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E. Kold Christensen Lighting

Danish

Founded in Hellerup, Denmark, by entrepreneur Ejvind Kold Christensen, furniture manufacturer E. Kold Christensen was instrumental in advancing the career of Poul Kjærholm, a revered Danish cabinetmaker who brought a graceful and sleek new style to Scandinavian design.

Christensen and Kjærholm formed not only a close friendship but also a fruitful business partnership that endured for decades. The company produced most of Kjærholm’s acclaimed armchairs, stools and lounge chairs — which were often framed in brushed steel and upholstered in leather — until Kjærholm’s death in 1980.

Christensen began his career as a sales manager for the furniture manufacturer Carl Hansen & Søn. In the late 1940s, Christensen introduced the young Hans Wegner to Carl’s son, Holger Hansen — who was by then running his family’s legendary company — after recognizing the potential of this new designer. Wegner, Hansen and Christensen solidified their partnership by forming SALESCO — a marketing company with the sole purpose of promoting Wegner’s now universally celebrated body of work

In the mid-1950s, Christensen partnered with promising designer Kjærholm — their pairing was the result of Wegner recommending that Christensen help develop Kjærholm (Wegner had been a teacher of Kjærholm’s at what is now the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts). Christensen established his eponymous company with the singular goal of manufacturing his friend’s works. 

E. Kold Christensen’s founder offered Kjærholm the room he needed to explore the structural potential of steel in furniture-making — he created forward-looking seating, tables and other pieces that reflected the influence of modernist designers such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich rather than the output of his Scandinavian peers, who worked primarily with wood. (Kjærholm would later experiment with wood during the 1970s.) 

The refined PK22 chair, a lounger made of steel with a seat of leather or canvas has over time been compared to Mies and Reich’s Barcelona chair and is a fine example of Kjærholm’s mid-century innovations for E. Kold Christensen. It was an instant commercial success — launching both the designer's and manufacturer's careers. Later, Kjærholm’s iconic PK24 chair merged stainless steel, leather and a sinuous seat of woven wicker, while his PK61 coffee table offered a fanciful, off-center support structure for its glass top. By 1960, Kjærholm had twice been awarded the Grand Prize at the Milan Triennale.

In the 1980s, E. Kold Christensen sold the production rights to a range of Kjærholm’s work to Fritz Hansen, where the designer had incidentally worked for a short time in the early 1950s (the company now has rights to the complete collection) . Many of Kjærholm’s works are part of collections at the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, while museums in Norway, Denmark, Germany and Sweden also have his works — each produced by E. Kold Christensen — in their permanent collections. 

On 1stDibs, find vintage E. Kold Christensen chairs, tables, lighting and more.

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Creator: E. Kold Christensen
Poul Kjaerholm chandelier model PK 101
By E. Kold Christensen, Poul Kjærholm
Located in Brussels, BE
POUL KJAERHOLM, model PK 101, chandelier, executed at Kold Christensen in Denmark, purchased in 1965 bij Metz & Co., previous owner was working at that company. De PK 101 kan be plac...
Category

1960s Danish Mid-Century Modern Vintage E. Kold Christensen Lighting

Materials

Stainless Steel

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E. Kold Christensen lighting for sale on 1stDibs.

E. Kold Christensen lighting are available for sale on 1stDibs.

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