Finn Juhl - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Sunday, November 25, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Jutland, acquired 1960

  • Literature

    Niels Vodder: Møbler, Furniture, Möbel, Copenhagen, 1959, p. 13
    Grete Jalk, ed., Dansk Møbelkunst gennem 40 aar, Volume 3: 1947-1956, Copenhagen, 1987, pp. 271-72, 311 for the armchair version of the model
    Esbjørn Hiort, Finn Juhl: Furniture, Architecture, Applied Art, Copenhagen, 1990, pp. 58-59 for the armchair version of the model
    Noritsugu Oda, Danish Chairs, San Francisco, 1999, p. 98
    Per H. Hansen, Finn Juhl and His House, Ostfildern, 2014, pp. 101, 103 for the armchair version of the model

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present model sofa was executed by the Danish master cabinetmaker Niels Vodder for the 'Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild' in 1953. The sofa eloquently defines its adherence to sculptural forms, much influenced by Twentieth-Century European artists. Esbjørn Hiorth, who attended the Royal Academy of Fine Art’s School of Architecture at the same time as Juhl, observed the architect’s sophisticated curatorial approach to exhibitions in his biography stating: ‘it is obvious that he was highly influenced by contemporary sculpture. He himself emphasised this by exhibiting his furniture together with works of art of the day’. Discussing Finn Juhl’s house, which was completed in 1942, Hiorth continues to discuss the architect’s affinity to combine art and design: ‘A cherished dream had come true. Finn Juhl had always seen his furniture as part of a spatial effect. He believed that furniture, applied art, and fine art should form an entity in a home. He now had the opportunity to carry out this idea in practise’.

    The present lot is an example of Juhl’s reaction against standardisation, whilst attempting to subvert the formal, set by the once indomitable force of the The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture and Design under the architect Kaare Klint. Both Juhl’s and Vodder’s reputations are indissolubly connected, a symbiotic partnership that lasted productively for decades. Only the prodigious talent of the cabinetmaker Vodder could have produced such elegantly and sculpturally formed works of furniture designed by Juhl. When interviewed in 1981, by the Danish Journalist Mike Rømer for ‘Space and Form’, Juhl reminisced over the humble beginnings of his collaboration with Vodder: ‘It all began because I wanted to design a couple of tables for myself and the apartment I had received during my time at the Art Academy. As I knew Niels Vodder, the master cabinetmaker, through Mogens Voltelen, I asked him to make them for me. After that it was only natural that it also was Vodder whom I asked when I began to participate in the annual Fall Exhibition of the Cabinetmakers’.


Two-seater sofa, model no. FJ 53

designed 1953, produced 1950s
Brazilian rosewood, fabric, brass
73 x 127.5 x 77 cm (28 3/4 x 50 1/4 x 30 3/8 in.)
Executed by master cabinetmaker Niels Vodder, Copenhagen, Denmark. Designed 1953, produced 1950s.

HK$120,000 - 220,000 

Sold for HK$237,500

Contact Specialist
Jonathan Crockett
Deputy Chairman, Asia and Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Asia
+852 2318 2023

Isaure de Viel Castel
Head of Department
+852 2318 2011

Charlotte Raybaud
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2026

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 November 2018