CH07 Shell Chair
from Carl Hansen & Son
designed by Hans Wegner
Introduced in 1963, the Shell Chair was skeptically met at first. After being shelved after a few limited editions were produced, the Shell Chair was relaunched in 1997 and finally got the attention it so obviously deserves. Then, as if to prove its popular acceptance and pedigree, one of the original Shell Chairs from the 60's sold for $20,000 at Christie's in London in 1999.
Seat and back are made of form-pressed plywood shells. The 3 legs are also made from laminated plywood - the 2 front legs are one continuous piece that wraps under the seat, and the rear leg is a separate piece. To enhance the chair's comfort, Wegner added 2 upholstered cushions which are fastened to the shell with screws from the back and bottom. You'd think that a 3-legged chair would be a mite unstable, but that's simply not the case. The Shell Chair is quite stable - even stable enough to allow its occupant to get up by holding the low-slung seat's front edge and pulling himself up.
To add to the Shell Chair's collection of accolades, in 1999 the chair was given the highest possible grade in The Technological Institute of Denmark's test program.
- 29.1" h | 36.2" w | 32.7" d
- seat depth: 18.9" | seat height: 13.8"
- 3 legs give the chair a unique look and a remarkably stable base
- Solid, long-lasting plywood construction
- Comfortably provided with leather or fabric upholstery
Quick Ship versions (please call us at 888-467-6278 to order):
Oak | Clear Lacquer | Thor leather 307 | Russet Brown | $3,015
Walnut | Clear lacquer | Hallingdal fabric 457 | Dark Yellow | $3,030
Walnut | Clear Lacquer | Brown & White Cowhide | $3,495
Walnut | Clear Lacquer | Loke leather 7150 Black | $3,140
Walnut | Clear Lacquer | Thor leather 301 | Black | $3,245
Walnut | Oiled | Loke leather 7150 | Black | $3,140
The family-owned Carl Hansen & Son has been producing hand-made pieces since 1908. However, it was not until the late 1940s that the Danish furniture house, under the direction of Holger Hansen (the "Son"), joined forces with Hans Wegner and began a partnership that would help further not just the company but the entire Danish Modern design style. Wegner's unique, modern designs initially tested the company's production team as it had previously dedicated itself to more traditionally home-style pieces. Under Holger Hansen's guidance the partnership flourished; in the 1950s and 1960s the Carl Hansen Company and Hans Wegner both received international acclaim for their boundary-pushing work. One of the first pieces to emerge from this partnership was the Wishbone Chair, one of four chairs that Wegner designed specially for Carl Hansen in 1949. While the company faced difficulties during the second half of the 20th century, including Holger Hansen's sudden death in 1962, Carl Hansen & Son persevered and began the 21st century with a renewed focus, set on bringing Danish Modern furniture back to the center of the design world. Since 2001, when grandson Knud Erik Hansen assumed control of the company, Carl Hansen & Son has expanded in Denmark, continued to produce top-quality, hand-crafted furniture, gone on producing successful Wegner designs, and introduced new, previously unseen pieces from the legendary Danish designer.
One of the prime influences in Danish Modern design during its formative years, Hans Wegner first began to design furniture after attending the Carpenters' Guild Furniture Exhibits in Copenhagen, Denmark. Shortly after completing his studies at what is now The Danish Design School, he was tasked by Arne Jacobsen with designing all the furniture of his Arhus City Hall. After working with Jacobsen for a short time, he began designing furniture for the Carl Hansen & Son furniture company in 1949. From that partnership came classics such as the Wishbone Chair, Elbow Chair, Shell Chair, and Wing Chair. Still as fresh now as they were then, these enduring pieces of modern furniture bear testimony to Wegner's craftsmanship and inspiration.