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Colonial Chair
Iconic Designs

Colonial Chair

About the Design

In creating his seminal work, the Colonial chair, in 1949, Danish designer Ole Wanscher (1903–85) found the ideal balance between minimalism and traditionalism through a simple silhouette, slim wooden framework and plush leather cushions. While Wanscher may not be a household name today in the way that his Danish contemporaries Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl and Hans Wegner are, he played a prominent role in mid-century Scandinavian design and is greatly respected by furniture historians.

Raised by an art historian father, Wanscher developed an appreciation for the arts at an early age, eventually going on to study architecture and furniture design under modernist master Kaare Klint at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. After graduating, he worked for Klint’s practice before starting his own firm. Then, after Klint’s death in 1954, Wanscher took over Klint’s academic role until his own retirement from the academy in 1973. His professional accolades include the Copenhagen Carpenters’ Guild Annual Award and the gold medal at the 1960 Milan Triennale.

An avid historian himself, Wanscher also traveled the world to study designs from different cultures and was particularly interested in furniture from Egypt, Greece and China, as well as from the Shaker movement and the Vienna Secession. He’d later publish the results of his global studies in The Art of Furniture: 5,000 Years of Furniture and Interiors. This approach, rooted in history, which was largely inspired by Klint’s own philosophy, set Wanscher apart from the segment of Scandinavian modernists who eschewed the past for the present and the future.

For the Colonial chair, Wanscher drew inspiration from 18th-century English furniture, namely ladder-backed chairs by Thomas Chippendale. He crafted the slim frame of roundwood timber, using curved armrests and legs — a Wanscher signature element — and thoughtfully placed mortise-and-tenon joints to create stability. And although the finished product radiates a sense of careful craftsmanship, Wanscher designed the Colonial chair to be easily manufactured: Its wood frame, woven cane seat and leather cushions can each be produced separately and joined at a later stage.

The Colonial chair was originally manufactured by P. Jeppesens Møbelfabrik, for whom Wanscher also designed the Colonial sofa and the Colonial coffee table to complete the Colonial collection. Today the chair is manufactured by Carl Hansen & Søn and sold alongside a footrest. It remains a crowd-pleaser with its timeless, elegant yet simple form.

Ole Wanscher Colonial Chair

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Ole Wanscher Colonial Chair, PJ-149, for Carl Hansen & Son, Danish Design, 1990s
By Carl Hansen & Søn, Ole Wanscher
Located in Antwerpen, BE
Colonial easy chair with ottoman, model PJ-149, designed by Ole Wanscher and produced by Carl Hansen & Son around 1990. An iconic design in solid oak finished with burgundy leather c...
Category

1990s Danish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs

Materials

Leather, Oak

Pair of Ole Wanscher Colonial Armchair Model 149
By Ole Wanscher, Carl Hansen & Søn
Located in Oakland, CA
A pair of Ole Wanscher Colonial 149 armchairs in walnut, with cane seats and green fabric cushions. These are newer production pieces produced within the last 25 years or so. Sculpt...
Category

Early 2000s Danish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs

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Fabric, Walnut

Colonial Easy Chairs in Mahogany, Woven Cane and Fabric by Ole Wanscher, 1960's
By Ole Wanscher
Located in Limhamn, Skåne län
Pair of Easy Chairs in Mahogany, Woven Cane and Original Fabric by Ole Wanscher, 1960's Additional Information: Material: Mahogany, woven cane and original fabric Style: Mid century...
Category

20th Century Danish Scandinavian Modern Chairs

Materials

Mahogany, Fabric, Cane

Ole Wanscher Tall Cabinet for A.J. Iversen, Denmark
By Ole Wanscher
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Materials

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Colonial Chair PJ 149 Ole Wanscher from 1949
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Located in PARIS, FR
Delicacy, elegance and quality of execution are what best describes the design of Ole Wanscher, considered one of the greatest names in Danish design. It finds its inspiration in cla...
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PJ 149 “Colonial” Armchair by Ole Wanscher, Denmark, 1949
By Ole Wanscher
Located in Utrecht, NL
The Colonial chair is one of Danish designer, Ole Wanscher’s key designs, drawing influence from British and French colonial furniture from t...
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Pair of Mahogany Colonial Chairs by Ole Wanscher
By Ole Wanscher, Poul Jeppesen
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Ole Wanscher (Danish, 1903-1985). Pair of Colonial Chairs designed by Ole Wanscher. Crafted in solid mahogany with woven rattan cane seat a...
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Ole Wanscher armchair Model "Colonial" PJ 149 , Denmark, 1960
By Ole Wanscher
Located in Paris, FR
Ole Wanscher, armchairs, "Colonial Chair PJ 149", Mahogany Poul Jeppesen, Denmark. Rare model in white lacquered Mahogany Good condition A pair is available, the price for 1 item.
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

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Ole Wanscher Rosewood Colonial Lounge Chair, 1949
By Ole Wanscher, Poul Jeppesen
Located in London, GB
Ole Wanscher - Model PJ-149 Colonial Chair, 1949 Ole Wanscher's iconic career high-point: the Colonial Chair was designed in 1949 and produced by master cabinetmaker Poul Jeppesen in Denmark throughout the 1950s. It references colonial-era furniture from the UK and France as well 18th century American shaker furniture...
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Danish Teak Easy Chair by Ole Wanscher, 1950s
By Ole Wanscher, France & Søn
Located in St-Brais, JU
Midcentury easy chair designed by Danish Professor Ole Wanscher. Made in Denmark by France & Søn during the 1950s. This rare vintage model FD-109 lo...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

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Ole Wanscher Rosewood Colonial Chair 1949
By Ole Wanscher, Poul Jeppesen
Located in London, GB
Ole Wanscher - PJ-149 colonial chair, 1949. Ole Wanscher's Colonial chair is the arguably the high-point of his long and distinguished career. This example was produced in exquisite, highly-figured rosewood with woven rattan cane seat. The chair comes with the original patinated black leather, feather filled cushions. It was produced by cabinetmaker Poul Jeppesen in Denmark c1950s. Wanscher brought together influences from French, British and American colonial furniture...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

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1960’s Ole Wanscher ‘OW 149’ or ‘Colonial’ Armchair in Mahogany and Leather
By Ole Wanscher, Poul Jeppesens Møbelfabrik
Located in Madrid, ES
Ole Wanscher Model ‘OW 149’ or ‘Colonial’ armchair for Poul Jeppessen Møbelfabrik. Sweden, 1960s. Ole Wanscher was a key player in Denmark's Mid-Century Modern movement. In the pos...
Category

Vintage 1960s Swedish Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

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Ole Wanscher Pair of Vintage Rosewood Colonial Chairs, 1950s
By Ole Wanscher, Poul Jeppesen
Located in London, GB
Ole Wanscher PJ-149 Colonial chair, 1949 A fine pair of Ole Wanscher's most iconic design: The colonial chair. Produced by Poul Jeppesen in Denmark circa 1950s in exquisite Brazilian rosewood with original woven rattan cane seat and feather cushions covered in new pale linen fabric. The colonial chair was Wanscher's homage to American...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

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Vintage Danish Design Colonial Lounge Chair and Ottoman, by Ole Wanscher, 1950s
By Ole Wanscher, Poul Jeppesen
Located in Renens, CH
Vintage Danish design Colonial lounge chair and ottoman, by Ole Wanscher, 1950s Designed by Ole Wanscher, one of the leading figures of the 20th century Scandinavian design movement. The colonial chair is considered by many to be Ole Wanscher’s masterpiece, influenced by the 18th century colonial period furniture. Compared to other colonial style chairs...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

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Ole Wanscher Rosewood 1st Edition Colonial Chair, 1949
By Ole Wanscher, Poul Jeppesen
Located in London, GB
Ole Wanscher PJ-149 colonial chair, 1949 The colonial chair is one of Wanscher’s best loved and most iconic designs, drawing influence from British and French Colonial furniture...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Leather, Rattan, Rosewood

Ole Wanscher Vintage Rosewood Colonial Chair, 1950s
By Ole Wanscher, Poul Jeppesen
Located in London, GB
Ole Wanscher PJ-149 Colonial chair, 1949 A Fine example of Ole Wanscher's most iconic design: The Colonial Chair. Produced by Poul Jeppesen in Denmark c1950s in exquisite Brazi...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Leather, Rattan, Rosewood

Ole Wanscher Pair of Rosewood Colonial Chairs, 1950s
By Ole Wanscher, Poul Jeppesen
Located in London, GB
Ole Wanscher PJ-149 Colonial chairs, 1949. These examples made from Brazilian rosewood with woven rattan cane seats. Produced by Poul Jeppesen, Denmark, circa 1950s. Cognac bro...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Leather, Rattan, Rosewood

Ole Wanscher Colonial Chair in Rosewood
By Ole Wanscher
Located in San Francisco, CA
Ole Wanscher design "Colonial" chair for Paul Jeppsen, Denmark. Made with a solid rosewood frame and cane seat with chocolate brown leather cushions, labeled.
Category

Vintage 1940s Danish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs

Materials

Rosewood

Mid-Century Modern Scandinavian Colonial Armchair in Walnut by Ole Wanscher
By Carl Hansen & Søn, Ole Wanscher
Located in Courbevoie, FR
Mid-Century Modern Scandinavian Colonial armchair OW 149 in walnut by Ole Wanscher. Oiled walnut frame. Removable seat in cane. Cushions available in fabric, Loke leather or Sif leat...
Category

Vintage 1940s European Armchairs

Materials

Walnut

Ole Wanscher, Pair of Colonial Chairs, model PJ149, 1st Edition 1949, Rosewood
By Poul Jeppesens Møbelfabrik, Ole Wanscher
Located in Wargrave, Berkshire
Ole Wanscher for Poul Jeppesens, Mobelfabrik, Denmark, model no. PJ149, Colonial chairs, designed 1949 This pair of chairs in Brazilian Rosewood with beautiful graining and patina t...
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Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

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Ole Wanscher 'Colonial Chair' 'OW 149' for Carl Hansen & Sons
By Ole Wanscher
Located in Stamford, CT
Ole Wanscher 'Colonial Chair' (OW 149) for Carl Hansen & Sons. Chair frame is oak with drop in caned frame seat and purple canvas cushions.
Category

Late 20th Century Danish Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

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Ole Wanscher Colonial Armchair
By Ole Wanscher
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Ole Wanscher Colonial Armchair Designed in 1949 and Produced by Poul Jeppesen. Store formerly known as ARTFUL DODGER INC
Category

Vintage 1940s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Cane, Leather, Mahogany

Ole Wanscher "Colonial " arm chair
By Ole Wanscher, Poul Jeppesen
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Ole Wanscher "Colonial" arm chair designed in 1949 produced by P. Jeppesen. Store formerly known as ARTFUL DODGER INC
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs

Materials

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