Classic Design: The ‘Wishbone’ chair

April 22, 2016 / Classics

The most elegant chair in the world


Designed by Danish designer Hans J Wegner, one of the 20th century’s most prolific creators of seating. He worked with other big names including Arne Jacobsen and Erik Moller before opening his own studio in 1943.


Inspiration A Chinese armchair with a rounded, slanted back that was modelled on an early Chinese Emperor’s throne. Wegner saw the image in a book by furniture designer Ole Wanscher, and it inspired his first collection, called ‘China Chairs’. The ‘Wishbone’, created especially for Carl Hansen & Son, and released in 1949, is a lighter, less bulky version that fits easily under a dining table.

Wishbone chair updated with a red lacquer finish. Available from Skandium.

Wishbone chair updated with a red lacquer finish. Available from


Why we love it Wegner worked wonders with wood, and the curves of the comfortable yet sculptural ‘Wishbone’ chair are meticulously crafted. Out of the 500 pieces of furniture that went into production before Wegner died in 2007, this is perhaps his most celebrated design.

Limited-edition Wishbone chair

Limited-edition Wishbone chair with a seat that’s made from beechwood planted 100 years ago on the Danish island of Funen


Watch the video The making of a ‘Wishbone’ chair…


Visit the showroom Carl Hansen & Son opened its first London showroom in 2015. This beautiful warehouse, a former printworks for the Evening Standard newspaper, has three floors showing a mix of different Danish design classics, from Hans J Wegner’s famous chairs to pieces from Rud Rasmussen, Denmark’s oldest cabinet-making workshop. Carl Hansen & Son + Rud. Rsmussen, 16a Bowling Lane, London EC1R 0BD.

Carl Hansen & Son London Showroom


Buy it now From £504 for a soaped beech finish, Skandium