Hans Wegner's Shell Chair (Ch 07)
Hans J. Wegner is a Danish furniture designer, known both nationally and internationally for his functional, yet highly aesthetic and stylish designer furniture which remained popular throughout the decades and all over the world. The Shell Chair, designated as Ch 07, fits nicely into the line of successful and popular Wegner chairs with its elegant cutting edge design which provides both comfort and style. While it was not instantly popular when it was first introduced in 1963 due to its innovative and avant-garde design based on experimental shape and only three legs, since then, it has received great critical acclaim and gained wide popularity throughout the world. After its relaunch in 1998, the modern design and innovative look was quickly recognized and the chair won numerous design awards, both in Denmark and abroad.
- A classic of Danish Modern from 1963
- Cutting edge avant-garde design from Hans J. Wegner
- Light and fluid design
The expressive, yet lightweight design of the Shell Chair was achieved by Wegner’s thoughtful and detailed approach to the wing-like lines of the chair’s seat and back and the curved shape of the conical, laminated legs. The three legs are constructed and placed so the chair has optimal stability and strength, making a stark contrast with the “flying-light” expression.
The padded shells of the seat and back section are curved in an organic manner, according to the body’s shape. So, like with other Wegner’s chairs, Ch 07 was also designed with comfort and functionality as a top priority.
Due to the upwards curved shape of the chair seat, this design is also known by the nickname “the smiling chair”. In interior design, the sculptural value of the chair is often emphasized by leaving a lot of open space around it, so it can be viewed and appreciated from many angles.
The Shell Chair's Construction
The seat and the back of the Ch 07 are made of highest quality form-pressed hardwood laminates, better known as veneered bentwood, with a finish in oiled oak. The two front legs are made out of one continuous piece of laminated wood, and the hind leg is its own piece. The seat and the back are available both in fabric and leather upholstery. The shell of the chair is available in walnut, beech, ash and oak with finishes in lacquer or oil.Dimensions of the Shell Chair:
|Seat height||35 cm|
The price of a new original Shell Chair is around 16.000kr (£1900 / $2410), depending on the upholstery and wood type, while a second-hand model will always be cheaper, with the condition being the determining factor. If the chair needs to be reupholstered, it is usually available at a significantly lower price, as this is quite expensive to get done. A replica of the chair costs around a tenth of the original.
Designer chairs like Wegner’s Ch 07 are rarely on sale as there is always a stable and constant demand for them on the market. You have to be more than lucky to come across on the Shell Chair with a significant discount, and if you don’t have the budget for the original, buying a replica might be your best choice.
If you’re interested in buying Wegner’s Shell Chair second-hand, you should try with sites like eBay, Gumtree or Lauritz where many people sell second-hand furniture. However, it can still be rather hard to find this specific model, since the high quality of the chair combined with comfort and style usually makes it a very good buy which only a few people regret and choose to resell.
The Shell Chair Replica
Replicas and copies of all designer chairs flourish on the market and are often resold as second-hand originals, so it’s important to stay vigilant. Furthermore, while it is not legal to sell replicas within Denmark, you can find a retailer from Ireland where the copyright laws allow the production and selling of replicas.
While there are many different copy versions, the highest quality replicas look surprisingly similar to the originals.
The Shell Chair in Modern Decoration
Wegner’s Ch 07, like many other icons of Danish design, fits perfectly within the contemporary décor styles. Although the shape and the design are extremely unique, the chair is, at the same time, both timeless and simple, in line with the modernist design philosophy. Wood and leather are classic materials that fit in most homes, while the light and the minimalistic never go out of fashion, especially in the Scandinavian décor.
Wegner’s Shell Chair is ideal as a part of a sitting area, as it provides high comfort and also great stylish look. It can be placed in a corner of a living room and with just a little bit of lighting and some space around it, it will retain its sculptural appeal while also being a functional piece of furniture. For extra comfort, you can place a pillow in the back, and with the right colour, it will be a great decorative element in the living room. If you’re aiming for a room in classic Scandinavian style, you might get Wegner’s round coffee table (Ch 008) as an addition that will perfectly complement the Shell Chair.