To celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of Hans J. Wegner’s most iconic designs – the Shell Chair – Carl Hansen & Son will launch an exclusive jubilee edition of the chair in very limited numbers, with clear links to the original design.
Wegner’s iconic Shell Chair is turning 50 and an exclusive jubilee edition is to be launched.
Hans J. Wegner set himself the goal of creating the ultimate shell chair. However, it took him years of work and development before the shell chair as we know it today first saw the light of day on 20 September 1963. Thirty five more years passed before the chair achieved the popularity and recognition it enjoys today. This simply emphasises how visionary Wegner’s designs were.
Carl Hansen & Son is now celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Shell Chair by launching an exclusive jubilee edition. The chair will be produced in a limited production run comprising 150 numbered models globally.
Just like the first models 50 years ago, the chair will have a seat and back made of oil-treated teak. The frame will be made of oil-treated oak, and the chair will be upholstered using rare and exclusive red Niger goat hide, which has a very dense structure resulting in extremely strong and durable leather quality.
Niger goat hide comes from a particular kind of African goat, only bred along the banks of the Niger River. Niger goat hide is recognisable by the visible impression of the spine in the structure of leather, making each skin unique. On the red Niger goat hide this line is also darker in colour. This special characteristic is the hallmark of Niger goat hide, and clearly distinguishes it from other types of leather. Niger goat hide is also vegetable tanned and aniline dyed, preserving each skin’s natural structure and characteristics from its life in nature. The preservation of its natural character gives Niger goat hide its distinctive beauty.
CEO Knud Erik Hansen is delighted the Shell Chair has become one of Hans J. Wegner’s most iconic designs and one of Carl Hansen & Son’s most internationally acclaimed pieces. He comments: “Hans J. Wegner was a truly visionary furniture maker. His design legacy deserves to be celebrated with this tribute to the Shell Chair, and we feel that this unique jubilee edition, with its choice of materials, reflects the enduring nature of his design. It was also important to us to have clear links to the original edition of the chair, which was also made of teak. The special combination of teak, red Niger goat hide and limited production makes the jubilee edition an ideal collector’s item.”
Background to the Shell Chair:
The soft organic curves of Hans J. Wegner’s Shell Chair, also known as CH07, show that Wegner had a unique appreciation of the possibilities and challenges offered to a designer by wood. To give the three-legged chair extra stability Wegner designed the double frame, which gives the chair its dynamic appearance and strengthens the backrest. The chair’s geometrical design makes it a visually strong piece of furniture, which is attractive from all angles.
The advent of laminated and moulded wood as a furniture material in the 1930s made it possible to create the shell chairs as we know them today. Some of the early masters in working with moulded wood were Alvar Alto of Finland and American Charles Eames, from whom Wegner drew much of his inspiration.
When Wegner designed the shell chair he sought to develop a chair which fulfilled his visionary minimalist ideals, while also being the epitome of comfort. However, it was not until 1963 that the shell chair we know today was launched at the annual Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition. With Wegner’s appreciation of the body’s seated posture, he developed a new type of shell chair with no armrests and a very reclined position, matching the international expression of the day. Wegner manifested this as one of the greatest furniture designers of his day, not just in Denmark, but on the global scene.
The Shell Chair jubilee edition is available with a seat and back made of oil-treated teak and a frame made of oil-treated oak. The chair is made of moulded plywood and upholstered with Niger goat hide. The chair has a seat height of 35 cm, and is 74 cm high, 92 cm wide, and 83 cm deep. The Jubilee edition will be available in selected stores around the world from 20 September 2013. The recommended retail price is £2,820.
Every item of furniture produced by Carl Hansen & Son reflects over 100 years of furniture history with respect and passion for craftsmanship. Carl Hansen & Son is the world’s largest manufacturer of furniture designed by Hans J. Wegner, and our portfolio also includes designs by Mogens Koch, Kaare Klint, Ole Wanscher and others.
Carl Hansen & Son has 165 employees. Our furniture is produced in Denmark
– and sold all over the world. Find out more at www.carlhansen.com.