Modern Icons: Shell Chair 1963

by Muna Gh September 20, 2017

The Wegner CH07 Shell Chair is one of Hans Wegner's most iconic chairs. Wegner Shell Chairs achieve their floating lightness thanks to wing-like lines and arching curves of a three-legged design. 

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The CH07 Shell Chair, designed in 1963 by Hans J. Wegner, is an award winning classic of Danish design: combining ergonomics and functionality in an outstanding, visually impressive form.The Wishbone Chair, for example, has been in continuous production since its 1949 release. Yet not all of Wegner’s designs were accepted with such immediate regard. 


Wegner designed the Shell Chair in 1963 with the goal of creating a chair that was unique, futuristic, comfortable, and reasonably priced. Wegner loved to be challenged and in designing the chair, he pushed materials and new technologies to their limits—production of formed laminated veneer was still very rare at that time. The result was indeed futuristic and unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. It was challenging for architects and customers to fit the new chair into their projects and homes. And thus, only fifteen chairs were produced. The last two chairs were given away as they proved to be impossible to sell. 


In 1997, there was a surprising turn of events. Two of the original chairs from 1963 were auctioned at Sotheby’s in London, selling for £20,000 each. Carl Hansen & Søn responded to this sudden interest by producing the Shell Chair once again. However, progress was slow at first as the design was still too unconventional for most. Gradually, the chair began to receive sales and recognition. Today the chair is sold all over the world and has obtained its long overdue iconic status. It is especially popular among American architects and clients, who have given it the optimistic nickname “Smiley Chair.” The Shell Chair has always been one of my personal favorites, so it’s been particularly satisfying to witness its discovery by more and more people. The international demand we are currently seeing, fifty years later, demonstrates that Wegner truly was a visionary designer.



Note that The designer name and his products was mentioned in this article to demonstrate  the history of furniture design and it doesn't  represent any of the items sold in this store.  

visit our online store for wide selections of Mid Century designs 


Muna Gh
Muna Gh

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