LAMA BLOG

Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: Hans J. Wegner

May 15, 2014

In the upcoming May 18, 2014 Modern Art & Design Auction, we are offering ten lots of furniture from the Danish designer Hans J. Wegner. These seven lots shown below were purchased by the original owner on a trip to Copenhagen in 1966 and will trade hands for the first time in 50 years in this Sunday’s auction.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)
Papa chair and ottoman, Hans J. Wegner, May 18, 2014 Modern Art & Design Auction

One of the most famous Danish furniture designers, Wegner enjoyed a long career spanning 60 years designing for several companies such as Fritz Hansen, Johannes Hansen, Carl Hansen & Sons, Getama and PP Mobler. With whimsical names for his designs such as the “Papa” chair, “Valet” Chair, “Wishbone” chair, “Ox” chair, and “Peacock” chair, many of Wegner’s designs are household names still today. “The Chair,” made famous by the Kennedy/Nixon televised debates of 1959, is one of his most commercially successful chairs for Johannes Hansen, which is still produced by PP Mobler.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Executive Swivel chair, Hans J. Wegner, May 18, 2014 Modern Art & Design Auction

From Peter Loughery, Director of Modern Design & Fine Art:

“As Danish modern furniture becomes increasingly rare, this selection of seven Wegner designs from the original owner presents an incredible opportunity for the budding collector and patron alike. Compared to the standards of today these pieces are exquisitely well made. In fact, even 50 years later they are sturdy enough for daily use. These beautiful works represent the height of Scandinavian design: inviting, functional, and timeless.”

The consignor has provided LAMA with the journal entries from 1966 in which he and his late wife documented their trip to Copenhagen and the day the furniture arrived. He also provided photographs of his family enjoying the furniture later that year at Christmas.

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Consignor’s planner documenting trip to Copenhagen

On February 26, 1966, the consignor and his late wife visited the Johannes Hansen workshop in Copenhagen to order the Wegner designs. A day later they traveled up the eastern coast of Denmark to visit the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, the picturesque home to thousands of works of modern art and design, from Alexander Calder mobiles and Henry Moore sculptures to Andy Warhol and David Hockney paintings.

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Consignor’s planner documenting trip to Copenhagen

Upon returning from their trip to Louisiana, they bought more Wegner designs at the Illums Bolighus workshop on Monday, and then paid another visit to the Johannes Hansen workshop to finalize their order.

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Consignor’s planner documenting trip to Copenhagen

Three months later on May 24, 1966, the furniture arrived at their home in Sherman Oaks, California. The consignor was so proud to bring these pieces back to Sherman Oaks all the way from Copenhagen that he made sure to take photographs of his children playing among them on Christmas 1966.

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Consignor’s family playing on Lot 67, Papa chair and ottoman, Christmas 1966

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Consignor’s family playing on Lot 67, Papa chair and ottoman, Christmas 1966

The designs are now being sold for the first time since they were purchased in Copenhagen in 1966. To see these in person, come to the preview at the LAMA showroom, now open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)
Desk and organizer, Hans J. Wegner, May 18, 2014 Modern Art & Design Auction

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Peacock chair, Hans J. Wegner, May 18, 2014 Modern Art & Design Auction

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Valet or Bachelor’s chair, Hans J. Wegner, May 18, 2014 Modern Art & Design Auction

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Slat bench, Hans J. Wegner, May 18, 2014 Modern Art & Design Auction

Lot Information:

Lot 63
Hans Wegner
Desk and organizer
designed 1954
Johannes Hansen
Organizer branded “Johannes Hansen/Copenhagen/Denmark”
Desk: 28.25″ x 76.5″ x 35″; Organizer: 9″ x 24″ x 10.5″
Literature: Moller, Henrik Steen. Hans J. Wegner. Copenhagen: Dansk Mobelkunst, 2007. pp. 46-47 (for the desk).
Estimate: $7,000 – 9,000

Lot 64
Hans Wegner
Cabinet
designed 1961
Johannes Hansen
Branded “Johannes Hansen/Copenhagen/Denmark”
22.25″ x 30″ x 17.5″
Estimate: $2,500 – 3,500

Lot 65
Hans Wegner
Executive Swivel chair
designed 1955
Johannes Hansen
Model no. JH 502
Retains medallion “Johannes Hansen/Cabinet Maker/Design by H.J. Wegner/Copenhagen/Denmark”
28.5″ x 29″ x 25″
Literature: Moller, Henrik Steen. Hans Wegner Furniture Catalogue. c. 1980. p 24.
Estimate: $8,000 – 12,000

Lot 67
Hans Wegner
Papa chair and ottoman (2)
designed 1951-53
A. P. Stolen
Model no. AP 19
Chair: 38.5″ x 36″ x 36″; Ottoman: 15.5″ x 27.25″ x 16″
Literature: Oda, Noritsugu. Hans J. Wegner’s 100 Chairs. Japan: Corona Books, 2002. p. 68 for the ottoman.
Estimate: $6,000 – 8,000

Lot 73
Hans Wegner
Peacock chair
designed 1947
Johannes Hansen
Model no. JH 550
Branded “Johannes Hansen Copenhagen Denmark”
43.5″ x 30″ x 20″
Literature: Oda, Noritsugu. Hans J. Wegner’s 100 Chairs. Japan: Corona Books, 2002. p. 32.
Estimate: $2,000 – 3,000

Lot 74
Hans Wegner
Valet or Bachelor’s chair
designed 1953
Johannes Hansen
Model no. JH-540
Retains branded mark “Johannes Hansen/Copenhagen/Denmark”
37.5″ x 20.5″ x 20″
Literature: Oda, Noritsugu. Danish Chairs. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1999. pp. 116-117.
Estimate: $6,000 – 8,000

Lot 75
Hans Wegner
Slat bench
designed 1953
Johannes Hansen
Mode no. JH 589
Retains branded mark “Johannes Hansen/Copenhagen/Denmark”
12″ x 62.75″ x 17″
Literature: Oda, Noritsugu. Hans J. Wegner’s 100 Chairs. Japan: Corona Books, 2002. p. 67.
Estimate: $2,500 – 3,500

For more information, or details on how to bid, please contact a LAMA representative.

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