At the Autumn’s international auction at Bruun Rasmussen in Copenhagen, a unique coffee table (€ 27,000-54,000) and an incredibly rare FJ44 armchair (€ 40,000-67,000) by Finn Juhl will be up for auction. The table is one of the most sculptural and eye-catching furniture pieces that Bruun Rasmussen’s experts have ever seen from this world-famous architect.
”It is a rare occurrence to see such early pieces by Finn Juhl. The table in particular is a testimony to the architect’s phenomenal ability to create art of the highest quality out of furniture by combining functional elements with sculptural forms with his own unique and fine sense of colour. Nothing is left to chance – even the bottom is painted,” says Peter Kjelgaard, Head of the department for design and decorative art from the 20th century.
The unique palette shaped coffee table, with the characteristic light blue table top, hot plate, container with glass lid and yellow compartment with a tambour door, was made to order in 1945 by cabinetmaker Niels Vodder and stands today as proof of the architect’s wide range and significant position within Danish design in the 20th century. In a review in “Nyt Tidsskrift for Kunstindustri” (The Design Industry’s New Magazine) of the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers' Guild Exhibition at the Designmuseum Danmark in 1945, the sofa table is described with great veneration:
”One is allowed to play around with colour, glass and steel, when the result comes together as a whole – an artwork, liberated from all remnants of time and tradition – one can always afford to dream.”
Finn Juhl's FJ44 Armchair
The FJ44 armchair is considered one of Finn Juhl's most important chair designs, and at the same time it marks the beginning of the architect's most fertile period in the mid-1940s. It is the first wooden armchair that truly embodies his distinctive sculptural idiom, and in practical terms it pushes the methods of carpentry to the limit. The chair was also a personal favourite for both Finn Juhl and his wife, and therefore it still has a permanent place in the home at Kratvænget in Ordrup, which today is open to the public via Ordrupgaard Museum. FJ44 was designed for the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers' Guild Exhibition in 1944 and was only made in 12 examples by cabinetmaker Niels Vodder. Only a handful of these rare armchairs are known to exist, including the example here.
Collaboration between Finn Juhl and Niels Vodder
Finn Juhl was originally trained as a resident architect, but it was furniture design and interiors that became his line of work. In collaboration with his ongoing partner Niels Vodder, Juhl created some of Danish design history’s most iconic furniture pieces, which today have achieved a status of being valuable collector’s items and museum pieces. Finn Juhl combined the carpentry methods with a modern and artistic expression – without losing the functionality of the furniture. With his unique idiom, he innovated Danish furniture art and was the first Danish furniture architect who achieved international recognition.
Preview and Auction
Finn Juhl’s coffee table and FJ44 armchair can be seen at Bruun Rasmussen’s preview in Bredgade, Copenhagen, from 14 to 18 September, and will be exhibited at 12 Drouot in Paris from 21-22 September. The auction itself will be held at Bruun Rasmussen in Copenhagen on 27 September.
Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers is one of Scandinavia’s leading international auction houses, and one of Denmark’s oldest. It all started on 6 October 1948, when Arne Bruun Rasmussen conducted the first traditional auction in the saleroom at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen. Today, Jesper Bruun Rasmussen stands at the helm of the family-run business together with the third generation of the family, his son Frederik and daughter Alexa, and the company’s CEO Jakob Dupont.
In 2004, the first online auction was launched, and today the auction house has expanded to include departments in Copenhagen and Aarhus and representations in Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Spain, Italy, Thailand and the US. About 100,000 lots are put up for auction each year at the traditional auctions and daily online auctions. Here you can bid on everything from art, antiques, modern design and jewellery to books, coins, stamps, wine and weaponry.