Peter Hvidt Solid Teak Coffee or Cocktail Table for France & Sons
About the Item
- Dimensions:Height: 15.75 in (40 cm)Width: 57.49 in (146 cm)Depth: 21.26 in (54 cm)
- Style:Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Place of Origin:
- Date of Manufacture:circa 1950
- Condition:Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Minor structural damages. Minor fading.
- Seller Location:Saint-Ouen, FR
- Reference Number:1stDibs: LU170527323433
One half of the influential Danish furniture duo Hvidt and Mølgaard, architect and designer Peter Hvidt created shapely works in teak and rosewood that could be mass-produced and transported at a scale rarely seen before his time. Alongside his business partner, Aalborg-born designer Orla Mølgaard-Nielsen, the pair crafted furniture which stands today as a masterclass in the combination of elegance and practicality that is typical of Scandinavian modernism.
Hvidt was born in Copenhagen in 1916. He studied architecture and cabinetry, and graduated from the School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen. Hvidt established his own design firm in 1940 and taught for three years at his former school, during which he designed the teak Portex chair — Denmark’s first stacking chair (this design has alternatively been attributed to Hvidt’s partnership with Mølgaard-Nielsen over the years).
The exceptional collaboration between Hvidt and Mølgaard-Nielsen took shape in 1944. A student of pioneering Danish modernist designer and architect Kaare Klint and fellow graduate of the School of Arts and Crafts, Mølgaard brought his technical prowess and eye for practical design to the partnership. Together, for more than three decades, Hvidt and Mølgaard would produce over 250 furniture designs, a legacy that included the iconic AX chair.
A masterpiece of technical expertise and innovative woodworking, the sculptural AX armchair was designed in collaboration with manufacturer Fritz Hansen during the late 1940s. It features double-curved laminated wood in the seat and back, and is an early example of knock-down furniture. This meant that it could be easily dismantled and assembled at its destination, which rendered the chair economical for transport on cargo ships and therefore could reach a worldwide audience. The AX went into production in 1950 and eventually gave way to a series that featured tables and other seating.
Hvidt’s proclivity for forward-looking design was typical of the venturesome furniture makers of the mid-century modern era. This extended to textures and materials, too — he believed that a tasteful combination of materials could add character and visual intrigue. With Mølgaard-Nielsen, Hvidt designed streamlined coffee tables, rosewood chairs upholstered with sumptuous black leather and teak side tables with cane shelves (teak was a sought-after material for designers at the time).
The duo’s work with celebrated manufacturers Fritz Hansen, France & Søn and Søborg Møbelfabrik has been a part of exhibitions at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen’s Design Museum and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.
France & Søn
After businessman Charles William Fearnley France (1897–1972) moved from his native England to Denmark in 1936, he began to operate a small mattress factory alongside his friend Eric Daverkosen, a Danish cabinetmaker, under the name France & Daverkosen. Shortly afterward, Daverkosen passed away, and when Denmark was invaded during the Second World War, Charles was captured and sent to a prison camp in Germany. When he was released, the British entrepreneur set out to produce furniture in the early 1950s, setting up a shop in Hillerød to manufacture the kind of sleek beech and teak goods that were gaining widespread acclaim around the world. In 1957, France’s son James joined the business, and the company changed its name to reflect the addition.
Throughout the ’50s and ’60s, France & Søn produced a stunning array — and staggering quantity — of designs, with elegant modernist lounge chairs and armchairs, teak and rosewood dining tables and other furnishings by the likes of Finn Juhl, Grete Valk, Ole Wanscher, Peter Hvidt and Orla Mølgaard-Nielsen all gracing its catalogues.
Even as there was a focus on mass production at France & Søn — and the brand doesn’t quite enjoy the same renown as fellow mid-century Danish furniture makers such as Carl Hansen & Søn — Charles France believed in making quality furniture, and the company’s offerings evoke the warmth of the handcrafted work that is typically associated with Scandinavian modernism.
In the 1960s, the company was bought by Danish designer Poul Cadovius, who folded it into the operations at CADO, a company he founded during the 1950s. Surviving examples of early work from the brand as well as modern icons by the likes of Verner Panton that followed in later years continue to be in demand.
Find a collection of France & Søn furniture on 1stDibs.
- ShippingRetrieving quote...Ships From: Mouscron, France
- Return PolicyThis item cannot be returned.
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