Rare adjustable 'Tub' chair

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286

Rare adjustable 'Tub' chair

circa 1954
Oak, fabric, moulded plywood, brass.
102.2 x 86.4 x 88.9 cm (40 1/4 x 34 x 35 in.)
Executed by cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Estimate
£50,000 - 70,000 Ω

sold for £50,000

Contact Specialist
Madalena Horta e Costa
Head of Sale
+44 20 7318 4019

  • Provenance

    Private collection, Denmark
    Bruun Rasmussen, Copenhagen, 'Design', 12 October, 2006, lot 895
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Literature

    Johan Møller Nielson, Wegner en dansk møbelkunstner, Copenhagen, 1965, pp. 69-70
    Grete Jalk, ed., Dansk Møbelkunst gennem 40 aar, Volume 3: 1947-1956, Copenhagen, 1987, p. 281
    Christian Holmsted Olesen, Wegner: just one good chair, exh. cat., Design Museum Denmark, Copenhagen, 2014, pp. 63, 158, 174

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot is one of two known period examples of the ‘Tub’ chair, a model which did not enter into wider production during Hans J. Wegner’s lifetime. The chair seat is composed of two pieces of fabric-covered moulded plywood. It rests on a dramatically angled oak base and is supported by a brass mechanism that allows for adjustment of the back angle. Its complexity prohibited fabrication in greater number, though it was included in the 1954 Cabinetmaker’s Guild exhibition in Copenhagen. The chair is a notable example of Wegner’s explorations into the possibilities of plywood, but ultimately the demands of employing both laminate and solid wood construction concurrently were too great and he chose to focus on the latter.

    The design of the ‘Tub’ chair shares the intuitive elegance of Wegner’s other furniture, and references certain features of his most well-known chair designs specifically. While structurally more elaborate, the clamshell-form seat relates to the ‘Peacock’ chair (1947) and the forceful forward movement of the base to the 'Folding' chair (1949). The ‘Tub’ most closely anticipates Wegner’s ‘Shell’ chair of 1963. It is notable that even a decade after the introduction of the ‘Tub’, the ‘Shell’ form was still considered too radical for its time. It was following the ‘Shell’ chair designs that Wegner closed the chapter on his experiments with plywood. However by 1989 it was picked for the cover of the catalogue for the exhibition celebrating Wegner’s 77th birthday and has since become one of his most iconic masterpieces. The present chair is consequently a rare illustration of some of his earliest career-defining ideas.

286

Rare adjustable 'Tub' chair

circa 1954
Oak, fabric, moulded plywood, brass.
102.2 x 86.4 x 88.9 cm (40 1/4 x 34 x 35 in.)
Executed by cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Estimate
£50,000 - 70,000 Ω

sold for £50,000

Contact Specialist
Madalena Horta e Costa
Head of Sale
+44 20 7318 4019

Nordic

London Auction 1 October 2015

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