A New Twist

The Commemorative Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair

Commemorating what would've been designer Hans J. Wegner's 105th birthday, this special edition Wishbone chair was released by Carl Hansen & Søn on April 2, 2019 and was available for one day only, with no possibility of reissue. Previously unmanufactured, this iteration of the design is made from walnut and goatskin leather, a new riff on the original 1949 design that has been produced by Carl Hansen & Søn since 1950. “By offering the Wishbone chair in a combination of goat leather and walnut," said Carl Hansen & Søn CEO Knud Erik Hansen, "we are paying special tribute to Hans Wegner, who experimented throughout his life with variations on the same theme and constantly strove to refine and further develop his designs...Wegner’s furniture enjoys such a prominent place in people’s minds, and all his pieces have the potential to be challenged by new materials."

A chair is only finished when someone sits in it.

Hans Wegner

Rago, Wright, and LAMA are proud to host the Be Original Americas benefit auction. All proceeds including the 26% buyer's premium go to Be Original Americas in support of their mission to raise awareness about the value and significance of authenticity.

Be Original Americas is a non-profit creative advocacy committed to informing, educating, and influencing manufacturers, artisans, design professionals, and consumers about the economic, ethical, and environmental value of authentic design.

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Originality and authenticity are two of the most important qualities of designs to hit the auction block. They are also the foundation of all works that have become iconic markers in the history of design. Rago/Wright is proud to support Be Original Americas and their mission to inform and educate makers, designers, and consumers about the economic, ethical and environmental value of authentic design.

Richard Wright

Hans J. Wegner

Hans J. Wegner was born in Tønder, Denmark in 1914. As a teenager, Wegner apprenticed with master cabinetmaker H.F. Stahlberg before enrolling at the Danish School of Arts and Crafts in 1936. In 1940, Wegner teamed with Arne Jacobson and Erik Møller to design furniture for the newly built City Hall building in Aarhus, Denmark. In 1943, Wegner opened his own drafting studio. Wegner insisted on the highest standard of craftsmanship for his furniture, and his chairs often feature traditional mortise and tenon joints and unique materials such as paper cord.

Wegner’s famed China series (inspired by the imperial Chinese chairs from the Ming dynasty) was designed in 1949. That same year he introduce what is probably his most iconic seating design, The Chair at the Cabinetmakers Guild exhibition in Copenhagen. In 1951, his chairs were featured in the Museum of Modern Art’s famous Good Design exhibit. His chairs reached a national audience in 1960 when John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon sat in them during the televised presidential debate. In 1971, Wegner was awarded the Diploma di Collaborazione at the Milano Triennale. Wegner created his innovative three-legged stacking chair known as the PP58 in 1988. In 1992, he retired from his firm and his daughter Marianne took over his practice. Wegner died in 2007.

In 2014, the Design Museum of Denmark honored Wegner with a retrospective of his work. Wegner’s furniture designs are held in the collections across the globe and can be found in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Victoria and Albert in London, and the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, among many others.

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