Hans J. Wegner GE6 Daybed Sofa for GETAMA
About the Item
- Dimensions:Height: 30 in (76.2 cm)Width: 76.75 in (194.95 cm)Depth: 33.75 in (85.73 cm)
- Style:Scandinavian Modern (Of the Period)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Date of Manufacture:circa 1960
- Seller Location:Brooklyn, NY
- Reference Number:Seller: OAM01241stDibs: LU954120192212
Hans J. Wegner
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 in 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.
The story of how GETAMA got its name is perhaps as unique as the range of subdued but sophisticated Scandinavian modern furniture for which the manufacturer is known (thanks to a partnership with Hans Wegner).
In the late 1890s in the Danish town of Gedsted, a young cabinetmaker by the name of Carl Pedersen opted to use seaweed — rather than the traditional heather or straw — as mattress stuffing. Pedersen named his new factory Gedsted Tang-og Madrasfabrik (the “Gedsted Seaweed and Mattress Factory”), which he abbreviated to GETAMA. Seaweed’s fire-retardant properties make it an excellent and safe upholstery material for mattresses, chairs and sofas. Pedersen leveraged this quality as a selling point — the abundance of seaweed on the shores of Denmark and its weightlessness added to its appeal as an economical but durable upholstery filling for all kinds of furnishings. The crowning quality was its softness.
GETAMA’s seaweed mattresses proved so popular for their comfort and durability that Pedersen had to expand into a larger factory within the first year. He felt almost obligated to launch a line of bedroom furniture to accompany his much-loved mattresses.
The working relationship established in 1959 between Hans Wegner and GETAMA afforded the company the opportunity to break into the international market. Wegner — a legendary Danish carpenter and furniture designer revered by mid-century modern collectors everywhere — became one of the brand’s principal designers and often spent a great deal of time at the factory — refining and adjusting each new piece until he felt satisfied that it was ready for production. For decades, Wegner’s impressive contributions to GETAMA’s daybeds, lounge chairs, sofas and dining room tables became the backbone of the company’s sales.
Over the years, other designers entered into working agreements with GETAMA, including Nissen & Gehl, OM Design, 2R Design, Blum and Balle, and Jørgen Gammelgaard. Copenhagen native Nanna Ditzel, a Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts alum who trained under Kaare Klint, designed GETAMA’s Mondial coffee table. Alongside her husband, Jørgen Ditzel, she also created the sensuously curvy and wildly popular Ring chair.
Today, the sleek modern furniture that GETAMA manufactures is still inclusive of their lauded mattresses.
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