Hans J. Wegner - Design New York Thursday, June 6, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Fritz Hansen, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, circa 1968

  • Literature

    Af Jørn Rubow, "Udstillingen i Kunstindustrimuseet," Nyt Tidsskrift For Kunstindustri, no. 6, June 1944, p. 90
    Ingvar Bergström, “Danskt i Röhsska Konstslöjdmuseet,” Nyt Tidsskrift For Kunstindustri, no. 10, October 1945, p. 119
    Christian Holmsted Olesen, Wegner: just one good chair, exh. cat., Design Museum Denmark, Copenhagen, 2014, pp. 114, 121

  • Catalogue Essay

    The young Hans Wegner, seeing an illustration of an eighteenth-century Chinese chair for export in Ole Wanscher’s Møbeltyper (1932), was impressed by the harmonious relationship between the solid square seat and legs and the delicate and airy arms and back. Following this initial inspiration, Wegner's designs in the late 1930s for a China chair reflected his colleague Arne Jacobsen’s 1934 piece—rectilinear and solid, utilizing steam-bent beech wood, a wood typical to Danish furniture. In the 1940s, the furniture firm Fritz Hansen sought to mitigate wartime beech wood shortages, asking Wegner to design a chair with a rounded top rail that could be made from two pieces instead of one long piece. Wegner’s answer was this updated China chair, incorporating a steam-bent top rail, tapered legs, and a curvilinear appearance that merges Danish simplicity with the elegance and angularity of traditional Chinese chair forms. Wegner continued to draw from this formal dynamic, following the China chairs with a design for his iconic Wishbone chairs in 1949.

Property from a Private Collection, California


Set of eight "China" chairs, model no. 4283

designed 1944, executed 1968
Brazilian rosewood, Niger leather upholstery.
Each: 32 1/8 x 21 5/8 x 21 5/8 in. (81.5 x 55 x 55 cm)
Manufactured by Fritz Hansen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Underside of each with manufacturer's label printed FH/MADE IN DENMARK/BY FRITZHANSEN/FURNITUREMAKERS/DANISH/CONTROL and with four-digit date codes.

$30,000 - 40,000 

Sold for $68,750

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New York Auction 6 June 2019