Hans J. Wegner - Design Evening New York Thursday, December 13, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, London
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2005

  • Literature

    Johan Møller Nielsen, Wegner en dansk møbelkunster, Copenhagen, 1965, p. 77
    Grete Jalk, ed., Dansk Møbelkunst gennem 40 aar, Volume 4: 1957-1966, Copenhagen, 1987, p. 123
    Jens Bernsen, Hans J. Wegner on Design, Copenhagen, 1995, p. 23
    Christian Holmsted Olesen, Wegner: just one good chair, exh. cat., Design Museum Denmark, Copenhagen, 2014, p. 143 for a similar version

  • Catalogue Essay

    The “Roman” chair belongs to Hans Wegner’s round chair series in which the designer collaborated with the master cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen to produce a group of seating with tremendous top rails and of bovine nomenclature: the “Cowhorn,” “Buffalo,” and “Bull” chairs. These three designs were the antecedents to the “Roman” but all four were the descendants of the revered “Round” chair designed in 1950, which was immortalized by John F. Kennedy when he sat in one during a televised presidential debate. Designed in 1960, the “Roman” chair is the culmination of a decade of great design. In the same year the present model “Roman” chair was designed, it formed part of Wegner’s impressive stand at the Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition, where one critic stated: “it has the natural masculine appeal which is the hallmark of the master.” Another master and a contemporary of Wegner was Finn Juhl, the international Danish architect who was the progenitor of the harmonious top rail. His 1944 design for the “FJ 44” chair was a distinguishing influence upon Wegner’s round chair series, but it was antiquity that had the greatest influence as they were both inspired by the klismos chair from ancient Greece, hence the title “Roman” chair.


"Roman" armchair

circa 1960
Oak, leather.
28 1/4 x 29 1/4 x 19 5/8 in. (71.8 x 74.2 x 50 cm)
Executed by cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

$30,000 - 50,000 

Sold for $33,750

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Design Evening

New York Auction 13 December 2018