The Wishbone Chair is a midcentury modern classic that looks as fresh and contemporary today as it did when it was first made by Carl Hansen in 1950 – but its roots go deeper and further back. Designer Hans J Wegner took inspiration from the ancient thrones used by Chinese Emperors, and via a series of prototypes – all commercially produced, with designs numbered CH22-CH26 – he created his 20th-century version of them. The CH24 – the Wishbone Chair – with its unmistakable steam-bent Y-shaped seat back is his most iconic. Hence, to celebrate Wegner’s birthday (he would have been 104 on April 2), a special version of the chair in Ancient Oak (priced £758.40) will be available to order for two days only on April 2-3.
In this new iteration of the chair, the wood is treated to resemble the dark brown shade of 1,000-year-old peat bog oak, and is teamed with a woven paper cord seat. “The Wishbone Chair is a triumph of craftsmanship with its simple design and clean lines. Despite the chair's straightforward appearance, it takes more than 100 steps to make one, and many of these processes require manual work,” says Knud Erik Hansen, CEO of Carl Hansen & Søn. “The chair still imposes high expectations on our skilled craftsmen, who must handweave a seat made from 120m of paper cord before the finished chair can leave the factory in Denmark. It has survived more than 60 years of competition and it still sells more than ever before. It is only natural for us to celebrate his birthday with a limited edition of his iconic work.”
Each special-edition chair will come with a brass plate engraved with Wegner’s signature and date of birth, and a certificate of authenticity – and those quick off the mark can purchase one from Carl Hansen & Søn’s flagship stores, or authorised dealers such as The Conran Shop.