Spotlight on the Carl Hansen CH24 Wishbone Chair
A true design icon, the CH24 Wishbone Chair has been in constant production since it was designed in 1949.
Who designed the Wishbone Chair?
Wegner (1914-2007) is widely considered as one of the most creative, innovative and prolific Danish designers. Often referred to as the “Master of the chair”, Wegner created almost 500 chairs in his lifetime - many of them considered masterpieces of design. The CH24 Wishbone chair is potentially his most iconic design and definitely his best-selling creation.
The son of a cobbler, Hans J. Wegner was born in 1914 in Tønder, a town in Southern Denmark and trained as a cabinetmaker from the age of 14. He later attended the School of Arts & Crafts in Copenhagen before a career in furniture design that saw him work with world renowned designers such as Arne Jacobsen and Eric Møller among others.
Wegner’s background in cabinet making gave him a deep understanding of joinery techniques and instilled in him a deep love and respect of wood. A vast curiosity of this natural material enabled him to bring organic, natural softness to formalistic minimalism, something that is evident in his Wishbone chair.
Why is it called Wishbone?
The true name of the chair is CH24 but is most commonly referred to as the Wishbone Chair or Y Chair due to the shape of its backrest, which resembles a wishbone. The inspiration for the chair actually came from a photograph Wegner happened upon. The photo showed Danish merchants sitting atop Ming Dynasty chairs whose wide seats and high back intrigued Wegner.
Where are Carl Hansen CH24 Wishbone chairs produced?
The Wishbone chair was designed exclusively for Danish furniture company Carl Hansen & Son and have been in continuous production ever since. Each chair is crafted by hand by expert craftsmen in the company’s factory in Denmark.
Every Wishbone Chair is made by hand in Carl Hansen & Son's Danish factory, with expert craftsmen carrying out more than 100 production steps per chair. The hand woven paper cord seat, which is incredibly durable and lightweight, takes over an hour to create and uses approximately 120 meters of cord. A true icon, the Wishbone Chair has secured itself a place in design history and remains Carl Hansen & Son's best selling product to this day.
Each Wishbone takes 3 weeks to produce, a short time to wait considering these chairs are made to last a lifetime.
How to spot a fake?
As with many other iconic furniture designs, the internet is rife with replica versions of the Wishbone Chair. Luckily for fans of the original, these imitation chairs are much easier to spot than fake versions of some other well known designs. The superior quality and build of the original Wishbone Chair is often enough to differentiate between an authentic Wisbone Chair and a replica, but just to be sure, here are a few other tell tale signs.
All Carl Hansen & Son Wishbone currently in production feature a serial number and Hans J. Wegner signature to signify authenticity but older versions may feature a metal plaque or stamp. No matter the age, this identification will be found on the underside of the chair, at the rear of the side.
If you spot knots and blemishes in the wooden frame, you’re likely looking at a fake. Carl Hansen & Son make their chairs from sustainable, high-quality Danish timber and the wood will have a smooth, even appearance.
The Paper Cord
Official licensed originals of the Ch24 Wishbone feature woven papercord seats in natural, black or white. If the seat is another colour then it is a replica. Construction of the hand woven seat is also a tell tale way to spot a fake. It should sit uniform and be taut and neat. If the weave looks uneven of loose then you’re being duped. Some replicas also use synthetic material in place of the paper cord so keep a keen eye out for that.
The Price Tag
Authentic Wishbone Chairs are handmade from premium quality materials and the price reflects this. They’re built to be used, enjoyed and loves for generations.