This is the most static and classic of all Wegnerâ€™s chairs. Its frame is strictly geometrical and the armrests embrace the person seated while the gracious backrest provides state-of-the-art comfort.
In 1978, more than 800 special versions of the pp52 chair were delivered to the DFDS ferry â€˜Dana Angliaâ€™ which was to sail between Denmark and England. This was PP Møblerâ€™s biggest total order to date.
Then in 1982, a customer who wanted to buy a new seat for a pp52 contacted PP Møbler. He needed it for a chair he had found on the beach on the west coast of Denmark. He brought the chair to PP Møbler, and it turned out to be one of the special versions exclusively made for the ferry. The chair had obviously been lost but apparently completed its own journey across the North Sea. So the customer got a new seat, as the chair itself was completely intact.
Later the manager of the ferry company called PP Møbler asking to buy two new chairs for the ferry in replacement of two chairs that had been damaged. Master of Craftsmen Ejnar Pedersen wanted to deliver the two chairs free of charge arguing that the chairs should not break. â€˜Noâ€™, said the ferry manager, â€˜we really want to buy the chairs. You see, the ferry has been through the most terrible storm while anchored. The entire inventory was completely destroyed, piled up in the back-end of the ferry. It has all been replaced - except your chairs Mr Pedersen. All but 2 chairs were intactâ€™.
More than 30 years after the ferry's virgin journey, it has been renamed and upgraded several times and it has sailed on a number of different routes between Denmark, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Norway and Sweden. Through all the years, the chairs have remained on board!
Son of a shoe-maker in southern Jutland, Hans Wegner, finished his formal training as a cabinetmaker with master cabinetmaker Stahlberg in 1930 before starting at Teknologisk Institut in Copenhagen. He soon moved to the School of Arts and Crafts in the Danish capital where he became architect in 1938, and started teaching in 1946.
In 1940 he joined Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller in Arhus, to design the furniture for the new Arhus city hall. He started to work with 'minister' cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen in 1940 and showed his first furniture in the famous Hansen store on Bredgade 65 in 1941. Johannes Hansen was more than twice as old as the 26 year old Wegner but the unique collaboration between the two became the undisputed backbone of Danish furniture design and the main reason for it's world wide recognition in the fifties and sixties. The Copenhagen Museum of Art and Industry acquired the first Wegner chair in 1942.
In 1943 he started his own design office and 1 year later designed the first of a long series of 'chinese' chairs inspired by portraits of Danish merchants sitting in Ming chairs for Fritz Hansen. In 1950 Wegner designed the “Wishbone Chair” produced by Carl Hansen & Søn in Odense which became the most successful of all Wegner chairs. Most well known for it’s use by Kennedy and Nixon in their famous CBS TV debate of 1960.