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Fritz Hansen, 1878

The First Chair

The First Chair by Fritz Hansen 1878
In 1872, the cabinetmaker, Fritz Hansen moved from his birth place, Nakskov to Copenhagen where he obtained the trade license and initiated a furniture manufacturing company. The workshop located in Christianshavn was specialized in making turned wood pieces for decorative use as well as legs for chairs. For his own office however, Fritz Hansen chose a chair that was simple and solid. The chair was made in his workshop and is a wooden construction with a seat upholstered in leather. It is the first and only example from the time period of a construction with laminated veneer. This chair was his office chair for the rest of his life, and later on also, his son, Christian E. Hansen, used it throughout his time as head of the company. For 75 years, this chair was the office chair of the Hansen family. 
Martin Nyrop, 1905


The Town Hall Chair is the earliest known example of what eventually became a Fritz Hansen specialty: collaboration with an architect. In 1905 the Copenhagen Town Hall was inaugurated with the characteristic touch of architect Martin Nyrop, which is visible everywhere on the outside and inside as an example of what in German is called Gesamtkunstwerk - complete exterior and interior design. His chair designed specifically for the Town Hall was with its simple aesthetics highly unusual for the time period where most furniture was made with turned wood and exquisite decorations.
Copenhagen townhall chair by Martin Nyrop 1905
Thorvald Jørgensen, 1918


The Danish Parliament chair by Thorvald Joergensen 1918
In 1918 the Danish Parliament moved into the new location on Christiansborg Castle. The building was not finalized until 1928, but in 1918 the location of the Danish Parliament was ready for the politicians to move in. They are still today seated in Christiansborg in the Danish Parliament Chair produced by Fritz Hansen and designed by Thorvald Jørgensen, who also was the architect of the castle.
Unknown, 1920


The oldest height adjustable Fritz Hansen chair was produced in 1920 and had an upholstered seat. This chair without upholstery is a later version made out of beech wood with a metal spindle piece. 
Office chair unknown 1920
Kai Gottlob, 1921


The Klismos chair by Kai Gottlob 1921
The Klismos Chair was designed for the Courthouse in Frederiksberg by Kai Gottlob. The chair is made out of ash wood and originally the chair came with a leather seat cushion.
Frits Schlegel, 1931


This chair was shown for the first time when Den Permanente, a museum located close to Vesterport, opened in 1931. It is a metal construction with wicker and beech wood and the cantilevered chair is relying for support on the properties of the steel from which the framework is made. The new technologies made it possible to create the light yet sustainable steel furniture. The construction with bent, chrome plated tubular steel combined with wood is completely new, but the silhouette is inspired by Mart Stams famous design from 1926.
Lounge chair by Fritz Schlegel  1931
Søren Hansen, 1932


Dan chair by Søren Hansen 1932
The DAN chairs are characterized by the use of steam bent wood and were inspired by the Thonet chairs that were produced using the same process. At that time, the brothers Søren and Fritz Hansen were the third generation of the Hansen family to step into the company that their grandfather had built. Fritz was in charge in the production while Søren saw to the development of new furniture. Søren designed several pieces throughout the two brothers' time in the company and one of them is this DAN chair.


Søren Hansen, 1933


This sewing box was originally a gift from Søren Hansen to his wife, Kirsten. Shown at an exhibition in Fredericia, Denmark in 1933 it immediately attracted positive attention due to the detailing of the piece. It went into production and was part of the Fritz Hansen collection for several years. The box is made out of laminated beech veneer, the lid is attached with leather straps and the metal frame is black coated.
Sewing box by Søren Hansen 1933
Arne Jacobsen, 1934


The Bellevue chair by Arne Jacobsen 1934
The first chair developed in collaboration between Fritz Hansen and Arne Jacobsen was the Bellevue chair that Arne Jacobsen designed in 1934 for the Bellevue restaurant in Klampenborg north of Copenhagen. The chair is made out of solid beech wood and the seat is made of leather.
Fritz Hansen, 1935


In collaboration with the Danish Working Environment Service this chair was developed by Fritz Hansen taking into consideration the anatomy of man and the posture of the body while working at a desk. It was approved by the Danish Working Environment Service and was being produced for a long period of time - at least until 1957 where it is listed in the price list.
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Officve chair Fritz Hansen 1935
Kaare Klint, 1936


The Church chair by Kaare Klint 1936
The Church Chair was originally designed by Kaare Klint for the Bethlehem Church in Copenhagen but today it is mostly known from its appearance in the Grundtvig Church. The Church Chair is one of the chairs that were produced for the longest period of time in the Fritz Hansen history as it was in production from 1936 up until 2004. Throughout time several variations of the chair has been made with room for the hymnbook and a hat and in both beech and oak wood.
Christian E. Hansen, 1940


From a trip to Canada Christian E. Hansen came home with the drawings for a new chair design. When the time came to produce the chair the drawings were lost, so he redesigned the chair and improved it until this design was finalized. He also designed a high back chair, a sofa and a lounge chair and the Canada series was born. The design has had a visible impact on the future furniture design from Fritz Hansen.
The Canada chair by Christian E
Ole Wanscher, 1943


Armchair by Ole Wancher 1943
The Second World War had a massive impact on the furniture production. Especially since the import of wood was minimal and some types of wood were impossible to get hold of. The walnut trees could not survive the tough winters during the war years forcing the tree cutters to take the trees down. In 1943 Fritz Hansen launched a series of chairs designed by Ole Wanscher and made out of the one wood type there was plenty of - walnut.
Hans J. Wegner, 1944


Wegner used several years perfecting the design of his China Chair. He has made various designs with the same aesthetics and visual expression but this version is the only one that went into production and is still being produced. Today it is the only chair in solid wood in the Fritz Hansen production. The original design was made out of cherry wood and even though it has been made in different types of wood through time, the cherry wood is the wood still used for producing the chair today. 
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China Chair by Hans Wegner
Palle Suensson, 1946


The Winsor chair by Palle Suensson 1946
For the famous restaurant in Copenhagen Coq d'Or, Palle Suensson designed a high back Windsor chair that was later on produced by Fritz Hansen. This version has a lower back than the original but the design is similar. This particular version in teak and beech was only produced in very limited numbers.
Hvidt & Mølgaard, 1947


The technique of laminating wood was highly improved during World War 2 where the laminated wood was used in the production of airplanes. Fritz Hansen saw the possibilities of using laminated wood in the furniture production and started developing what became the AX Series. It was with this furniture series that Fritz Hansen entered the international scene and started exporting furniture. 
Ax chair by Hvidt and Molgaard 1947
Hans J. Wegner, 1948


Lounge chair by Hans Wegner
The lounge chair with the very distinct aesthetics was originally part of a small series consisting also of a sofa and a sofa table. The chair was in production until the middle of the1950's and was originally made out of beech and mahogany wood. 
Hans J. Wegner, 1949


This very detailed chair from Wegner's hand was never put into production - most likely due to the cost of making all the fine details that makes this simple chair special. As most of the chairs designed by Hans J. Wegner it is made out of solid wood.
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Chair by Hans Wegner 1949
Edvard Thomsen, 1949


Chrildrens table
The Children's table was designed for kindergartens and is a 6 seater with an integrated table in the middle. The materials are characteristic for the Fritz Hansen production: solid and steam bent beech wood.
Holger Jacobsen, 1949


The work chair designed by Holger Jacobsen has glides shaped so that it is possible to tilt the chair back and forth while seated. The glides are cut out in a way so it is possible to keep the tilted position of the chair for a longer while. This was practical especially during the long intercontinental phone calls at the offices in the late 1940's and 1950's. The upholstered seat added to the comfort of the chair.
Work chair by Holger Jacobsen 1949
Poul Kjærholm, 1951


PK0 by Poul Kjaerholm 1951
This chair was the first product of the collaboration between Fritz Hansen and Poul Kjærholm but it never went into production at first. In the 1990's however, a limited number of 600 pieces were produced marking the 125 years anniversary of Fritz Hansen. 
Ejnar Larsen & A. Bender Madsen, 1952


This chair was one of several chairs for conference rooms and restaurants created by the duo of Larsen and Madsen. The backrest is flat and yet beautifully curved into the armrests making the chair of laminated and solid wood comfortable to sit in throughout a meeting.
Conference chair by Ejnar Larsen
Arne Jacobsen, 1952


Ant by Arne jacobsen 1952
Originally created for the canteen at the Danish company Novo Nordisk, the Ant™ was presented on the day of Fritz Hansen's 80 years anniversary and the press and critics fell instantly in love with the visionary design. Fritz Hansen on the other hand was at first more skeptical about putting the chair into production: The minimalist design of the three-legged chair made it too difficult to sit in as it tilted easily. But Arne Jacobsen believed so firmly in his design that he promised to buy every single chair that was not sold. This convinced the company to put the chair into production and it has been so ever since. The chair made out of laminated wood with a metal base proved to be an important milestone for as well Fritz Hansen as Arne Jacobsen.
Hans J. Wegner, 1952


Wegner is mostly known for his work with wooden chairs but he has also created this stacking chair with a metal base and upholstered seat. However the chair never went into production, but the shape of the backrest is similar to some of the later models that have reached iconic status.
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Stacking chair by Hans Wegner
Hans J. Wegner, 1953


The Heart chair by Hans Wegner
The shape of the seat has given this three-legged chair its name. Wegner designed the chair together with a round table that also had three legs and a diameter of 120 cm. In that setup, 6 chairs surrounding the table would create a beautiful setting resembling the shape of a flower.
Arne Jacobsen, 1953


The Dot™ was developed by Fritz Hansen in the 50’s around the same time as Arne Jacobsen created the Ant chair. While creating the chair Arne Jacobsen spent a lot of time at the Fritz Hansen factory testing, refining and finalizing his project. The result of the collaboration was presented to the market in 1954 as a three legged stool in veneer. In 1970 the stool was revitalized as we know it today, with four legs. 
Dot stool by Arne Jacobsen 1953
Poul Kjærholm, 1954


F.L.Smith chair by Poul Kjaerholm 1954
Poul Kjærholm designed this stacking chair for the canteen at F. L. Smidth and the construction is rather complicated. The wooden seat is made out of two laminated wooden pieces mirroring each other and held together with two small bands in the back. The steel base is also a complicated construction and the chair is an example of the skills of the young furniture architect Poul Kjærholm. It is also an example of a chair that never went into production because it was simply too costly for the purpose.
Arne Jacobsen, 1955


With the critique of the Ant in mind, Arne Jacobsen designed what has since become one of the most iconic pieces in the history of Danish furniture design: The Series 7™ chair. The design has grown from the small, minimalistic Ant and the shape is a further development of the organic silhouette. The materials and production method are similar since both chairs are made out of laminated wood mounted on a metal base. But then the resemblance goes no further as the Series 7™ chair was originally born with four legs and armrests unlike the three-legged Ant™ chair with no armrests. Even though Arne Jacobsen himself preferred the version with armrests, the version without armrests is the most popular today and it is the most sold chair in the history of Fritz Hansen.
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Series 7 by Arne Jacobsen 1955
Arne Jacobsen, 1955


Munkegaard school table and chair by Arne Jacobsen 1955
This chair and table were designed for the students at the Munkegaard School by Arne Jacobsen, who created the whole school as a Gesamtkunstwerk designing both exterior and interior. The stacking chair is produced in the same materials and using the same production method as the Ant and was developed the same year as the Series 7 chair. The school is famous for being one of Arne Jacobsen's visionary projects as the buildings containing the classrooms create a grid where green gardens fill up the space between the grid lines. This was a whole new way of thinking a floor plan for a school, taking the physical well being of children into consideration.
Arne Jacobsen, 1955


The Tongue chair was the only chair from Arne Jacobsen's works of laminated wood that was not stackable. It was used in some areas of the Munkegaards School and was not part of the standard production until 1985. By then the name was also changed to Toer'en meaning Number Two. The story goes that this makes sense because it was Arne Jacobsen's second personal favorite.
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The Tongue chair by ArneJacobsen 1955
Arne Jacobsen, 1955


Serving trolley by Arne Jacobsen 1955
Arne Jacobsen designed this serving trolley for his own private dining room as a contrast to his circular dining table. It has never been in production which is the case for several serving trolleys that Arne Jacobsen has designed throughout time for the different houses, he designed.
Hans J. Wegner, 1956


Fritz Hansen originally produced this typical Hans J. Wegner chair made out of solid and laminated wood with a leather upholstered seat. The aesthetics of the chair is similar to later and more popular versions produced in larger numbers and is as such a front runner for some of the iconic models that are still being produced today. 
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Chair by Wegner 1956
Verner Panton, 1956


The Bachelor chair by Verner Panton1956
The Bachelor chair could be taken apart and packed flat, so that it was easy to move and transport. Cushions could be added for extra comfort. It was available in two versions: with and without armrests and Verner Panton designed a matching footstool that could also work as a table - all making the chair very popular with the young people when it was launched in 1956.
Arne Jacobsen, 1958


The Drop™ chair is said to be Arne Jacobsen's own favorite chair as his wife used it in front of the mirror sitting at her vanity table. The shape of the chair revealed her shoulders while enhancing her silhouette. Watching her sitting in front of the mirror, he could admire her shape from behind while looking her in the eye. The chair was used to decorate the rooms at the SAS Royal hotel and was part of the total design that Arne Jacobsen created for the capital of Denmark in the 1950's. It is still today part of the interior at Room 606 at the hotel - a room decorated with the Egg™, Swan™ and Drop™ that Arne Jacobsen created for the project.
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The Drop chair by Aren Jacobsen 1958
Arne Jacobsen, 1959


The Pot lounge chair by Arne Jacobsen 1959
The Pot was designed as part of the interior of the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, one of Arne Jacobsen's biggest and most famous projects. The hotel was designed as a Gesamtkunstwerk meaning that the designer created the hotel as one piece taking everything into consideration from exterior to interior. Together with the Pot, the Swan and the Egg were installed as decorative yet functional elements complimenting the minimalistic and square design of the building with their organic and rounded shapes. But the Pot never received the same applause and acknowledgement from the public as the Egg and Swan that were instantly received as the beloved and iconic pieces they still are today.
Arne Jacobsen, 1959


The Giraffe was designed by Arne Jacobsen for the restaurant at the SAS Royal hotel. It is comfortable and with a high back creating privacy and an exclusive feel with the wooden edges and legs. As most of Arne Jacobsen's designs, the dining chair has its name from the nature which was always one of the designer's main inspiration sources. 
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The Giraffe chair by Arne Jacobsen 1959
Karen & Ebbe Clemmensen, 1959


Lounge chair model 4305 by Karen and Ebbe Clemmensen 1959
The elegant and detailed lounge chair was center of attention on the fair where it was introduced in 1959. Børge Mogensen was a hard critic, but he acknowledges that the chair is remarkable. Later on the chair went into production with Fritz Hansen with either leather or fabric upholstery - the armrests always made out of leather.
Arne Jacobsen, 1962


The Oxford™ Chair was designed for St. Catherine's College in Oxford - therefore the name. The chair was designed in two versions for the canteen: a high back version for the professors and a version with a lower back for the students. The chairs was designed taking the very traditional environment at Oxford into consideration as the chairs enhanced the status of the professors while creating privacy at the professors' table that was placed on a podium.
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Oxford chair by Arne Jacobsen 1962
Arne Jacobsen, 1962


St Catherines lounge chair 1962
Together with the chairs for the dining room at St. Catherine's College in Oxford, Arne Jacobsen also designed a high back lounge chair for the relaxation areas and students rooms. It is extremely comfortable and the design resonates the aesthetics of Oxford chair.
Arne Jacobsen, 1966


Unlike many of Arne Jacobsen's other designs, Oksen™ was not designed for a specific architectural project. It was a product of years of experimenting by Arne Jacobsen. The chair was considered quite rare among critics due to its short original production period as well as its controversial yet powerful expression. In contrast to many of his earlier pieces that are characterised by rounded, organic shapes, this easy chair has a much sharper outline. Arne Jacobsen always wanted to surprise the public and Oksen™ was a project he repeatedly returned to with many variations in the years 1962-66 before it finally took shape in 1966. Indeed it can be defined as the largest and most distinctive chair that Arne Jacobsen ever designed. 
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Oksen by Arne Jacobsen 1966
Henning Larsen, 1967


KAR chair by Henning Larsen 1967
This spectacular chair was designed by Henning Larsen for the KAR restaurant in Copenhagen and it was not designed to be comfortable.  Instead the chair should rather be a bit of the opposite. The thought was that if the chair was too comfortable, the customers would stay at their table longer after having dinner, preventing new customers from getting a table. 
Verner Panton, 1974

SYSTEM 1.2.3

System 1.2.3 is a comprehensive collection of furniture consisting of 20 different chairs that were all variations of the same shape. The ambitious furniture program was designed to fit into every situation and purpose and it was very well received once it was presented on a furniture fair in 1974. The construction was simple and the comfort was good and the variation and possibilities were endless. In spite of the faith in the system from both the designer, Fritz Hansen, the critics and the dealers, the public was more skeptical and the sales were unfortunately not as good as expected.
Syste4m 1-2-3- by Verner Panton
Verner Panton, 1988


The wire cone by VVerner Panton 1988
The Wire Cone was very well received when the chair was first presented before Fritz Hansen take over the production. But the chair was not very comfortable and very complicated and expensive to produce. In 1988 Fritz Hansen was presented for a new production method enabling the production to reduce the costs of making the chair remarkably. From then on the chair was constructed with one piece that was shaped into a spiral and welded to the crossing metal pieces. A matching table was also available to go with the spectacular chair.