Celebrating over a century of crafting iconic furniture by such esteemed designers as Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, and Børge Mogensen, furniture company Carl Hansen & Søn is a third-generation, family-run Danish business. Carl Hansen, a trained cabinetmaker, started a small furniture workshop in 1908 on the Danish island of Funen. From those humble beginnings through today, the firm has been grounded in quality, craftsmanship, and tradition. In 1934, due to Carl’s failing health, the business was taken over by his son Holger Hansen, then only 23 years old. He steered the company through the Great Depression and helped usher in the golden age of Danish Modern design.
In 1949, Holger invited a talented young furniture designer, Hans Wegner, to collaborate on a collection of chairs. Wegner visited for three weeks and designed four iconic chairs – the CH22, CH23, CH24 (the Wishbone Chair), and CH25 – now known as the First Masterpieces, providing a new, modern direction for the company. Wegner’s designs were quite complicated to make, and Hansen had the skill to craft them in all details, from handwoven paper-cord seats to steam-bent chair backs. To this day, the Wishbone Chair requires more than 100 operations to create – most done by hand – and represents the essence of Danish design.
When Holger Hansen died suddenly in 1962, it was his wife, Ella, a homemaker and young mother with no business training, who stepped in to keep the company going for two decades. The business is now led by Carl’s grandson Knud Erik Hansen. Carl Hansen & Søn continues to focus on preserving Danish design classics while carefully expanding its collection to include influential new designers, such as the Austrian firm EOOS. The emphasis on meticulous craftsmanship and timeless modern design endures.