One Mysterious Dining Set

In my recent visit to Copenhagen, I received a lesson in connoisseurship of Danish Modern from world renowned specialist Peter Kjelgaard, head of design at the Danish auction house Bruun Rasmussen. I visited its beautiful historic headquarters at the prestigious Bredgade Street and saw the most extraordinary dining set I have ever seen, shining through the window, and filling the showroom with magnetism. With sculptural chairs, among the most exciting and beautiful I have ever seen, the design reveals an unknown side in Danish Modern: expressive, distorted, radical, and intriguing. Now, this dining set is offered for sale.

In recent months, Kjelgaard and his team of researchers tried to identify the designer of this unusual set of furniture, to piece together the story behind it. They consulted the archives at the Design Museum Denmark, they explored the Collection of Architectural Drawings at the Danish Art Library, but were unable to identify the artistic mind behind this mysterious set. They did, however find an interesting story.

The dining set was designed in 1942, made to order for Jens Udsen, one of the enterprising tycoons of the time, for his home at Hotel Postgaarden in Slagelse. Neither the manufacturer Fritz Hansen nor Udsen’s heirs have been able to reveal who the designer behind the furniture was. The chairs, they believe are ‘decisive masterpieces in the history of Danish furniture design, and appear completely original and as they were made in 1942 and are an expression of a design that in every way was ahead of its time.’ The set will be offered in auction on September 29th; the chairs are estimated at $105-130K. Note: the set of chairs fetched $135K.