A five-chair cheer for Hans J. Wegner

Written by Sara Black

Photography Supplied


The 100th birthday of Hans J. Wegner, the great Dane, is celebrated via designer Ilse Crawford in the form of five limited-edition release new colourways.

Once only associated with state and dignity, the chair has come strides and now considered a piece of furniture for ordinary use. And, really, a piece that is now widely overused in the 21st century (we sit too much).

What’s in a Wishbone?

In his formative years, Hans J. Wenger had the now-age-inappropriate job as a child apprentice to a master cabinetmaker, by the name of H.F. Stahlberg. 1920s Germany sure was a different time. Upon finishing his apprenticeship and three more years in the studio, Wegner had a taste of army life, a stint at the Danish School of Arts and Crafts and finally landed on his feet at the Architectural Academy in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Fast forward to 1938 and Hans found himself a job under the design greats Erik Møller, Flemming Lassen and, subsequently, Arne Jacobsen. He was tasked with designing the furniture for the Aarhus City Hall and nailed it.

And so, this brings us to the Wishbone Chair. Also known as the CH24 Chair or Y Chair, Hans designed the piece for Carl Hansen and Søn in 1949 and it very quickly became a best-selling hit. Taking inspiration from the round seats of the once-Ming-ruled China, with its hind legs steam-bent into a curve that taper to join a circular steam-bent back rail, the chair was a creative and innovative masterpiece.

On what would have been Hans’ 100th birthday, manufacturer Carl Hansen and Søn celebrate with a limited-edition series. White, black, green and grey and red are on the menu, all in a soft matte finish.

Available only throughout June, July and August, get your pre-order head in the game to ensure you don’t miss out on a hand-crafted classic designed by the man dubbed ‘the master of the chair’. Head to purveyors of exquisite local and international design-led pieces, Cult, and add your name down for one, or several, Wishbones.

wishbone chairs

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