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Vintage Hans Wegner for C.M. Madsens 'W2' Chair in Oak; Denmark, 1950s For Sale
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Vintage Hans Wegner for C.M. Madsens 'W2' Chair in Oak; Denmark, 1950s


A lovely example of the early work of the 20th century's master of seating design, Hans J. Wegner. The sculpted oak backrest or top-rail employed here was developed as part of a family of innovative seating designs of the 1950s including Wegner's famous round chair, his cow-horn chair, the heart chair, as well as his rarer roman and bull chairs. The inclination, placement, shape, and body contact of the top-rail was an area of constant research and experimentation during Wegner's formative years as a designer. In an effort to produce the most ergonomically advanced seating in the world, Wegner was tireless in exploring new forms and systems of open-frame seating design. Having been trained as a cabinetmaker in his youth, and being an avid student of the history of design throughout his mature life, Wegner always prioritized strength and comfort in his chairs, this is one of the reasons that his work remains functional and collectable decades later.


  • Period
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Condition
  • Condition Details
    gorgeous patina, structurally perfect.
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 29.75 in. x W 19.5 in. x D 18 in.H 75.57 cm x W 49.53 cm x D 45.72 cm
  • Seat Height
    17.5 in. (44.45 cm)
  • Seller Location
    Brooklyn, NY
  • 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

5 / 5
Gold Seller
1stdibs seller since 2005
Located in Brooklyn, NY
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