The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.
A8991 Chairs (two) 'Kone' chair shells, shaped marine plywood / metal, designed and made by Roger McLay, legs made later under supervision of original designer, Sydney, Australia, c1950. Click to enlarge.

‘Kone’ plywood chair shells by Roger McLay

Made by McLay, Roger in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, c 1950.

The simple and practical ‘Kone’ chair was easily made by curving a flat piece of plywood. Buyers could also choose a chenille or cushioned tweed cover for greater comfort. The Kone chair was designed in Sydney by Roger McLay in 1948 and made by him and later Descon of Sydney between 1951 and 1962. Inexpensive, light and versatile, plywood was a popular material for furniture after World War II.

Summary

Object No.

A8991

Object Statement

Chairs (two) 'Kone' chair shells, shaped marine plywood / metal, designed and made by Roger McLay, legs made later under supervision of original designer, Sydney, Australia, c1950

Physical Description

Chair shells made of single sheet of marine plywood joined at the back to form a conical shape with a round opening at the back. Chair shells made c 1950. Leg frames were made later in 1983 by the museum under guidance from the original designer, and attached to each chair. Four legs and support made of black painted ferrous tubing. Rubber stoppers on end of legs.

Dimensions

Height

720 mm

Width

780 mm

Depth

640 mm

Production

Notes

Roger McLay [1922-2000] developed the Kone chair in 1948 and put it into limited production in 1948. It was put into commercial production by Descon who were based in Brookvale, Sydney. Descon produced the chair from the mid 1950s until 1960. Light and versatile the 'Kone' epitomised new post-war attitudes with its simple practical design and unusual materials. Buyers could also choose a chenille or cushioned tweed cover for greater comfort. The 'Kone' chair was awarded the 'Good Design' label by the Society of Interior Designers in 1950.

The 'Kone' chair range, including a table, was first conceived and put into production as an in-house project in McLay's Gloucester Street studio. McLay advised 'One of the few materials of consistant quality and supply at the time was a high quality coachwood 'seaply' made by the Roseberry Veneer Co and sold by Cemac of Mascot. This was a stockpiled remnant of earlier aircraft and military component manufacture'.

Born in Sydney, Roger McLay was apprenticed as an artist to greeting card manufacturers John Sands, aged 15. At the same time he studied painting and drawing at East Sydney Technical College under Charles Meere, William Dobel and Noel Kilgour. During WWII he enlisted with the RAAF and had four years active service as an air gunner in Europe and North Africa. McLay worked as freelance designer from 1946 onwards in Sydney and London. He was an extremely versatile practitioner working in steel, glass, wood, acrylic, aluminium stone and concrete. Executing commissioned designs in graphics, exhibition, manufactured products including furniture, heavy engineering and landscape design (graduate Ryde School of Horticulture). McLay had excellent technical skills and could construct as well as conceive his designs.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Roger McLay, 1983

Acquisition Date

5 May 1983

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Kone' plywood chair shells by Roger McLay 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 23 May 2019, <https://ma.as/200802>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/200802 |title='Kone' plywood chair shells by Roger McLay |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=23 May 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Store 1 at the Museums Discovery Centre.

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

Know more about this object?

TELL US

Have a question about this object?

ASK US