A Hans Wegner tripod "Heart" chair under restoration
Hans Wegner was one of the most famous and influential designers of the twentieth century. Ever in pursuit of perfection, he designed over five hundred chairs. Towards the end of his life in 2007, he is quoted as saying “ ‘The Chair’ does not exist - the good chair is a task one is never completely done with.”
Wegner is one of my heroes. “He had considerable skills as a craftsman and was able to make his own furniture; in that sense he was quite unique. It was part of Wegner’s mind-set that a piece of furniture was never put into production before it had been fully developed. Whenever he had created a new piece of furniture, he took it home and tried it out over a period of time in order to discover possible weaknesses or ways to improve its design and functionality. His innate talent for the craft added to the superb quality of his furniture and thereby raised the standard of furniture design on the global furniture arena.” (Ole Høstbo, the founder and owner of Dansk Møbelkunst Gallery in Copenhagen.)
I was thrilled to be asked to restore one of Wegner’s tripod “Heart” chairs. Designed and made in the 1950s, this modest, simple and delightful chair was on its last three legs. One had suffered a severe compound fracture while the dowelled rail-joints were creeping apart. I am hopeful that after restoration it will survive at least another sixty years of constant use.
I have restored another chair for the same client, which shows a strong Danish influence but whose provenance is unknown to us. If anyone can help trace the designer and maker, we would be very grateful.