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  • Provenance

    Private collection, North Zealand, Denmark, 1940s
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2015

  • Catalogue Essay

    Shortly after the liberation of Denmark in May 1945, the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers Guild issued a competition to design a three-room apartment (bedroom, dining room, and living room). That summer, Hans J. Wegner and Børge Mogensen retreated to a cottage to design their joint entry for the competition, which, including the present model armchair, they exhibited at the Cabinetmakers' Guild Exhibition in the fall of that year. Wegner and Mogensen later divided the rights among only a few of the pieces— the spoke-back sofa was registered under Mogensen's name, while a coordinating armchair became a Wegner design.

    A very limited production of the present model may have occurred after the exhibition, though it is not known how many were produced and if the authorship was assigned to Wegner or Mogensen. Given the collaborative nature of the original installation, we have chosen to present the chairs under both names, though they share many similarities with a wing chair that Wegner had designed in 1944.

    The restrained style, with square legs and neat rows of brass tacks, also shows the influence of Kaare Klint, under whom Mogensen studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Furniture School in Copenhagen. Wegner would later rebel in favor of more organic forms while Mogensen remained a steadfast disciple. These four chairs are therefore important, early artifacts from the dawn of Danish Modernism.

    The present model was presented at the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition (Snedkerlaugets Møbeludstillinger), September 28-October 14, 1945. It is recorded as RP no. 13621 in the Furniture Index of the Danish Museum of Art & Design.

    Phillips wishes to thank Marianne Wegner from the Hans J. Wegner Design Studio for her assistance with the cataloguing of the present lot.

87

Set of four rare armchairs

circa 1945
Mahogany, leather, brass.
Each: 33 x 24 1/4 x 25 1/2 in. (83.8 x 61.6 x 64.8 cm)
Executed by master cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Estimate
$16,000 - 24,000 

Contact Specialist
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Design

New York Auction 9 June 2016