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Finn Juhl early pair of "Spade Chairs" in rosewood with blue mohair upholstery For Sale
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Finn Juhl early pair of "Spade Chairs" in rosewood with blue mohair upholstery

About

Finn Juhl early pair of "Spade Chairs" in rosewood with blue mohair upholstery. The Spade Chair: (Model FD133)" a pair. Produced by France & Søn. Designed 1954; these chairs are very early models. Each chair stamped with maker’s mark, and with metal labels. Rosewood frame, blue mohair velvet upholstery. This rare example of the "Spade Chair" chair was first designed by Finn Juhl for the “Home of the Future” exhibit in collaboration with Niels Vodder for their Stand at the 1954 Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition. Their aim was to present a comprehensive impression of a completely modern house in its ideal state, where luxury and utility are synthesized into timeless examples of excellent furniture making. Finn Juhl first put this chair into production with France & Søn, rather than with Niels Vodder. It was his first collaboration with the former. Typically made in teak, this pair is unusual not only because of the use of rosewood but also because of its construction. The chair was usually constructed with a slatted wood back (or with a wooden outer frame with springs instead of slats) and loose cushions. This pair, which is one of the very earliest versions of the chair, was constructed in the same way as the chair made by Niels Vodder for the 1954 “Home of the Future” exhibition, with a fully upholstered fixed seat and back without slats or springs to hold loose cushions in place. Literature Grete Jalk, ed., "40 Years of Danish Furniture Design: The Copenhagen Cabinet-makers’ Guild Exhibitions 1927-1966", Copenhagen, 1987, vol. 1II, 1947-1956, pp. 310-313, illustrated 313 (a prototype by Niels Vodder illustrated). Esbjørn Hiort, "Finn Juhl: Furniture, Architecture, Applied art", Copenhagen, 1990, pp. 60-61, illustrated and p. 117, illustrated. Noritsugu Oda, "Danish Chairs", Japan, 1996, p. 101, illustrated. Frederik Sieck, "Nutidig dansk møbeldesign", Copenhagen, 2002, p. 136, illustrated. Per H. Hansen and Klaus Petersen, "Den store danske møbelguide", Denmark, 2006, p. 173, illustrated. Per H. Hansen, "Finn Juhl and His House", Ostfildern, 2014, pp. 103-105, illustrated pp. 103 and 104.

Details

  • Condition
  • Dimensions
    H 27 in. x W 28.75 in. x D 27 in.H 68.58 cm x W 73.03 cm x D 68.58 cm
  • Seat Height
    16.5 in. (41.91 cm)
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Reference Number
    LU105502405262
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About Finn Juhl (Designer)

Along with Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen and Børge Mogensen, Finn Juhl was one of the great masters of mid-20th-century Danish design. Juhl was the first among that group to have his work promoted overseas, bringing the character of the nation’s furnishings — and the inherent principles of grace, craftsmanship and utility on which they were based — to an international audience. A stylistic maverick, Juhl embraced expressive, free-flowing shapes in chair and sofa designs much earlier than his colleagues, yet even his quietest pieces incorporate supple, curving forms that are at once elegant and ergonomic.

     As a young man, Juhl hoped to become an art historian, but his father steered him into a more practical course of study in architecture. He began designing furniture in the late 1930s, a discipline in which, despite his education, Juhl was self-taught, and quite proud of the fact. His earliest works, designed in the late 1930s, are perhaps his most idiosyncratic. The influence of contemporary art is clear in Juhl's 1939 “Pelican” chair: an almost Surrealist take on the classic wing chair. Critics reviled the piece, however; one said it looked like a "tired walrus." Juhl had tempered his creativity by 1945, when the Danish furniture-making firm Niels Vodder began to issue his designs. Yet his now-classic “NV 45” armchair still demonstrates panache, with a seat that floats above the chair’s teak frame.

     Juhl first exhibited his work in the United States in 1950, championed by Edgar Kaufmann Jr., an influential design critic and scion of America’s most prominent family of modern architecture and design patrons. (Kaufmann’s father commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright’s design of the house “Fallingwater.”) Juhl quickly won a following for such signature designs as the supremely comfortable “Chieftan” lounge chair, the biomorphic “Baker” sofa, and the “Judas” table, a piece ornamented with stylish inlaid silver plaquettes. As you will see from the offerings on these pages, Finn Juhl’s furniture — as well as his lighting, ceramics, tableware and accessories — has an air of relaxed sophistication and elegance that is unique in the realm of mid-20th- century design.

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