The History of The Wishbone Chair: 5 Unexpected Facts About Hans Wegner's Iconic Seat

Hint: You've been getting its name wrong.

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Though he started his career as a cabinet maker, Danish design icon Hans Wegner made a name for himself with his aptitude for a much comfier bit of home decor. First manufactured in 1950, the Wishbone Chair cemented Wegner's status as one of the biggest names in midcentury modern style with its sleek, ergonomically-minded wooden frame and woven seat. The design became a near-instant success and while Wegner would go on to create many more classic pieces, the Wishbone Chair remains his most recognizable.

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$695, Design Within Reach

Whether you're a lifelong fan of this smooth, clean design or are new to Wishbone mania, here are five fast facts about the Wishbone Chair that are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

1. IT WAS INSPIRED BY THE THRONES OF CHINESE EMPERORS.

The Wishbone Chair is associated with Danish style for the obvious reasons, but the original idea for the streamlined mix of curves and sharp angles sprang to Wegner's mind from images of the wide-seated, high-backed thrones of the Ming dynasty.

2. ITS REAL NAME IS CH24.

Though commonly known as the Wishbone Chair or the Y Chair, courtesy of its 'Y' back frame, when Wegner first brought the chair to life he dubbed it the CH24. Designed within his first three weeks at Carl Hansen & Søn, Wegner created the CH24 along with its four (somewhat less famous) siblings CH22, CH23, CH25 and CH26.

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3. IT HAS BEEN GOING STRONG FOR NEARLY 70 YEARS.

Before you complain about needing a break, consider that the Wishbone Chair hasn't taken a day off in over half a cenury. Since it was first manufactured in 1950, the design has been in continuous production at Carl Hansen & Søn.

4. EACH CHAIR TAKES WEEKS TO BUILD.

Using Wegner's original design, the Wishbone Chair is made up of 14 separate components which require 100 individual processes to chisel, carve, sand, and shape, adding nearly three weeks of preparation time before the chair can even begin to be assembled.

5. IT'S NO PAPER PUSHER.

While paper may not be the first construction material that springs to mind for a chair seat, the nearly 400 feet of paper cord that gets woven into the Wishbone Chair's distinctive geometric seat design is said to have a life cycle of approximately 50 years.

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