Hans J. Wegner - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale Hong Kong Saturday, November 25, 2017 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Zealand, Denmark, acquired late 1950s

  • Literature

    Svend Erik Møller, 'The Cabinetmakers Exhibition 1950', Dansk Kunsthaandværk, no. 11, November 1950, p. 203
    John Entenza, ed., 'Reclining chairs, Hans J. Wegner, Designer' Arts & Architecture, vol. 68, no. 10, November 1951, p. 30
    Grete Jalk, ed., Dansk Møbelkunst gennem 40 aar, Volume 3: 1947-1956, Copenhagen, 1987, p. 142
    Christian Holmsted Olesen, Wegner: just one good chair, exh. cat., Design Museum Denmark, 2014, p. 184

  • Catalogue Essay

    The architect Hans J. Wegner infused a deep sense of playfulness into his 'Dolphin' lounge chair. This rare model conveys the movement and energy, specifically the lyricism and speed of a dolphin in the ocean—culminating in the sculptural carved cantilevered armrests that boldly project forward motion. In its modernist beauty and superb craftsmanship, the 'Dolphin' is a poetic example of the fruitful collaboration of Wegner and the esteemed Copenhagen master cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen. The 'Dolphin' stands out as a clear and profound expression of the designer's deeply-felt humanist interest in furniture’s adaptability to human forms and needs. In this case the modern capacity to transform for transport, subjects he would explore throughout his career as he refined the expression of his ideas and values through furniture. In Wegner’s own words: “I have the feeling that the more I work on it, the more it keeps moving farther and farther away. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. You can’t make something definitive”.

    The present model was exhibited at the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers' Guild, Kunstindustrimuseet, Copenhagen, 22 September-8 October 1950, Stand 19.

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


Rare 'Dolphin' folding armchair, model no. JH510

designed 1950, produced late 1950s
oak, cane, brass
98 x 72.7 x 90.3 cm (38 5/8 x 28 5/8 x 35 1/2 in.)
Executed by master cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Designed in 1950, produced late 1950s.

HK$750,000 - 1,200,000 

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20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 November 2017