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A design icon, 160 years in the making

After 160 years in the industry, TON is a name that will be remembered for generations to come. As Australia’s sole supplier of the revered brand, James Richardson Furniture celebrates TON’s 16 decades of design brilliance with +- 160 Years by Adam Štěch.

A design icon, 160 years in the making


February 15th, 2022

Creating a brand, a design identity, an icon is not easy to do – but today, we celebrate the ongoing legacy of TON as it enters its 160th year.  

TON is world-renowned for its pivotal influence on the design industry. From 1861, when Michael Thonet’s factory in Bystřice pod Hostýnem, Czech Republic, opened, through to an expansive offering across the globe, TON’s bentwood furniture has always been instantly recognisable.

Thonet and his five sons established the family business that grew into the local phenomenon, staying true to the values of authenticity, sustainability and timeless design through careful handcrafting and meticulous manufacturing. 

TON’s industry relationships have been just as authentic and long-standing as the brand itself. Born from a handshake deal in 1956, James Richardson Furniture (JRF) and TON have built a professional bond that is as strong as ever. 

“This deal set the foundation for the culture of loyalty and relationship-building that continues to define the JRF brand today and we’re so privileged to have held this handshake for the past 65 years, and look forward to working with TON for the next 65 years,” expresses Georgia Danos, Creative & Brand Director of JRF.

JRF is Australia’s sole supplier of TON, offering design aficionados down under these legacy pieces. The classic beechwood materiality has stood the test of time, as has the organic linearity the famous Chair 14, Chair 18, and Chair 811 present. 

“As TON’s longest-standing client, JRF is proud to be a part of this incredible design journey and their legacy of quality and innovation.” 

In acknowledgment of the exceptional history and remarkable future of TON, this occasion is marked by the release of + – 160 Years. A book somewhere between a family album and a history of iconic design, architectural curator, theorist and journalist, Adam Štêch recounts the development of the company’s heart and soul throughout the decades. 

As with every dive into the past, we are encouraged to look into the future – one that will most certainly be marked with the timelessness of and ever-growing love for bentwood furniture.

TON is available throughout Australia at James Richardson Furniture.

James Richardson Furniture

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