Versatile and remarkable Scandinavian Modern extra-long slat bench, Model JH-574 designed by Hans J. Wegner for cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen, Denmark circa 1960s. This low, elongated modernistic bench/table displays complete simplicity with impressive lines of balance. Features slat top of rectangular form raised on six strong tapered legs, providing optimal support, branded maker’s mark, on under side (Johannes Hansen Copenhagen Denmark). Hand crafted horizontal slat, seating surface, finished in brilliant teak grain, spaced allowing light and air to travel through. Striking example of minimalistic Scandinavian craftsmanship, representing an era of sleek, timeless, elegant design, with its slender depth and stylish, simple lines. Exclusive in length, it is a very functional and versatile piece that works as a bench for a foyer/entryway or as a low coffee table in a spacious setting. Timeless, classic profile will blend well and add a touch of Scandinavian style to any décor genre.
Condition Report: Brilliant teak grain, strong, sturdy, stable; has no defect, wear consistent with age and use.
Maker’s Stamp and Label: (Johannes Hansen Copenhagen Denmark)
Designer: Hans J. Wegner
Creator/Manufacturer: Johannes Hansen
Of the Period: Mid-Century Modern, Scandinavian
Place of Origin: Denmark
Date of Manufacture: 1960s
Period: 20th century
Materials and Techniques: Teak
Wear: Wear consistent with age and use
Measurements: 77ʺW × 17ʺD × 12ʺH
Danish architect Hans J. Wegner is considered a pioneering furniture designer of the twentieth century
Among Danish furniture designers, Hans J. Wegner (1914-2007) is considered one of the most creative, innovative and prolific. Often referred to as the master of the chair, Wegner created almost 500 in his lifetime – many of them considered masterpieces. His iconic Wishbone Chair is probably the most well-known and has been in continuous production since 1950.
Wegner was part of the spectacular generation that created what is today referred to as ‘the Golden Age’ of modern Danish design. “Many foreigners have asked me how we created the Danish style,” Wegner once said. “And I’ve answered that it was a continuous process of purification and of simplification – to cut down to the simplest possible design of four legs, a seat, and a combined back- and armrest.”
The son of a cobbler, Wegner was born in 1914 in Tønder, a town in southern Denmark. He began his apprenticeship with Danish master cabinetmaker H. F. Stahlberg when he was just 14 years old. Later on, he moved to Copenhagen and attended the School of Arts and Crafts from 1936 to 1938 before setting out as a furniture designer.
In 1938, Wegner was approached by architects and designers Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller, and started designing furniture for the new Aarhus City Hall. During the same period, Wegner began collaborating with master cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen, who was a driving force in bringing new furniture design to the Danish public at the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibitions.
The core of Wegner’s legacy is his focus on showing the inner soul of furniture pieces through a simple and functional exterior. Wegner’s background as a cabinetmaker gave him a deep understanding of how to integrate exacting joinery techniques with exquisite form. His aesthetic was also based on a deep respect for wood and its characteristics, and a vast curiosity about other natural materials that enabled him to bring an organic, natural softness to formalistic minimalism.
Wegner established his own design studio in 1943 and created a series of lightweight chairs for Carl Hansen & Søn from 1949 until 1968, including the Wishbone Chair, which has been in production at Carl Hansen & Søn ever since.
Wegner is seen as one of the most renowned and creative Danish furniture designers. He received many design awards, including the Lunning Prize in 1951, the Grand Prix of the Milan Triennale in 1951, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Eckersberg Medal in 1956, Sweden’s Prince Eugen Medal in 1961, the Danish Furniture Prize in 1980, the C. F. Hansen Medal in 1982, and the 8th International Design Award in 1997. He was made an Honorary Royal Designer for industry by the Royal Society of Arts in London in 1959, became an honorary member of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1995, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the Royal College of Art in 1997.
Almost all of the world’s major design museums, from the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Designmuseum Danmark in Copenhagen to Die Neue Sammlung in Munich, exhibit his works. Hans J. Wegner died in Denmark in January 2007, aged 92.