Carl Hansen opened his furniture workshop in Odense, Denmark in
1908 and soon became known for the high quality of his work. In the
early days, the company produced bespoke furniture - including
everything from dining room sets to bedroom suites. As the company
grew and times changed, however, it gradually began to produce
smaller series of its most popular pieces. This combination of hand
craftsmanship and rational
series production soon became the firm's hallmark - and
continues to set it apart today.Until the middle of the 1940s Carl
Hansen & Søn cooperated with Frits Henningsen, a famous Danish
architect. Frits Henningsen designed a series of Windsor chairs
whereof Carl Hansen & Søn produced some of the models until
A new designer enters the
stage: Hans J. Wegner
Holger Hansen's sales manager at the time, Ejvind Kold
Kristensen, kept a close eye on the new breed of Danish furniture
designers that began to emerge in the 1940s.
Kold Kristensen was especially impressed by Hans J. Wegner,
whose designs won critical acclaim at exhibitions, but was
relatively unknown outside of specialist circles. Kold Kristensen
had no doubt that Hans J. Wegner was a designer who could propel
Carl Hansen & Søn into the next level of growth.
Kold Kristensen approached Hans J. Wegner in the late 1940´s and
the collaboration between
Hans J. Wegner and Carl Hansen & Søn began shortly
Hans J. Wegner designed four chairs especially for Carl Hansen
& Søn in 1949 - all of which came into production and were
launched in 1950. Among the first four chairs was the legendary
Wishbone Chair, CH24 and the beautiful easy chair with seat and
back in uninterrupted paper cord, CH25 - both which has been
produced ever since.
Holger Hansen, himself a master cabinetmaker as well as a
skilled businessman, worked closely with Hans J. Wegner to adapt
the company's series production to the radically different
Dedicating the majority of the production to a rather unknown
design was a huge gamble for Holger Hansen at the time. The designs
were no immediate success but after a few years the interest for
Hans J. Wegner´s designs grew both in Denmark and abroad.
Promotion of Hans J.
Wegner´s furniture internationally
Holger Hansen, Ejvind Kold Kristensen and Hans J. Wegner
formalized their cooperation in 1951, joining with a few other
Danish furniture manufacturers of Hans J. Wegner´s designs, to form
SALESCO, a unique sales and marketing company that promoted Hans J.
Wegner's work both in Denmark and abroad during the 1950s and
SALESCO played an important role in promoting "Danish Modern"
furniture internationally, "Danish Design" began to capture
interest around the world.
SALESCO, however, did not last forever. First, Kold Kristensen
left in order to work with another promising young designer, Poul
Kjærholm. Then Holger Hansen died suddenly - and all too soon - in
Holger Hansen's widow, Ella Hansen, kept Carl Hansen & Søn
in the family and led it through difficult times with the help of
her dedicated staff - a remarkable achievement for a woman of her
days. Her son, Jørgen Gerner Hansen, took over management of the
company in 1988. At this time the factory was still in the same
location as Carl Hansen moved it to in the 1930s.
Holger and Ella Hansen's second-youngest son, Knud Erik Hansen,
assumed leadership of the company in 2001. Since then, Carl Hansen
& Søn has built a new, modern factory in Aarup outside Odense.
Here, Carl Hansen & Søn still produce design furniture such as
dining tables and chairs, easy chairs, stools, sofas and coffee
tables as well as office furniture and children's furniture - all
in the same high quality - especially through a continued focus on
years of proud tradition of
craftsmanship combined with the best modern technologies
Today, Carl Hansen & Søn is the largest manufacturer of
furniture designed by Hans J. Wegner. Carl Hansen & Søn has a
close cooperation with the Hans J. Wegner Studio, which enables
Carl Hansen & Son to introduce or re-introduce outstanding
designs from the treasure chest that Hans J. Wegner left behind.
Carl Hansen & Søn also produces outstanding furniture classics
by some of Denmark's most
influential architects such as Mogens Koch, Kaare Klint and Ole
Carl Hansen & Søn also continues to find and incorporate new
designers. Today Carl Hansen & Søn produce furniture by the
Danish design duo Strand & Hvass as well as Thomas Bo Kastholm,
son of the famous Danish architect Jørgen Kastholm.
Internationally, Carl Hansen & Søn has recently started a
design collaboration with the world famous Japanese architect Tadao
In 2011 and 2012, Carl Hansen & Søn bought the renowned
Danish cabinet maker Rud. Rasmussen´s in Copenhagen and the Danish
furniture manufacturer P.J. Furniture in Store Heddinge. Thereby
enabling an even more specialized manufacturing of classic Danish
True to the company's founding values, it is Carl Hansen &
Søn's ambition to make furniture of highest quality, remaining
beauty and value with respect for sustainable design, materials and
more than 100 years of traditions of craftsmanship.