A rare complete set of 6 Sigvard Bernadotte H-line Danish armchairs in dark burgundy leather with brushed steel frames and solid Walnut arms for France & Son.
Designed in the 1960s by the renowned Swedish designer Sigvard Bernedotte the H-line armchairs stand out as one of his rarest designs. Constructed of a steel frame with solid, contoured walnut arms, the chairs also feature a sprung seat and back that adds both comfort and support. And here, finished in a soft dark burgundy leather, they represent probably the finest example of these chairs currently available.
Little is known about the design of the chairs other than they were part of a small project that also included a range of modular sofas. The sofas and solo H-line modular system components had open sides rather than arm rests and combined with a coffee table and corner table to create a flexible seating system. It’s believed the system was created in the mid to late 60s at the changeover period in 1967 when Poul Cadovius acquired France & Son and changed the name to Cado.
Bernadotte had worked with France & Son on a number of chair designs since 1953 but these were all constructed in wood, which was France and Son’s (formerly France & Daverkosen) great strength. The move to using metal in the H-line coincided with Bernadotte’s own work with metal in other design projects; particularly at Georg Jensen and with Bang & Olufsen, and also with the launch of his own design company in 1964. Bernadotte Design AB helped a number of International and Scandinavian companies explore new materials, technologies, and aesthetic possibilities and it’s believed the H-line was a development in new materials and production techniques for France & Son. This change was later embraced by Cado who created a number of designs using a metal frame by, amongst others, Knudsen & Lind.
The quality, as always associated with both France & Son and Cado, shines through on these chairs. From the almost seamless welding of the joints on the square tubing to how all the bolts and screws are recessed to be flush with the frame; everything exhibits an impressive attention to detail. It’s therefore reassuring to note that the renovation of the chairs follows the same ideal. It looks like the frames have been meticulously cleaned, stripped, brushed and polished and the chairs beautifully reupholstered in high quality dark burgundy leather. These details combined with the contoured, waxed and polished solid Walnut arms creates a truly sophisticated and elegant set of chairs that would work well as dining chairs or even as a set of impressive board room chairs.
Sigvard Bernadotte – the design Prince
There can be few designers with such impeccable pedigree… Sigvard Oscar Fredrik Bernadotte was born into Swedish royalty and was in fact the great grandson of Queen Victoria. His full range of titles included Prince Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg and he was also known as Prince Sigvard of Sweden, Duke of Uppland. However, in twist of fate, and at the mercy of love, he chose to marry a commoner who was believed to be below his station and was stripped of all his Royal titles.
Undeterred, he continued to live in his homeland throughout his early life and after studies in political science and art history in Stockholm, he later studied ornamental arts with Olle Hjortzberg and later, stage design in Munich. Impressed by the work of US industrial designers such as Raymond Loewy, who he visited in the 1930s, he started to concentrate on extending his design philosophy. He was a frequent visitor to Denmark where his sister was Queen and this coincided with a new contract offered to him by Georg Jensen to design silverware in Copenhagen – the quality of which was so high that New York Metropolitan Museum still holds a number of his designs in its Permanent Collection. He also designed glass and ceramics for Rosenthal and was co-founder of the Swedish Industrial Designers Society and President of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design where he had served on the board since 1957.
During this time he had also established Bernadotte & Bjørn Industridesign A/S with Danish architect Acton Bjorn; this was the first industrial design studio, not just in Denmark but in the whole of Scandinavia. Together they set new standards for industrial design in the 1950s and onwards. They had a significant influence on the design world when it came to the use of materials such as plastic and metal and this translated into the design of the Beolit 500 radio for Bang & Olufsen and Rosti’s stacking Margrethe bowl.
Bernadotte’s skill as a designer was further established in 1964 when he launched his own design company; Bernadotte Design AB. His office encouraged, trained ad launched the career of many Swedish designers and together they created many of the country’s iconic designs. His legacy extends to designs in a myriad of styles and materials; from pen knives, to plastic jugs and mixing bowls, to typewriters, radios and the most beautiful furniture.
He truly was a Prince amongst men and not only was he one of the leading industrial designers of the 50’s and 60’s, but he’s most likely also one of the most important and talented designers you’ve never heard of...
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Sigvard Bernadotte vintage Danish armchairs in brushed steel, Walnut and leather
Leather, Steel and solid Walnut
Mid Century, 20th Century Design
Era or date of production
H80 x W60 x D58cm
Seat height: 46cm
Seat width: 52cm
Seat depth: 46cm
Arm height: 63cm
Number of pieces included in price
These chairs have been fully refurbished so are in excellent condition.
Do you have any questions or would like to discuss these chairs further? Please contact me via the contact page HERE. I'm always happy to help.