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Peacock Chair
Iconic Designs

Peacock Chair

About the Design

Not long before he debuted both “The Chair” — the ingeniously, appropriately named piece that exemplifies his dedication to purified form — and the revered and now oft-imitated Wishbone chair, Danish furniture designer Hans Wegner (1914–2007) released the Peacock chair, a gracefully arching, high-backed seat produced for PP Møbler in 1947.

Although certain elements of this Wegner design — a woven seat, shapely wooden frame, graceful form — would go on to become nearly synonymous with Danish mid-century furniture, the Peacock (official name: PP550) has roots in another design tradition: the Windsor chair. Recognized by its arched frame and spindle back, the Windsor has long been associated with Amish woodworking communities in the United States, though its origin can be traced back to England and Wales. English settlers brought the seats stateside and they quickly gained popularity in North America, enduring through colonial times and into 20th-century American style.

But back to Denmark: While Wegner was a young student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen (where he enrolled in 1936), he became involved with the Carpenters’ Guild Furniture Exhibits, which showed experimental designs by Danish architects and sparked Wegner’s own interest in playing with traditional notions of design in furniture. He became fascinated with a process of “stripping the old chairs of their outer style and letting them appear in their pure construction,” a method that would inform much of his most important work. Soon after experimenting with traditional Ming chairs in his China chair series, Wegner set his sights on the Windsor, which he adapted in subtle yet significant ways that exemplify his modernist ethos.

First, the flattening of the spindles in an arc to follow the posture of the sitter, a nod to the modern notion of designing around the human body. Then, the paper-cord seat, a precursor to the Wishbone in a material designed as a replacement for jute, which was in short supply following World War II. Finally, rendering the frame in ash, a common species in Denmark and a favorite wood among Scandinavian mid-century designers.

Legend has it that it was actually Wegner contemporary Finn Juhl who saw the seat and proclaimed its resemblance to the showy bird, with the flattened spindles making up an arc of wood plumage. In any case, the name stuck, and PP Møbler continues to produce the Peacock chair under the moniker to this day.

Hans Wegner Peacock Chair

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Pr. Wegner Hansen Peacock Chairs
By Hans J. Wegner, Johannes Hansen
Located in New York, NY
Iconic pair of Danish Modern masterpieces, Peacock Chairs, designed by Has Wegner made by Johannes Hansen, Copenhagen Denmark, circa 1960's. Constructed of Ash, and Teak, with origin...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Scandinavian Modern Chairs

Materials

Ash, Teak

Hans J. Wegner JH-550 Peacock Chair for Johannes Hansen, 1960 Denmark
By Hans J. Wegner
Located in Oostrum-Venray, NL
Hans J. Wegner JH-550 Peacock chair for Johannes Hansen,1960 Denmark Hans J. Wegner JH-550 Peacock chair for Johannes Hansen Iconic 'Peacock' Chair Model JH-550 designed by archit...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Mid-Century Modern Windsor Chairs

Materials

Oak, Teak

Ash and Teak Peacock Chair by Hans Wegner for Johannes Hansen
By Hans J. Wegner, Johannes Hansen
Located in Dorchester, MA
A modern, exaggerated take on the classic Windsor chair, this iconic design from 1947, model JH550, is a fine example of Hans Wegner’s work. Best known by the name given it by fellow...
Category

Vintage 1940s Danish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs

Materials

Ash, Papercord, Teak

Midcentury Peacock Chair by Hans Wegner, 1950s
By Johannes Hansen, Hans J. Wegner
Located in Lejre, DK
Peacock chair designed by Hans J Wegner for master cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen. Made in Denmark in the mid-1950s. Great original condition.
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Ash, Teak

Midcentury Peacock Chair by Hans Wegner, 1950s
By Johannes Hansen, Hans J. Wegner
Located in Lejre, DK
Peacock chair designed by Hans J Wegner for master cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen. Made in Denmark in the mid-1950s. Great original condition.
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Ash, Teak

Hans J. Wegner Model JH 550 Peacock Chair
By Hans J. Wegner, Johannes Hansen
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Hans J. Wegner's iconic take on the windsor chair, designed in 1947 and produced by Johannes Hansen. A wonderful example for the Danish modern collector. The chair is in excellent re...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs

Materials

Oak, Papercord

Hans Wegner Peacock Chair
By Hans J. Wegner
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Hans Wegner Peacock Chair Designed in 1947 and Produced by Johannes Hansen. Chair is Signed with the Johannes Hansen signature. Store formerly known as ARTFUL DODGER INC
Category

Vintage 1940s Danish Mid-Century Modern Windsor Chairs

Materials

Ash, Teak

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