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Iconic Papa Bear Armchair with Matching Ottoman, Denmark, Hans Wegner, 1960s


Iconic Papa Bear armchair with matching ottoman, for AP Stolen, Denmark, Hans Wegner, 1960s Original frame Reupholstered in Fabric similar to original by Peer Brohl Mobelpolstring (original upholsterer) Armchair: Dimension: H 96 cm, D 92cm, W 81cm, Seat H 41 cm Ottoman: H 39 cm, D 42 cm, W 70 cm The Papa Bear chair seems to refer to the animal kingdom with its characteristically playful and organic design. The chair received its name after a critic had referred to its armrests as 'great bear paws embracing you from behind'. In the later years, The Papa Bear chair has been one of the most popular Wegner designs of all. Be embraced by the great bear paws of this all time maximum comfort easy chair. Consider it an investment for life as gifted Danish craftsmen spend at least two weeks hand crafting each chair to the highest standards. The solid wooden frame is strongly joint and shaped to form a solid base for the comprehensive traditional upholstery work. Four natural materials constitute the comfortable upholstery: cotton fibre, palm fibre, flax fibre and horsehair. And of course metal springs, providing sensitive support for the back. With this kind of genuine upholstery you will have a chair that will wear in rather than wear out. This chair will be softer and even more comfortable with the use that is applied to it. Initiating production of the frames in 1951, the Papa Bear chair was the first Hans J. Wegner design to be produced at PP Møbler, and it marked the beginning of a life-long passionate collaboration involving generations of craftsmen and countless hours of work in the workshop developing prototypes and production techniques for numerous Wegner models. And yet the Papa Bear chair remains the most exclusive piece of them all.


  • Materials and Techniques
  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 38.59 in. x W 36.23 in. x D 31.89 in.H 98 cm x W 92 cm x D 81 cm
  • Seat Height
    16.15 in. (41 cm)
  • Seller Location
    Saint-Ouen, FR
  • Seller Reference Number
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Reference Number
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About Hans J. Wegner (Designer)

Best known for his chairs and seating pieces — though a master of many furniture types like sofas and tables — Hans Wegner was a prolific designer whose elegant, often ebullient, forms and devotion to the finest methods in joinery made "Danish Modern" a popular byword for stylish, well-made furniture in the mid-20th century.

     Wegner considered himself a carpenter first and a furniture designer second. Like his peers Arne Jacobsen and Finn Juhl, Wegner believed that striking aesthetics in furniture were based on a foundation of practicality: a chair must be comfortable and sturdy before it is chic.

     In keeping with that tenet, several of Wegner’s best chair designs, seen in dealer listings below, have their roots in traditional seating forms. The “Peacock chair” (designed 1947) is a throne-like adaptation of the Windsor chair; pieces from the “China chair” series (begun in 1944) as well as the 1949 “Wishbone chair,” with its distinctive Y-shaped back splat, are derived from 17th-century Ming seating pieces, as is the upholstered “Ox chair” (1960). Wegner’s comfy “Papa Bear chair” (1951) is an almost surreally re-scaled English wingback chair.

     Wegner’s most representative piece, the “Round chair” (1949), gained a footnote in political history when it was used on the TV stage of the first Kennedy-Nixon debate of 1960. That chair, along with Wegner’s more bravura designs, for example the 1963 “Shell chair,” with its curved surfboard-shaped seat, bring a quietly sculptural presence to a room. Wegner was a designer who revered his primary material — wood — and it shows. His wood gathers patina and character with age; every Hans Wegner piece testifies to the life it has led.

About the Seller

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1stdibs seller since 2015
Located in Saint-Ouen, FR
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