Finn Juhl, Rare Teak Coffee Table FJ-57, 1950s
About the Item
- Dimensions:Height: 17.33 in (44 cm)Width: 39.38 in (100 cm)Depth: 39.38 in (100 cm)
- Style:Scandinavian Modern (Of the Period)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Place of Origin:
- Date of Manufacture:1957
- Seller Location:Paris, FR
- Reference Number:Seller: 7501stDibs: LU1532211684081
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 1stDibs, 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.
One of the greatest cabinetmakers in Denmark, Niels Vodder had an illustrious career in Danish furniture. And just as like-minded duos Kaare Klint and Rudolph Rasmussen or Hans Wegner and Johannes Hansen had, Vodder — in partnership with Finn Juhl for more than 20 years — set a high standard for Scandinavian modernism.
Vodder had already established his position as an in-demand cabinetmaker by the time Juhl came into his small workshop in 1937. Juhl — a pioneer of 20th-century Danish design and a pivotal figure in the introduction of Danish modern in the United States — had often authored technically complicated designs that other woodworkers found impossible to execute. Vodder, however, would prove otherwise through his skill and ingenuity. Together, the two ushered in an era of innovative Danish design to an international audience at annual Cabinetmakers’ Guild exhibitions in Copenhagen.
Some of Juhl’s most iconic lounge chairs, such as the NV 45 chair and the Chieftain chair, were first built by Vodder. Most of the seating executed by Vodder was done in teak, although some chairs were handcrafted in mahogany, rosewood and other attractive woods. The Chieftain, formally the FJ 49 A, won the Danish Design Award in the “Classic” category, while the NV 45 can be found in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Juhl’s FJ 51 chair was featured in the United Nations Trusteeship Council chamber — designing and furnishing the chamber was one of Juhl’s notable accomplishments in the early 1950s.
One of the keys to the pair’s success lay in the combination of Juhl’s self-taught approach and Vodder’s progressive outlook on his trade. The latter's workshop was modest in size and he was a pioneer with respect to the use of subcontractors in manufacturing, while Juhl had no formal training in furniture design. Juhl's early ambition was to pursue art history; instead, at his father’s request, he earned a degree in architecture. His studies and enthusiasm for art resulted in inspired pieces that were free from traditional norms, while Vodder possessed the technical prowess to refine and bring these ideas to fruition.
As Ejnar Pedersen — founder of P.P. Møbler — once said, “ (I)f we had no Niels Vodder, we would not have had the Finn Juhl we know today.” Vodder passed away in 1982.
- ShippingRetrieving quote...Ships From: Lille, France
- Return PolicyA return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.
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