Hans J. Wegner, ‘'Valet’ chair, model no. JH540’, designed 1953, produced 1953, 1980s, Phillips

Executed by Cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Underside branded with manufacturer’s mark and JOHANNES HANSEN/COPENHAGEN/DENMARK.

The present model was exhibited at the 'Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild', Kunstindustrimuseet, Copenhagen, 25 September–11 October 1953, stand 2.

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

Johan Møller Nielson, Sitting Pretty: Wegner en Dansk Møbelkunstner, Copenhagen, 1965, pp. 56-58, 98
Grete Jalk, ed., Dansk Møbelkunst gennem 40 aar, Volume 3: 1947-1956, Copenhagen, 1987, pp. 246-47
Noritsugu Oda, Danish Chairs, San Francisco, 1996, pp. 116-17
Christian Holmsted Olesen, Wegner: just one good chair, exh. cat., Design Museum Denmark, Copenhagen, 2014, pp. 6, 65-66, 128

Private collection, Denmark

About Hans J. Wegner

Hans Wegner was a pioneer of Danish modern—a minimalist style of wood furniture—and one of Scandinavia’s most admired designers. Wegner trained as a cabinet maker before bringing the skills and techniques he acquired during his apprenticeship to furniture design. He worked predominantly with wood and other natural finishes, eschewing the industrial materials that largely defined modernism in the rest of Europe, and establishing the organic functionality that would become the hallmark of mid-century Scandinavian design. A prolific designer, Wegner created over three hundred chairs during his career and garnered international recognition for several of his designs. Chief among them was an armchair that earned a place in the Museum of Modern Art’s Low-Cost Furniture Design competition in 1948, and the Wishbone Chair (1950), whose clean construction and elegantly tapered lines embody the visual warmth and lightness that became associated with Wegner’s work.

Danish, 1914-2007, Tonder, Denmark, based in Copenhagen, Denmark