Finn Juhl’s Bullseye

The cabinetmaker Niels Vodder’s exhibition stand at the legendary Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition in 1949 represents a climax in Finn Juhl’s creativity. The stand included a sculptural coffee table made of teak, Oregon pine and brass, which is now up for auction.

The different components of the exhibition stand should first and foremost promote the furniture, but in a way that explains and underscores their shape and connectedness with other artistic occurrences and with the natural incidents that appeal to one’s imagination and in a spontaneous way teaches us the joy of shapes, lines, colours and materials.”

This is how Finn Juhl described the cabinetmaker Niels Vodder’s exhibition stand at the Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition in 1949. The two were regular collaborators, and the exhibition remains one of the most important events in the history of Danish design. It was here that an ensemble of iconic classics was presented alongside collaborations between leading architects and cabinetmakers who paved the way for the international breakthrough of Danish furniture art. The exhibition represents the culmination of an unparallelled success story for Danish design, and Vodder’s stand with Juhl’s furniture belongs among the highlights.  

“Visiting Niels Vodder’s exhibition stand in 1949 would for a design enthusiast be akin to a music lover getting to listen to Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock twenty years later”. 

Peter Kjelgaard, Head of Bruun Rasmussen’s Design Department

A Playful Approach to Shapes, Lines and Materials

The stand is considered a climax of Juhl’s creativity with the launch of designs such as the “Chieftain Chair” and “The Egyptian Chair”. We can now present one of the stand’s lesser known furniture pieces at the year’s first Live Auction in Copenhagen. It is a beautiful, sculptural coffee table, which Juhl designed specifically for the exhibition. Here you can see a clear example of Juhl’s belief that one should let one’s imagination and joy run wild when it comes to shapes, lines and materials. The table's organic shapes are reminiscent of the work by modern artists such as Jean Arp. At the same time, the table expresses a playful approach to the material with the contrasts between the dark teak wood, light Oregon pine and the warm, shiny brass. In other words – the design hits the bullseye, and with this piece Juhl moves away from the calling card of “pure functionality” of the more stringent, international Modernism. The table was bought directly at the exhibition by the owner of one of Denmark’s leading lighting manufacturers, LYFA, and it has since then been in the ownership of the same family. Everything points to this display model being the only example produced by Niels Vodder, so you therefore have the chance to purchase a genuine museum piece.    

The Saddle Maker’s “Hunting Chair”

Børge Mogensen: "The Hunting Chair” of solid, patinated oak and original grain leather. Prototype. Estimate: DKK 150,000-200,000.

Børge Mogensen’s flagship piece, “The Hunting Chair”, was presented at the Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition the following year in 1950. The chair is still in production today, but at this auction we can present three prototypes of solid, patinated oak that were made during the early 1950s by the original cabinetmaker Knud Rasmussen from Erhard Rasmussen’s Cabinetmakers. The seat and back were set with grain leather by the Royal saddle maker “Brødrene F. & L. Dahlman’s Eft”. The three prototypes were given to the three people who collaborated on “The Hunting Chair” – Børge Mogensen himself, Knud Rasmussen and the saddle maker Willy Hendriksen. The auction’s “Hunting Chair” was the saddle maker’s, and therefore the leather is made with the finest craftsmanship. The chair has been in the ownership of the family until today.

Live Auction


5 March 4 pm

For further information, please contact:

Peter Kjelgaard: +45 8818 1191 ·

Amalie Hansen: +45 8818 1194 ·

Anna Berger Widenborg: +45 8818 1187 ·

Andreas Krabbe: +45 8818 1193 ·

Kristina Ulfvik: +45 8818 1197 ·

Poul Svalgaard Henriksen: +45 8818 1132 ·