Hans J. Wegner’s 1949 Wishbone Chair is this week’s Crush of the Week. Like a favorite movie, I never get tired of this piece. Wegner designed the CH24 Wishbone Chair for Carl Hansen & Søn in 1949, and it has been in continuous production ever since. At sixty-seven years old, its clean, graceful lines and simple design attest to its longevity.
The Wishbone Chair is lightweight, has a characteristic Y-shaped back and a seat made of about 400 feet of hand-woven paper cord treated with wax. In fact, making one chair is a one-hundred step process. The frame is made out of sustainable hardwood and available in a several different wood species and finishes.
The Soaped Wood Finish has a close appearance to raw wood and is made by mixing vegetable oil-based soap in water and rubbing it into the wood and wiping it off.
With a darker, rich patina, the Oiled Wood Finish is a hand-rubbed vegetable-based oil which will heighten the grain and character. Oil finishes will darken over time.
If color pulls at your heartstrings, there are twenty-six eye-popping painted finishes. A few favorites include Orange Red Lacquer, Spring Green Lacquer, and Black Lacquer. Shown above are some blue options, but here’s a link to all the available hues.
Each chair costs between $600 (for painted) and up to about $1,450 for lacquered walnut. While it’s nothing to sneeze at, for hand-crafted, high-quality iconic furniture, the price is warranted.
Beware of the many knock-offs on the market. One of the most telling signs of a fake is the woven seat material. Cheaper replicas often use synthetic cording, like nylon. The weaving should be tight and at near 90-degree angles balanced on all sides, like shown above.
Authentic chairs are also labeled. This is the current label, but older models are slightly different.