Erich Dieckmann: Balanced Bauhaus

Berlin-born designer Erich Dieckmann (1896-1944) is one of the most important furniture designers of the Bauhaus. Much like Marcel Breuer, Dieckmann experimented with steel tubing and its application in the design of furniture – however, he is primarily known for his pieces in wood. In 1921, he enrolled at the Bauhaus in Weimar and between 1921-1925, he served an apprenticeship there as a carpenter. Erich Dieckmann’s designs for seating pieces are strictly geometric, consisting of frames based on right angles and curves which were virtually square or circular in cross-section. Another typical feature of his work is linking armrests and chair legs in a runner construction. Dieckmann used quality hardwoods, beech, cherry, oak and ash as well as rattan and cane matting which moderated the austere geometry of the pieces. Standardization of construction was emphasized to keep the prices of these mass-produced pieces as low as possible.

Erich Dieckmann armchair

A rare Dieckmann creation c. 1930, this custom armchair was ordered by Adriaan Roland Holst from Sloterdijjkm, The Netherlands. Consisting of a painted tube steel construction, with a wicker seat and back and lacquered wood armrests. This rare armchair is currently up for auction.

Another prime armchair, c. 1931 showcasing Dieckmann’s style of linking armrests with chair legs in a runner manner. The nickel-plated tubular steel boasts a black stretched canvas fabric back and seat with stained beech wood armrests, was originally manufactured for Cebaso, Ohrdruf.

Dieckmann’s austere geometry is shown here in this settee, c. 1927. Constructed of a deep orange lacquered wood frame with a rush seat and back, this piece exemplifies his ability to make furniture constructed around right angles more approachable and softens the overall appearance.

Erich Dieckmann beech plywood armchair

This beech plywood armchair, c. 1930 is typical of Dieckmann’s designs, executed with bent plywood and a wooden webbed back. The style is typical of prewar German design with bold curves and playful lines, the large curved armrests and scoop back add a bit of whimsy to the overall appearance of the chair.

Erich Dieckmann’s ability to work in many materials is shown in this Rattan Garden Chaise Longue constructed of bamboo and rattan. The footrest extends from under the chair and his integrated armrests and legs showcase both functional beauty and stylish form.

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