A Danish design classic celebrates its 100th birthday in Milan

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Photo credit Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier

The Faaborg Chair is designed by Kaare Klint and is still being made at Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier in Copenhagen.

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Photo credit Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier

The designer of the Faaborg Chair, Kaare Klint.

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Photo credit Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier

A pack shot of the Faaborg Chair made of oak burrs.

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Photo credit Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier

Galleria Bolzani in Milan housed the exhibition by Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier.

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Photo credit Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier

Wood from an old elm tree was used to create a special edition of the Faaborg Chair. The old elm stump is still visible in the courtyard of Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier in Copenhagen.

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Photo credit Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier

The Faaborg Chair is regarded as one of the first examples of modern Danish design.

Published
28.04.2015

We stopped by Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier’s exhibition space at the Salone del Mobile earlier this April. The renowned Danish cabinetmaker’s workshop, Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier, is creating some of Denmark’s most classic furniture pieces. In Milan, the company had a special anniversary item displayed among the exhibited furniture pieces: the Faaborg Chair. The chair, which was designed 100 years ago by world-famous Danish architect Kaare Klint for the Faaborg Museum, was at the centre of it all as the company participated in Salone del Mobile for the first time.

With furniture designed by Danish design icons such as Mogens Koch, Poul Kjærholm and, of course, Kaare Klint, the furniture maker exhibited in the Galleria Bolzani, a small gallery. This gallery was the perfect place to celebrate and pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Faaborg Chair, which Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier calls “the first modern Danish design classic”.

Kaare Klint, the creator of the Faaborg Chair, is regarded as an influential designer in modern Danish design. Born in 1888, Klint was the son of an architect. In 1924, he co-founded the furniture school at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. His work has inspired such greats as Arne Jacobsen, Børge Mogensen and Hans J. Wegner.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary, Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier is presenting a special edition of the chair made in burred elm. This special edition of the Faaborg Chair is constructed from elm burrs from an old elm tree that stood in the backyard of the cabinetmaker’s workshop for 100 years until it was cut down 25 years ago. When it was cut down, this elm tree with a unique story was saved until the right occasion came along. Only 10 of these special edition chairs are being produced, and they will not be for sale initially. Luckily, an anniversary model is also being made for public sale.

Situated on the Danish island of Funen, the Faaborg Museum is a stellar example of a complete art piece. The architecture, furniture and art were considered jointly and equally during the construction of the museum. This ensured that the furniture was designed specifically for the museum and its surroundings, creating a fuller, long-lasting experience.

The original 18 Faaborg Chairs produced for the museum in 1915 are still in use today; these chairs are made of burred oak wood. Oak burrs emerge from the root of the oak tree. They grow outside the trunk and have many fused knots and entanglements, which create irregular patterns in the wood.

Ornamentation and details were not used in the design of the Faaborg Chair; what remains is an example of modern, simple Danish design. Klint made the final drawings for the chair in June 1914, and the chair was presented publicly in January 1915 before being presented once again at the opening of the Faaborg Museum on 6 June 1915.

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