Regular readers will already know of my affection for Danish manufacturing firm Carl Hansen, whose great foresight and abiding belief in the work of designer Hans Wegner led to some of the most iconic designs of the modern age. Lucky for us of the millennial generation, the contemporary incarnation of Carl Hansen & Son has made it their usual practice to re-issue Wegner’s work. Last month, we took a look at his wonderful CH 110 Desk; today, we’re fortunate to have in our purview his classic Wishbone Chair.
Wishbone Chair in Walnut and Black. Designed by Hans Wegner. Manufactured by Carl Hansen & Son.
The Classical Lines of Hans Wegner’s Wishbone Chair
Originally known as CH24, Wegner’s Wishbone Chair was first released in 1950, thus setting the stage for the ambitious science and compelling poetics of the Mid Century Modern, foreshadowed in CH24 as the surprising synthesis of hand-crafted steam bent wood and woven paper.
“A classically beautiful, light and sculptural dining chair,” Wegner’s Wishbone was the aesthetic antecedent of such trendsetting pieces as Gio Ponti’s Superleggera, one of the most iconic chairs to emerge from the 1950s. Most of the ingredients in Superleggera were first found in CH24, not limited to the excellent ratio of weight to strength, the preponderance of negative space, and the innovative seat material.
Any and all inhabitants of Wishbone’s inviting contours will find—much to their surprise, no doubt—that the durable and resilient padding beneath their bum is formed from skillfully sliced and carefully formed paper, “hand woven from 120 metres of paper cord that can last up to 50 years.”
That—in concert with the chair’s timelessly elegant silhouette and finish options in four different woods, six different lacquers, three different paint colors, and three different oil pigments—make Wishbone one for the archives. 60+ years after its debut, the chair has retained its charm and expanded its allure.
About the Manufacturer: In 2008, manufacturer Carl Hansen & Son celebrated their 100th. anniversary—quite an accomplishment for a family-run business that originally focused on bespoke furniture. Founder Carl Hansen operated his shop out of Odense, Denmark, where he “created everything from dining room sets to bedroom suites.” With the evolution of the times, the manufacturer began to focus on series production, while remaining ever-mindful of its origins and its excellent reputation for fine hand-crafted woodwork. In the late 40’s, Carl Hansen & Son brought young designer Hans Wegner into the fold. The rest, as they say, is history, as the Hansen-Wegner collaboration resulted in multiple iconic designs, including the CH 22-25 series chairs, the CH 110 Desk, and the CH 07 Shell Chair.