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The Chair

March 8, 2019

The chair determined Wegner’s international breakthrough and is even today his most iconic piece. That the Americans named it “The Chair” says it all: It is the perfect example of a well-designed, elegant armchair. It is simple, comfortable and very well made; an example of outstanding craftsmanship. There is nothing superfluous about it, no unnecessary details – instead Wegner drew attention to the decorative features of fine cabinetmaking by accentuating the joints as beautiful zigzag patterns. Wegner was one of the first to succeed with the vibrantly turned shaping of the back, giving the chair its expressive form. The American magazine Interiors featured the chair on the cover and referred to it as “the world’s most beautiful chair” – and the chair rose to further stardom when used in the televised presidential debates between Nixon and Kennedy in 1960.

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The first version of the chair, designed in 1949, had a back wound with cane, thus covering the joints of the three pieces of wood at the back, but it is the later models without cane at the back, like the present example, that fully reveals the chair’s expressive, vibrant form. The chair is beautiful not only in strong light and in contour; its sculptural finesses and refined details emerge even in soft lightning.

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