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Behind an icon: CH24 The Wishbone Chair

Considered one of the most famous symbols of Danish furniture design, the CH24 is also known as the Wishbone Chair. Globally admired, its elegant, curved frame is often spotted in the world’s best restaurants and hotels as well as in private homes all over the world.

The Wishbone Chair was designed by Hans J. Wegner, often referred to as the master of Danish chair design. It has been in continuous production at Carl Hansen & Søn since 1950, coveted by generations for its simplicity, organic shape and timelessness. Seemingly, the universal appeal of the Wishbone Chair is its ability to become part of any home, anywhere. The combination of solid wood and the hand-woven paper cord seat is a physical manifestation of Carl Hansen & Søn’s philosophy: the finest craftsmanship and quality materials imbued with a unique story.

From 1943 to 1945, Wegner designed a series of chairs inspired by the thrones of Chinese Emperors. The 1949 CH24 chair is the most recent and precise example of this inspiration. The chair became known as the ‘Wishbone’ thanks to its Y-shaped back that not only supports the backrest, but is also comfortable yet minimal – the antithesis of the rigid, heavy backrests of traditional dining chairs.

Through his studies and early exploration, Wegner had already begun establishing a reputation as a visionary, always placing the utmost importance on form and comfort. Holger Hansen, Carl Hansen’s son, kept a close eye on Wegner throughout the 1940s, knowing that a collaboration with a young furniture designer would have great potential for the expansion of the business. Wegner, keen to focus on both chair design and bringing his work to a wider audience, agreed to the partnership in 1949 and began to work on proposals for new designs immediately.

In his first three weeks at Carl Hansen & Søn, Wegner crafted his first four test chairs in collaboration with the company’s cabinetmakers; chairs that went on to become icons of modern Danish design, manufactured using advanced production techniques, complex woven seat constructions and solid, light-colored woods. The CH22, CH23, CH24 and CH25 all share the same fundamental Wegner DNA, but especially in the case of the CH24 – the iconic Wishbone Chair – have gained great popularity with time. 

The CH24 also represents a deeply-rooted part of the Carl Hansen & Søn philosophy: the passion for woodwork. Wegner was a cabinetmaker first and a designer second and he had both a persistent curiosity about the potential of materials and a deep respect for wood and its character.

Each Wegner design, of which the Wishbone Chair is a prime example, reflects Wegner’s understanding of wood as an organic material, its character and its potential. His experimentation in this area allowed him to exploit the unique characteristics and properties of different woods or highlight particular craftsmanship details in decorative ways.

This respect for wood reflects Carl Hansen & Søn’s regard for the natural and the organic, and the care taken in material choices.

The Wishbone Chair is imbued with Carl Hansen & Søn’s heritage, the brilliant talent of Hans J. Wegner and the soul of Danish design. Its timeless form and simplicity have seen it grow in relevance and popularity over the last half century. The Wishbone Chair has a story woven through it and is a piece of furniture that can be cherished for a lifetime and passed on to the next generation.

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CH24 | Wishbone Chair

Oak, White oil, Natural cordView product
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CH24 | Wishbone Chair

Oak, White oil, Black cordView product

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When you choose a Carl Hansen & Søn product, you gain more than just a piece of furniture. You become part of a proud tradition of distinctive and beautiful craftsmanship, where nothing has been left to chance. The world’s largest manufacturer of furniture designed by Hans J. Wegner, we also produce works by renowned design masters such as Arne Jacobsen, Børge Mogensen, Ole Wanscher, Kaare Klint, Poul Kjærholm, Mogens Koch, Bodil Kjær and Tadao Ando. Carl Hansen & Søn represents over 100 years of Danish design history and our furniture is sold all over the world.  

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