I don’t buy shoes. That’s just silly, of course I buy shoes. It’s just that I don’t buy expensive shoes. No Louboutins for me. Not only can I not afford them, sadly I can’t walk in heels. I’m not into fancy cars either. Some people are into both. Me? I’m into design. So when I try to explain to my daughters that the chairs that they sit on to eat their breakfast, lunch and dinner are their FFH’s (that’s future family heirlooms to you and me) I get eyes thrown up to heaven, combined with exasperated sighs.You see after years of coveting these design items we finally succumbed and invested in a set of CH24’s. To the uninitiated, these chairs, in my opinion, represent the best of Danish design, craftsmanship and ability to withstand the test of time.
Designed by Hans J.Wegner, one of the most prolific Danish designers of the mid twentieth century they are just one of over 500 chairs he designed, each made of beautiful materials. Wegner became an apprentice to a cabinet maker at the age of 14 and although he went on to earn a degree in architecture in 1938, it is for his furniture that he is best known. After working as furniture designer for the Danish architect Arne Jacobsen he set up his own practice in 1943 striving towards organic simplicity, comfort and stability.
In 1949 he designed the CH24 otherwise known as the Wishbone Chair for Carl Hansen and Son who have been manufacturing them ever since.
Taking inspiration from ancient Chinese armchairs the characteristic “Y” back inspires its Wishbone name. This also gives great support making it a really comfortable chair. It is lightweight and easy to move around, just as happy in the kitchen as in a dining room.
Drawing from Carl Hansen & Søn website.
The curved back is formed by steaming the timber which is available in oak, beech, ash, walnut and cherry. These are walnut and I think give a lovely contrast to the Douglas Fir flooring, offering richness and luxury. The timber can also be stained in a variety of colours offering a contemporary option if desired. Other options include, a lacquer or oiled finish. The tapered legs are elegant and the seat comfortable for (how to put this delicately?) all sizes…
Photo of underside of chair.
The hand woven seat is made up of more than 120 meters of paper cord. I was stunned to read that is takes the skilled craftsman only one hour to weave the seat. Note the hand tied knots on the underside of the seat as well as the serial number from the Carl Hansen factory identifying it as the genuine article. (Watch out, there are lots of fakes out there.) I can testify to its durability, being subjected to daily abuse and traffic in my house!
It seems there is no end to the abuse.
Firstly, of the chairs (which can take it very well) but also to the mother, who is increasingly less able.
As I was taking these photographs in my kitchen I got the usual.
“what are you doing”.
“please don’t tell me you are writing a blog about our chairs”.
When I confessed I was, I got
“Seriously, only you would think writing about a chair was ok”.
So, I hope someday to be smug from beyond the grave or wherever as my three daughters fight tooth and nail over who will in fact inherit these Future Family Heirlooms…
Where to get them?
The Carl Hensen factory does not supply direct to the public. To find your nearest supplier you can email the following:
Check out the Carl Hansen website for further information on the designer, design options and the range of CH tables that these chairs go well with. You can also watch a video of the manufacturing process showing some of the 100+ manual operations it takes to manufacture each chair.