Carl Hansen Releases Limited Edition Wishbone Chair for Hans Wegner’s Birthday

Previously unseen variant of the Wishbone Chair to mark Hans J. Wegner’s 105th anniversary

Hans J. Wegner would have turned 105 this year had he still been alive. Carl Hansen & Son, which is known for its extensive collection of Wegner furniture, has decided to pay tribute to the legendary furniture designer with a previously unseen variant of the Wishbone Chair that has never been manufactured before. The unique special edition has a walnut frame and an exclusive goat leather seat.

The chair is only available on Wegner’s 105th birthday – April 2, 2019.

 “By offering the Wishbone Chair in a combination of goat leather and walnut, we are paying special tribute to Hans J. Wegner, who experimented throughout his life with variations on the same theme and constantly strove to refine and further develop his designs,” says Knud Erik Hansen, CEO at Carl Hansen & Son, who is delighted to be presenting this special birthday edition of the Wishbone Chair.

Furniture designer’s workshop experiment
During the 1990s, Wegner worked with Carl Hansen & Son in an effort to develop a variant to go alongside the Wishbone Chair with its woven seat. They experimented in the workshop with saddle leather, which according to the furniture designer would preserve the inherent proportions between the seat, armrests and back, and which were important for the chair’s ergonomics. However, it remained just an experiment, because they envisaged saddle leather stretching with use, and because the chair frames of the time were not always identical, preventing a perfect fit around the chair legs from time to time.

It has become possible to revisit the 1990s workshop experiment because Carl Hansen & Son now uses machines and tools which can ensure that all the Wishbone Chair frames have exactly the same proportions, and because the company’s expert upholsterers have found a way of preparing the seat which prevents the goat leather from stretching. The result is that the seat now fits every chair perfectly, and aesthetically harmonizes with the elegant wooden frame. Thus, on the basis of Wegner’s deliberations in the 1990s, combined with today’s skills and technology, a special edition with clear references to the original test chair is possible.

Exclusive goat leather
Being upholstered in goat leather provides a high degree of softness and comfort. The seat of the chair has a supporting layer of natural linen attached to the back of the leather, which is stretched over the seat frame and secured under the rails. Elegant stitching around the four legs of the chair gives the seat a refined finish.

The leather has a very dense structure, so that the seat retains its shape and is durable. Aniline leather is used without any surface treatment. In addition, the deep-red goat leather is vegetable-tanned, which means that only eco-friendly plant-based tanning agents have been used. The exclusive goat leather has been given a warm, dark red hue in a two-step dyeing process that results in a natural appearance and a deeply saturated representation of color. The result is an expression that will patinate over time.

A unique collectible
“We’ve chosen to combine the red goat leather with a frame made of oiled walnut in order to enhance the exclusive look. The chair differs significantly from the woven paper cord variant, and the special edition is now being offered to design enthusiasts and collectors worldwide,” explains Knud Erik Hansen.

The special edition Wishbone Chair is only available on April 2, 2019, and will therefore only be produced in a very limited quantity. All chairs purchased on this day will bear a brass plate, engraved with Wegner’s signature and date of birth, discretely mounted on the underneath of the chair’s back rail.

The Wishbone Chair, which has been in continuous production at Carl Hansen & Son since 1950, is the result of a very close and uncompromising partnership between Wegner and the skilled cabinetmakers who originally participated in the demanding development work. Almost 70 years after it first saw the light of day, the Wishbone Chair still places considerable demands on Carl Hansen & Son’s skilled craftsmen at the furniture factory in Gelsted on the Danish island of Funen.