Take a Seat With Hans Wegner’s Iconic Shell Chair

From the traditional Wishbone Chair to the ahead of its time Shell Chair, Hans Wegner chair designs embody both masterful craftsmanship and playful creativity. 

Through his iconic pieces, many of which are still produced now, the prolific designer pioneered what we today know of as Danish Modernism. He quickly became a leading light in defining the trendy mid century modern aesthetic.

Source: Dwell

In his lifetime, he originated over 500 chair designs, including the edgy Shell Chair. Here, we spotlight this innovative icon, while taking a peek at the Danish master’s life.

Brief History

Wegner was born in a town in Denmark in 1914. As a child, he was particularly interested in woodcarving – starting his prolific career in 1931 as a cabinetmaker.

While studying at the Danish School of Arts and Crafts and the Architectural Academy in Copenhagen, he was approached by and architect Arne Jacobsen to join his practice.

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Wegner made Danish design revered internationally! He established his own design practice in 1943 and went on to have his work exhibited in the globe’s leading design museums like the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

More About the Shell Chair 

The Shell Chair, a new kind of chair when compared to his other work, was designed for the 1963 Furniture Guild Exhibition in Copenhagen. With a sloped back, a wing-like seat held in a frame standing on three legs, it was ahead of its time.

Critics loved its avant garde, distinctive look – but the public not so much. Following mixed reviews in the 60s, the Shell Chair, a.k.a. the Smiling Chair, was launched in limited production.  

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After fetching thousand pounds at auctions in 1998, it was reintroduced. This smiling beauty combining molded plywood and leather became a bestseller. Now, this masterpiece is known as Wegner’s most innovative, progressive creations.

Last Thoughts

We believe Wegner’s strongest design ever is the Shell Chair. Even though it took 35 years before it recived design awards and enjoyed its popular breakthrough. 

Through its superior comfort and unique silhouette, Wegner proved that he had achieved what he had set out to do – design the ideal Shell Chair! 

Source: Home and Designing

We hope this info truly inspires you. As you can see, Wegner’s three legged masterpiece became a staple of Danish Modernism. For Shell Chair replicas, visit Manhattan Home Design. 

Founded by Daniel Levy, entrepreneurial success award winner according to Fox News, Manhattan Home Design has been producing mid century modern replicas for a decade. 

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