The Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen
Arne Jacobsen designed the 'Egg Chair' in 1958, when he was assigned the major task of designing both the building and the interior for the SAS Royal hotel in Copenhagen. Several iconic furniture within Danish design saw the day of light at this occasion, including the Egg Chair and the Swan Chair, which in terms of design closely resemble each other.
This design icon has been a popular designer chair ever since the launch in the end of the 1950s – in Denmark as well as abroad. Arne, as he was called colloquially, has designed the chair with all design details thoroughly thought through, so visually nothing is left to chance.
Several variants in the materials leather and fabric
- Black, white, brown and other colours
- Price significantly lower than at the Danish resellers
- 'Egg Chair' – The chair that never goes out of fashion
Jacobsen's icon is still a highly popular chair which has found its way into a large number of Danish homes, as well as numerous hotels, banks, lounges and airports, large companies and restaurants around the world. It is a chair which thanks to its unique and elegant design never will go out of fashion.
An Egg Chair in black, white, brown, grey or natural leather?
He designed his lounge chair in a classic and timeless style, which is one of the explanations for the success of the chair. Thus the shape of the chair fits into many different rooms and homes. However, the final finish can be essential in determining what suits your personal preferences and fits best for your particular home. Thus it is important to find the specific variant of 'the Egg' which you prefer and below we have listed various options:
- Natural leather
However, not all materials is available in all colours. The more colourful versions are typically made of fabric. The most popular combinations among Danish people are:
- Natural leather
- Black leather
- Fabric in grey or black
- Chair in black leather or vibrant colours?
If you wish to stick with the classic look, then black, grey or brown colours are always a hit. E.g. choose the chair in the black leather version if you want an entirely classic and stylish design. If you want a lounge chair that can attract some serious attention, then buy 'the Egg' in a red or purple colour.
Arne Jacobsen was inspired by the forms of nature
Arne Jacobsen (1902-71) was a qualified designer and architect. The 'Egg Chair' is, as several others of his furniture, inspired by natural forms. As the name implies, it is the round curves of an egg that is reproduced both in the back and the sides as well as the overall shape of the chair.
In the same way that is characteristic of Jacobsen's other works; 'the Ant', 'the Swan' and 'Series 7'.
Jacobsen's world famous 'Egg Chair' was designed alongside the 'Swan Chair', with which it shares several common features. The chair is believed to be inspired by Eero Saarinens 'Womb Chair', which has many similarities with 'the Egg'. AJ became one of Denmark's most recognized designers and has almost become synonymous with modern Danish design. He found inspiration in all of Europe and from this he created a completely unique expression, which this master piece is an example of.
Originally, Arne Jacobsen also designed 'the Egg' in a couch model in the 1950s, but it never went into general production, and there are only a few copies.
The Egg: The price varies depending on your choices
How much does 'the Egg' cost? The price is completely depending on whether or not you choose to buy an authentic, second-hand or a copy of the chair. Furthermore, the price fluctuates depending on the variant, where natural leather is the most expensive followed by all the other leather variants while the chairs in fabric upholstery are the relatively cheaper versions of 'the Egg Chair'.
The Egg Chair, black leather (without foot stool)
around 8000 euro
Entirely depending on current supply
Replica (legal in Ireland)
ca. 1000 euro
Are you considering buying the 'Egg Chair' second-hand?
Since the authentic version of this design icon is a costly affair, you might have considered buying the chair second-hand. This can be an option if you search on eBay, Gumtree and various auction websites.
If you buy the 'Egg Chair' second-hand, you should be aware of the following aspects:
- Cracks in the leather (If you are looking at a leather model)
- The stitching – Check if the seams are unravelling, or if there are holes commencing in other places, if you are looking at a chair in fabric upholstery
- Upholstering – Often the upholstering can become worn in older chairs, therefore you should try out the chair and feel everywhere if there are commencing softer areas.
- It is especially on models with fabric upholstery, that the foam padding can have started to crumble – and reupholstering is not cheap
- The base – does the metal still look nice, is the chair still stable, and is the swivel function intact
Classic Arne Jacobsen design
'The Egg' has many features which are very typical of Jacobsen's design style. First and foremost he gave a lot of thoughts to the proportions, which in this particular chair is quite unique. The large curved chair makes a fantastic statement. The design, with its curved and organic shapes, is a prime example of how he found great inspiration in nature. This is also reflected in the name of the design. His designs are part of the modernist wave and very innovative, like e.g. 'the Egg Chair'.
Development of the 'Egg Chair'
The early version of the 'Egg' he designed, was without seat cushion and with more padding in the seat. The original base of the chair is moulded in one piece, while the base from 1973 and onwards instead was made of aluminium mounted on a steel pedestal. The moulded base is, however, the most desirable, just like the older models also have a finer and thinner padding than the new ones. However, this is probably mostly refinements which are interesting to the really detail oriented furniture collectors.
The original versions from 1958 did not include the tilt feature either, this was added later when changes were made after 1973. At this point the chairs shell was also made of fibreglass instead of foam.
When Arne Jacobsen first began to produce the chair with its shell of foam, this was ground breaking since no one else had ever used foam material as the main constituent of a chair. The shell was with either leather or fabric upholstery and the basic shape is made in one piece. A story relates, that Arne Jacobsen first sculpted the 'Egg' out of clay in his garage.
Designed with the function and experience in mind
Jacobsen's basic idea of the 'Egg' was precisely that the chair had to be shaped out of one piece. The entirety and round shape closes protectively around the person when sitting in the chair. If the chairs are placed in a circle in a lobby, they form a closed ring which creates a space in the space for the seated. This can be perfect for a large foyer in a hotel lobby, where one can feel the need for a smaller room. At the same time, the base can rotate and you can quickly turn around and either open for other people and the surrounding space, or you can choose to turn slightly away from the person sitting close by if you wish for a little privacy. The closed back of the lounge chair can effectively screen you, if desired.
The special anniversary model
The 'Egg' had 50th anniversary in 2008, and at this occasion a special anniversary edition was produced. This particular version of Jacobsen's design icon was produced in both leather and suede and has a clear dichotomy, which is spectacular compared to the classic model. The back of the chair is made of chocolate brown suede, while the front is made of pure leather in the same colour. This anniversary edition of the lounge chair was only made in exactly 999 copies and thus these few versions are sought after by collectors.
Dimensions and specifications
- Total height: 107 cm
- Seat height: 58 cm
- Height of possible foot stool: 37 cm
The chair is, as previously described, available in a wide range of fabric and leather upholstery. The shell is made of a synthetic material padded with cold-cured foam.
The star shaped base is made of aluminium mounted on a satin polished steel pedestal. If you choose a foot stool, which is available for the 'Egg', it is upholstered in the same fashion and has an aluminium base. When you buy the lounge chair, you can choose whether or not to buy it with a foot stool.
How to decorate with Jacobsen's design icon
It's a very striking chair which requires a very special place in the home. This could be in the living room or office. You can combine it with other Arne Jacobsen chairs such as the 'Swan' or one of the beautiful AJ couches. Furniture inspired by him will give you the completely unique and delicious Scandinavian style which is both simple and elegant at the same time and never goes out of fashion.