Wishbone Chair

The CH24 Chair, commonly known as the Wishbone Chair or the Y Chair, is one of the most celebrated and successful designs of Hans J. Wegner. It perfectly embodies the principles of Scandinavian design. It is simple, appealing, functional and made of sustainable resources. Therefore, the Wishbone Chair became an archetype of Nordic furniture design.

ch24-wishbone-chair

History

Nicknamed ‘The Master of the Chair’, Hans J. Wegner designed the Wishbone Chair. It was his great passion for the design of chairs that eventually made Wegner a legendary figure in Danish Modernism and world-famous furniture designer. He created more than 500 chairs, many of which went into mass production. His outstanding body of work helped establish his home country as an international leader of modern design. The Wishbone Chair comes from the period when Wegner drew inspiration for his designs from classical portraits of Danish merchants sitting in the antique Ming chairs. The first Wishbone Chair came into the limelight in 1949. It was especially designed for the Carl Hansen & Son furniture company as a light, sculptural substitute for the heavy, fully upholstered dining chairs that were popular at the time. The chair has been in continuous production since 1950.

Design

The design of the Wishbone Chair was refined down to essentials making the form of the chair very minimalistic and pure. Its design embodies its creator’s famous credo: “A chair should have no rear view. It should be beautiful from all sides and angles." Indeed, the chair with its famously organic shape is very appealing and stylish from any angle. To this day, its design stays true to Wegner’s original sketches and drawings. A light, attractive and comfortable dining chair, which speaks for itself of everyday containment. It feels as modern today as it did half a century ago. An excellent example of Wegner’s constant striving towards organic simplicity to create sculptural beauty, comfort and outstanding stability. The Wishbone Chair is yet another proof that Hans J. Wegner was way ahead of his time when it comes to the wooden furniture design. The chair’s minimalistic and straightforward appearance may mislead into thinking that it is relatively easy to make, which is very far from truth. Due to the utilization of the steam-bent solid wood components, the chair demands an impeccable craftsmanship and a thorough understanding of wood joinery. Its manufacturing process requires over one hundred steps carried out by skilled craftsmen to make this classic come alive. The chair was principally designed to provide comfortable dining sitting.

The high level of comfort can be attributed to its hand-woven seating pan. Its production utilizes 120 meters of paper cord, a durable substitute for jute developed during World War II. The seat pan is available in the natural beige colour, or it can be painted black. The chair stands on four cylindrical wooden legs, which are spanned with dowels at the front and the back, as well as rectangular slats on the sides. All four legs are slightly tapered at the bottom. The front legs are rounded at the top, in order to avoid sharp corners. The curvy, steam-bent back legs provide fixture for the top part of the backrest. It is manufactured from a solid piece of wood, which is steam bent into its characteristic rounded shape, that sticks far enough, allowing for support for the arms. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the chair is the Y-shaped central component of the backrest, hence the chair’s names: “The Wishbone Chair” or “The Y-Chair”. Utilizing the high-quality natural materials, the chair is made to last for generations. Customers can choose from various types of wood, including: beech, ash, maple, oak, cherry and walnut, and finishes, such as: soap, oil or lacquer finish. The latter one is available in a multitude of different colours.

The elegant, sublime design, combined with the impeccable quality of craftsmanship, has earned the chair a very special place in the history of interior design. This timeless piece of furniture still looks fresh and appealing, making it a great, tasteful addition to any modern interior.

Interesting facts

  • In order to reach the absolute heights of comfort and relaxation, customers can combine the Wishbone Chair with the matching cushion, upholstered in either fabric or supple leather. In 2014, in order to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Hans J. Wegner’s birth, Carl Hansen & Son teamed up with designer Paul Smith and Maharam to launch the special limited edition of the CH24 Cushion. The patterned fabric was personally selected by Paul Smith to honor Wegner’s enduring legacy.

  • The Wishbone Chair is one of the most critically acclaimed designs of Wegner’s. According to Christian Holmsted Olesen, Head of Exhibitions and Collections at Designmuseum in Denmark, “On account of its expressive, graphic appearance, the Wishbone Chair is an icon for everything Danish Design stands for: the finest craftsmanship, a sense for detail and the material, user-orientation, and superior durability. With his Wishbone Chair, Wegner proved that it is possible to create something truly trail-blazing by studying tradition. In fact, this is the only way to design something that extends far beyond its own time.”