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Fritz Hansen

Danish, 1847-1902

When the Copenhagen-based furniture maker Fritz Hansen opened for business more than 140 years ago, the company — which today styles itself The Republic of Fritz Hansen — adhered to the traditional, time-honored Danish values of craftsmanship in woodworking and joinery. Yet thanks to the postwar innovations of Arne Jacobsen and others, Fritz Hansen would become the country’s leader in Scandinavian modern design using new, forward-looking materials and methods.

Fritz Hansen started his company in 1872, specializing in the manufacture of small furniture parts. In 1915, the firm became the first in Denmark to make chairs using steam-bent wood (a technique most familiar from birch used in the ubiquitous café chairs by Austrian maker Thonet). At the time, Fritz Hansen was best known for seating that featured curved legs and curlicue splats and referenced 18th-century Chippendale designs.

In the next few decades, the company promoted simple, plain chairs with slatted backs and cane or rush seats designed by such proto-modernist masters as Kaare Klint and Søren Hansen. Still, the most aesthetically striking piece Fritz Hansen produced in the first half of the 20th century was arguably the China chair of 1944 by Hans Wegner — and that piece, with its yoke-shaped bentwood back- and armrest, was based on seating manufactured in China during the Ming dynasty. (Wegner was moved by portraits he’d seen of Danish merchants in the Chinese chairs.) 

Everything changed in 1952 with Arne Jacobsen’s Ant chair. The collaboration between the architect and Fritz Hansen officially originated in 1934 — that year, Jacobsen created his inaugural piece for the manufacturer, the solid beechwood Bellevue chair for a restaurant commission. The Ant chair, however, was the breakthrough.

With assistance from his then-apprentice Verner Panton, Jacobsen designed the Ant chair for the cafeteria of a Danish healthcare company called Novo Nordisk. The chair was composed of a seat and backrest formed from a single piece of molded plywood attached, in its original iteration, to three tubular metal legs. Its silhouette suggests the shape of the insect’s body, and the lightweight, stackable chair and its biomorphic form became an international hit.

Jacobsen followed with more plywood successes, such as the Grand Prix chair of 1957. The following year he designed the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen and its furnishings, including the Egg chair and the Swan chair. Those two upholstered pieces, with their lush, organic frames made of fiberglass-reinforced polyurethane, have become the two chairs most emblematic of mid-20th-century cool. Moreover, the Egg and Swan led Fritz Hansen to fully embrace new man-made materials, like foam, plastic and steel wire used to realize the avant-garde creations of later generations of designers with whom the firm collaborated, such as Piet Hein, Jørn Utzon (the architect of the Sydney Opera House) and Verner Panton. If the Fritz Hansen of 1872 would not now recognize his company, today’s connoisseurs certainly do.

Find a collection of vintage Fritz Hansen tables, lounge chairs, sofas and other furniture on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$4,679
Styles
Materials
Related Creators
"RO" Sofa by Fritz Hansen, Designed by Jaime Hayon
By Jaime Hayon, Fritz Hansen
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Jaime Hayon "RO" Sofa for Fritz Hansen. RO translates to Tranquility! Outer shell is a Charcoal Gray and Seat Back and Seat Cushion is a light gray. Sculptural Form looks great fr...
Category

2010s Polish Scandinavian Modern Fritz Hansen

Materials

Aluminum

Danish Art Deco 1930s Fritz Hansen Model 1588 Lounge Chairs, A Pair
By Fritz Hansen
Located in Oakland, CA
Wonderful pair of lounge chairs imported from Denmark. Model 1588, made by Fritz Hansen during the 1930s. Solid oak frames and freshly upholstered striped Danish wool cushions. Rare ...
Category

1930s Danish Art Deco Vintage Fritz Hansen

Materials

Fabric, Oak

Denmark Three-seater sofa 3303 Airport by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen, 1993
By Fritz Hansen, Arne Jacobsen
Located in MIlano, IT
Denmark Three-seater sofa 3303 Airport by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen, 1993 Three-seater sofa mod. 3303 Airport with square seat and backrest, padded and covered in red fabric. Sq...
Category

1990s Danish Modern Fritz Hansen

Materials

Metal

Poul Kjaerholm "PK22" Lounge Chairs for Fritz Hansen in Cognac Leather, 1956
By Fritz Hansen, Poul Kjærholm
Located in Brescia , Brescia
Iconic Poul Kjaerholm PK22 Lounge Chairs in Leather (2003 Pair) Discover timeless elegance with this exquisite pair of Poul Kjaerholm PK22 Lounge Chairs, a testament to mid-century ...
Category

1950s Danish Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fritz Hansen

Materials

Steel

Pantonova 125T Chair by Vernor Panton for Fritz Hansen, circa 1970
By Fritz Hansen, Verner Panton
Located in Surbiton, GB
Reclining lounge chair from Vernor Panton’s wire Pantonova range produced by Fritz Hansen in the 1970s. Formed from a sculptural chrome plated wire framed and cushion upholstered in ...
Category

1970s Danish Space Age Vintage Fritz Hansen

Materials

Steel, Chrome

Folke Ohlsson for Fritz Hansen MCM Lounge Chair in Green Upholstery, a Pair
By Fritz Hansen, Folke Ohlsson
Located in Plainview, NY
A pair of Mid-Century Modern lounge or easy chairs designed by Folke Ohlsson (Sweden, 1919-2003) for Fritz Hansen ( established - Denmark 1872 by Cabinet Maker Fritz Hansen). These conformable and fine lounge chairs model 0863 were crafted and designed in Denmark in 1957. Made of beach wood, the stylish chairs feature a green upholstery, clean lines and distinctly tapered legs. The wing-shaped armrests add comfort and elegance to the MCM chairs...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Mid-Century Modern Fritz Hansen

Materials

Upholstery, Beech

Arne Jacobsen Violet Wool Chrome Steel 3300/2 "Airport" Sofa for Fritz Hansen
By Fritz Hansen
Located in San Gabriel, CA
First designed in 1956, this sofa has a foil label to the underside: FH / Fritz Hansen / Made in Denmark. The two-seater sofa, upholstered in violet-colored wool, is in very good con...
Category

1980s Danish Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fritz Hansen

Materials

Chrome

Six Piece Verner Panton for Fritz Hansen Pantonova Modular Seating System
By Fritz Hansen, Verner Panton
Located in Ferndale, MI
Roger Moore-era James Bond classic Verner Panton Pantonova system seating . Modular grouping of six pieces . One convex one concave two straight ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Mid-Century Modern Fritz Hansen

Materials

Chrome

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Fritz Hansen furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Fritz Hansen furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wood and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Fritz Hansen furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 751 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 309 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Fritz Hansen were created in the mid-century modern style in europe during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Arne Jacobsen, Børge Mogensen, and Hans J. Wegner. Prices for Fritz Hansen furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $149 and can go as high as $100,189, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $3,342.

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