Hans J. Wegner - Design London Thursday, November 12, 2020 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Galerie Philippe Denys, Brussels
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2001

  • Literature

    Esbjørn Hiort, Modern Danish Furniture, New York, 1956, p. 68
    Johan Møller Nielson, Wegner en Dansk Møbelkunstner, Copenhagen, 1965, p. 101
    Grete Jalk, ed., Dansk Møbelkunst gennem 40 aar, Volume 3: 1947-1956, Copenhagen, 1987, pp. 99-101
    Frederik Sieck, Contemporary Danish Furniture Design - a short illustrated review, Copenhagen, 1990, p. 221
    Jens Bernsen, Hans J Wegner: om Design, exh. cat., Dansk Design Center, Copenhagen, 1995, pp. 13, 15, 24-25, 70, 92, 101, 111
    Bodil Busk Laursen, Søren Matz and Christian Holmsted Olesen, eds., Mesterværker: 100 års dansk møbelsnedkeri, Copenhagen, 2000, p. 128
    Christian Holmsted Olesen, Wegner: just one good chair, exh. cat., Design Museum Denmark, Copenhagen, 2014, pp. 6, 14, 16, 52, 63, 66, 82, 90, 133-35

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present model was exhibited at the 'Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild', Kunstindustrimuseet, Copenhagen, 30 September–16 October 1949, stand 12.

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

    To demonstrate the craftsmanship of the Danish cabinetmakers, Hans J. Wegner designed his ‘Round Chair’, model no. FH501 for the occasion of the 1949 Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild. Designed shortly before the exhibition opened, Wegner had not yet decided on his final solution for the joinery between the back support and armrests. Therefore, the early version exhibited in 1949 with a cane seat also featured caning around the back support to conceal the dowel joints. The following year, the American magazine Interiors, featured an article on the Cabinetmakers’ Guild exhibition and illustrated Wegner’s armchair. The design received high acclaim, becoming known simply as ‘The Chair’ in America, and leading to a large number of orders from Johannes Hansen’s workshop. In response to the armchair being exported internationally, Wegner designed a version with a leather seat, which was easier to maintain than the caning. By that time, he had also re-designed the curved top rail using turned W joints, which strengthened and further revealed the chair’s construction. That year, for the 1950 Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild, Wegner presented this second version of the armchair, model no. JH503. That autumn both model no. JH501 with cane seat and model no. JH503 with leather seat, now each with exposed top rails, went into production. However, at the request of several clients, Johannes Hansen continued to produce examples of the model no. JH501 with caned back support, including the present set of ten armchairs, until the mid-1950s.


Early set of ten 'The Chair' armchairs, model no. JH501

designed 1949, produced early-mid 1950s
Teak, cane.
Each: 76 x 62.7 x 53 cm (29 7/8 x 24 5/8 x 20 7/8 in.)
Executed by master cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Underside of each impressed JOHANNES HANSEN/COPENHAGEN/DENMARK and with manufacturer's stamp.

£25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for £30,240

Contact Specialist

Madalena Horta E Costa
Head of Sale, Associate Specialist
+44 20 7318 4019



London Auction 12 November 2020