breweries, who would reward establishments that sold their products by sending chairs along with their deliveries.
Due to the galvanisation of the metal, the chairs never rusted, which made them suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Furthermore, their sleek, efficient design meant they could be easily stacked when not in use.
Despite the hard frame, the chair’s design includes a high and supportive backrest, meaning that they are a comfortable as well as practical. These days, it comes in a variety of colours and adaptations: the Tolix Moskov Chair adds armrests to the iconic mid-century design, and the Tolix Bar Stool brings bistro-chic to a higher level.
By 1960, Tolix was producing over 60,000 Bistro Chairs a year. As well as remaining a staple in homes and businesses today, the Tolix Bistro Chair has also made its mark on history as a piece of iconic designer furniture. It is on display in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Paris’s Pompidou Centre, the Vitra Design Collection in Germany. For over sixty years, they have been a symbol of modernist design and innovation, and never fail to bring a sense of contemporary elegance to the table.
The Tolix Bistro Chair provides the perfect mix of modern chair design and twentieth century history. Xavier Pauchard’s iconic furniture is famed for its versatility and timeless style, which makes it the perfect chair to adds a modern accent to any room. Make sure you view our range of Xavier Pauchard’s chairs, and add a touch of ‘bistro-chic’ to your interior design.
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