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The Cesca & B32 Chair

The Cesca and the B32 Chair is truly a beloved chair. 

The Chair is part of modern homes everywhere, with its everlasting design now almost 100 years old. The Chair has a beautiful simplicity to its design. Subtle curves balance the Chair; the light and airiness provided by a cantilevered form and caned seat and backrest seem to float in thin air.

Is my Cesca / B32 Authentic or a Reproduction?

In recent years, the Cesca Chair has become more popular than ever. Breuer, who worked with Gavina and Knoll, made some design changes over the years. The curve of the Chair's back became shallower, and its bentwood frame was two pieces rather than one for strength; the seat's front edge did not slope as much as it did; the bolts were smaller.

There are variations in the height of the tubular frames, but consistency remains constant.

Cesca chairs have D-shaped legs that bend from the front side to the backside. You can also see all the seating platforms in the same D-shape steel frame. So, this shape relates explicitly to this brand.

The frame has a rectangular frame with round edges that give a specific D-shape appearance.

The floor protectors are rubber or elastic caps that are usually present on the legs of the chairs. The caps are round with a hole in the center and act as a non-slip pad. They protect the floor from scratches due to furniture's back-and-forth movement.

They do not have rear legs, which is their noticeable feature. They all lower down toward the backside after sitting due to the absence of legs on the back end.

Cesca caned chair

Cesca Chair

A wooden piece over the arm of the Cesca Armchairs provides a surface to put arms. The chairs have a slight curve on the arm's edges and the seat's back end. So, you can look at the arm's shape when confused about the originality.

Cesca Armchair B32

Cesca Armchair

The Cesca chairs use chrome plating on the ends of the steel frame. These caps protect the steel material from wearing, tearing, and corrosion.

The screws are counter sunk. 

Cesca caned chair back

Cesca Chair

The Tubular Frame

The Cesca chairs have a steel frame consistent from start to end. This frame starts from the backside, continues along with the seat, and ends at the legs of this furniture. You will not see any attachment point within the frame as it is a single tube. Therefore, all the chairs containing a tubular steel frame can be Cesca chairs.

The presence of a tubular frame can help distinguish it from fake brands. Therefore, it is one of the main aspects you should consider to check their originality.

Cesca Tubular Frame

Cesca Chair

Cesca Chair

Cesca Tubular Frame

Cesca Chair

A brand name or tag depicts the name of the manufacturer company or the place of origin of a product. It helps distinguish the brands and the original and replica brands. The name can be located on the tubular pipe on the front or backside, on the steel frame under the wooden armrest, or on a "Made in Italy" tag.

Cesca caned chair stamp

Cesca Chair

How Michael Thonet B32 Design Differs From the Cesca Chair

B32 Caned Chair


In 1929, German designer Michael Thonet, famous for creating wood bending techniques, began production of Breuer's design under the name B32.

The Thonet Stamp

Thonet chair stamp

Michael Thonet's stamp can be found burned into the underside of the frame of the chair seat, and sometimes the paper stamp is still on the tubular frame. 

Chair Seat Side Profile

Cesca caned chair

Notice how the side profile of the B32 chair seat is angled slightly downward of the B32 chair, so the seat doesn't cut into the users' legs when sitting?

The Cesca chair has a flat profile. 

Chair Seat Top Profile

B32 caned chair

The top profile of the B32 seat has a rounded corner profile whereas the Cesea has a 90-degree corner profile. 

Book or Mail Your Caned Surfaces for Cane Replacement

How to mail Cesca surfaces to Caning Canada

Cesca Chair

If Caning Canada isn’t coming to your area and the cane needs to be replaced in your Cesca or B32 chairs, check out our shipping page to find out how the seats and backrests can be mailed for cane replacement.

Based on the pricing of $5 per inch of the longest side, the cost to replace the cane in either the seat of the backrest of the Cesca or B32 is $85 per surface.

When you renew the cane in your Cesca or B32 surfaces, things to consider are:

1. If you only replace one of the surfaces, the cane will not match.

2. Cane doesn't need to be stained and can be left to age naturally.

3. If you don't mind that the surfaces don't match, neither do we.

4. If you want to have the cane stained, we'll give you some scrap cane for colour testing.

5. If you replace the cane on both surfaces, they age or colour together. 

Cesca Armchair B32

Cesca Armchair

Specifications of the Cesca / B32 Chair

Dimensions: Cesca / B32

• Height: 80 cm / 31.5 inch

• Width: 46.9 cm / 18.5 inch

• Depth: 59.6 cm / 23.5 inch

Dimensions Cesca Armchair / B32 Armchair

• Height: 80 cm / 31.5 inch

• Width: 59.6 cm / 23.5 inch

• Depth: 59.6 cm / 23.5 inch

• Arm Height: 68.5 cm / 27 inch

Cesca chair steel frame
Beech Cesca Chair


Matte Ebonize Beech Cesca

Matte Ebonize Beech

Walnut or Honey Cesca

Walnut or Honey

Cesca / B32 Chair Material

• Cane insets are either handwoven cane or pre-woven cane

• Frame is 1" diameter chrome-plated round steel tube with a polished finish

• Plastic glides snap into the base to protect floors

• Seat frame is solid beech with either clear natural lacquer or matte ebonized finish or a walnut

How to Clean Cane Surfaces

1. Mix warm water with mild liquid soap or washing-up liquid.

2. Soak a clean, soft cloth into the solution.

3. Wipe the mesh chair gently without pressing it too hard or allowing water to soak into the material.

4. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles to clean dirt caught in the cane.

5. Allow drying for a day or two.

How The Cesca & B32 Chair Came to be

In 1926, The handlebar of Breuer's Adler bicycle inspired the idea of the tubular frame. Breuer explored the strength and lightness of tubular metal with the Wassily chair, which had a seat and backrest made with leather.

In 1928, Marcel Breuer created the Cesca Chair shortly after leaving the Bauhaus. Breuer sought a material suitable for mass production that could also render an artful furniture form. Based on the principles of the Bauhaus and the material innovations, the simple design remains a highly sought-after classic.

In 1929, German designer Michael Thonet, famous for creating wood bending techniques, began production of Breuer's design under the name B32.

Both designers were on trial for the authorship of the Chair.

Another designer Stam was left as the creator of the cantilever technique, and Thonet began producing his design in 1931 as the S43 Chair, which had leather for both the seat and backrest, not cane. After the trial, Thonet also began producing the B33 as a variant of the B32.

Breuer was regarded as the designer of the Cesca chair.

In the 1950s, The Italian firm Dino Gavina took over the Chair's production with Breuer's permission. Taking on the name the Cesca Chair after Breuer's adopted daughter, Francesca.

Initially, the Cesca chair was designed without arms. The Cesca Armchair and B32 Armchairs were later designed.

In 1968, The Knoll Group acquired the Gavina Factory and took over the production of the classic Chair. Knoll remains the only retailer from which you can buy a licensed Cesca chair. Since the design wasn't patented, it is accessible for other brands to adapt.

"There had never been a chair like it. It was structurally daring and embodied many key aspirations of modernist design that were equally applicable to architecture and furniture," said Christopher Wilk, curator at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. "It was made of an industrial material symbolic of the machine age and was visually transparent because materials were reduced to a minimum, giving it an abstract quality."

The Chair's revelatory use of material and straightforward form made it an international sensation—nothing like it existed at the time. "Breuer simply changed the course of 20th-century furniture," commented J. Steward Johnson, Curator of the Museum of Modern Art's Department of Architecture and Design, leading up to the 1981 exhibition Marcel Breuer:

Furniture and Interiors. "He is seminal. He started it all and made everything happen."

The structure is not just a means to a solution. It is also a principle and a passion.

Marcel Breuer

The unique cantilevered structure and simple design elements make the Cesca so unique. The lack of bracing creates a lighter-weight chair with some flex – not rigid and uncomfortable like many other chairs on the market. The single bent steel pipe also helps make the Chair lighter. The materials are readily available and easy to acquire.