Pranks and Danish Design

At the upcoming design auction, we will be focusing on early furniture and lamps by the architects Flemming and Mogens Lassen, Arne Jacobsen and Poul Henningsen – including a unique easy chair by Flemming Lassen.


At this autumn’s international auction at Bredgade 33, we will be offering a wealth of design classics on Thursday 25 September at 4 pm. This time, focus is on early design from the mid-1920’s-1940’s by the four world-famous Danish architects.

The Beginning of a Lifelong Friendship

Under the cover of darkness, three boys climbed unto a steam locomotive and manoeuvred it to Nærum north of Copenhagen. The next morning, the usual passengers turned up at the station, but were left waiting in vain for their train. The police found the culprits at their boarding school in Nærum and were able to completely dispel, with a severe reprimand, their childish excitement following their achievements of the previous night. The three friends were the brothers Flemming and Mogens Lassen and Arne Jacobsen. Already from a very young age, they knew how to make a mark and later in life were at the forefront of Danish architecture and design. Flemming Lassen and Arne Jacobsen entered into a partnership and designed several award-winning projects together – including the House of the Future and Søllerød Town Hall (Today Rudersdal Town Hall).

Too Advanced for Contemporary Preferences

The highlight of the auction is without comparison Flemming Lassen’s sculptural easy chair from 1938 made by cabinetmaker Jacob Kjær. It was shown at the Joiners’ Guild Exhibition, but with its split backrest it was too advanced for contemporary preferences and was not put into production. We are therefore talking about a unique specimen, one that Flemming Lassen kept in his home, and with an estimate of up to 1 million Danish kroner it could become Denmark’s most expensive easy chair. In 1935, he designed ”The Hussar” and ”The Tired Man”, and these iconic easy chairs are also to be found at the upcoming auction.

Inspiration from France and Egypt

Contrary to the other two, Mogens Lassen went solo. During a stay in Paris in 1927-28, he became familiar with the works of one of the leading figures of modernism, Le Corbusier. He used this inspiration for his primary calling as an architect, but it also made its way into his furniture designs. This is evident in the unique dining table on offer, which was shown at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1937 and has been a part of the architect’s private interior. Mogens Lassen also turned his attention to Egyptian cabinetmaking of the past, and this source of inspiration is seen in his furniture designs made with foldable frames, for instance the tray table up for auction from 1942. At the opening of the preview on Thursday 11 September at 3.30 pm, Nadia Lassen, the great-grandchild of Mogens Lassen, will give a talk on the two architect brothers

Arne Jacobsen from another Angle

To a much larger extent than the other two, Arne Jacobsen followed the maxims of international modernism on function and mass production. Jacobsen’s heyday was in the 1950´s, but besides famous classics from this period, the auction also offers some of his early furniture and lamps. For example two chairs made out of bent bamboo from 1937 with a curved shape, which laid the foundation for his later very famous shell chairs. The two standard lamps were designed by Jacobsen already in 1929 making them part of his earliest pieces of realised work.

Light on the Land

Their peer, architect Poul Henningsen, truly set the agenda when it came to lighting. Immediately after the World Exhibition in 1925, where he was awarded the Gold Medal for the so-called “Paris Lamp”, he created the rare copper pendant based on the same lighting principles for the legendary restaurant that was ”A Porta” on Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen. PH’s virtuoso talent also shines brightly at the auction by means of his many other lamps including ”PH-5/3”, also called ”The Millionaire Lamp”.


Please note: The auction is postponed until Monday 29 September at 4 pm at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen


View all lots on offer at the design auction

Read more about the auction and download the catalogues


For further information, please contact:

Peter Kjelgaard: +45 8818 1191 ·

Ole Ravn: +45 8818 1192 ·

Amalie Hansen: +45 8818 1194 ·

Anna Widenborg: +45 8818 1187 ·