Hans J. Wegner - Nordic Design London Wednesday, September 30, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, New England
    Skinner, Boston, '20th Century Design', 28 June 2008, lot 424
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Literature

    John Entenza, ed., arts & architecture, Los Angeles, November 1951, p. 30
    Johan Møller Nielson, Wegner en dansk møbelkunstner, Copenhagen, 1965, p. 64
    Grete Jalk, ed., Dansk Møbelkunst gennem 40 aar, Volume 3: 1947-1956, Copenhagen, 1987, p. 143
    Christian Holmsted Olesen, Wegner: just one good chair, exh. cat., Design Museum Denmark, Copenhagen, 2014, p. 186

  • Catalogue Essay

    The design of the present model and the related short 'Dolphin' armchair are a continuation of the 1949 'Folding' chair. Building on the rational perfection of this iconic chair design, Hans J. Wegner sought to add a sense of playfulness along with the functional aspect of armrests to the 'Dolphin' models. These chairs do not simply convey movement—here specifically the lyricism and speed of a dolphin in water—but they express it in their capacity to transform for transport and storage. The three folding chairs reflect Wegner’s continuing interest in flexibility and furniture’s adaptability to human forms and needs, topics 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'.

    There are approximately four known extant examples of the long 'Dolphin' folding armchair, one of which is in the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

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


Rare long 'Dolphin' folding armchair, model no. JH511

Oak, cane, brass.
94 x 71.1 x 149.9 cm (37 x 28 x 59 in.)
Executed by cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

£70,000 - 90,000 Ω

Sold for £80,500

Contact Specialist
Madalena Horta e Costa
Head of Sale
+44 20 7318 4019

Nordic Design

London Auction 1 October 2015