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The Chieftain Chair Anniversary Edition | Finn Juhl | 1949

The Chieftain Chair Anniversary Edition | Finn Juhl | 1949

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Chieftain Chair, House of Finn Juhl is launching an exclusive, limited edition in smoked oak. The special edition of the iconic masterpiece is limited to 366 chairs worldwide - each engraved with individual dates in the special leap year of the anniversary. Because of this, it is possible to choose a personal date of significance, given that date is available. The anniversary edition of the Chieftain Chair is available in a range of exclusive leather types of personal choice and is manufactured in-house in Denmark. Reflecting Finn Juhl's philosophy, the anniversary ensemble harmoniously integrates art, literature, and design. Read more below.

Wood Type
Upholstery
Leather

Please note that the actual colours and materials may vary due to different screen balances and settings. While the version shown is supposed to be viewed only as an example, individual material photos can be found via our material page.

Product details

Design:

Finn Juhl

Year:

1949, relaunched in 2002

Materials:

Wood: Smoked oak

Upholstery:

Leather

Model and Dimensions:

FJ 4900
W: 100 cm D: 88 cm H: 92,5 cm Seat height: 34,5 cm

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Chieftain Chair, House of Finn Juhl is launching an exclusive, limited edition in smoked oak. The special edition of the iconic masterpiece is limited to 366 chairs worldwide - each engraved with individual dates in the special leap year of the anniversary. Because of this, it is possible to choose a personal date of significance, given that date is available. The anniversary edition of the Chieftain Chair is available in a range of exclusive leather types of personal choice and is manufactured in-house in Denmark. Reflecting Finn Juhl's philosophy, the anniversary ensemble harmoniously integrates art, literature, and design. Read more below.

Product details

Design:

Finn Juhl

Year:

1949, relaunched in 2002

Materials:

Wood: Smoked oak

Upholstery:

Leather

Model and Dimensions:

FJ 4900
W: 100 cm D: 88 cm H: 92,5 cm Seat height: 34,5 cm

The Anniversary Essemble

The Rediscovered Watercolour and the Dedicated Book

The inspiration for the limited edition of the chair comes from a unique Finn Juhl watercolour which was recently rediscovered. A hand-dated and numbered edition of this exact drawing will accompany each of the anniversary chairs. Additionally, the Chieftain Chair in smoked oak will come with a new book 'Lost Danish Treasure' about the chair, written by the American architect and author Carl J. D'Silva. The book provides in-depth insights into the Chieftain Chair's history, development, and significance for Danish design.

The Chieftain Chair has been photographed at the Designmuseum Danmark (formerly the Museum of Decorative Arts), where Finn Juhl originally presented it in 1949 at the Cabinetmakers' Guild Autumn Exhibition.
The special edition of the iconic masterpiece is limited to 366 chairs worldwide - each engraved with individual dates in the special leap year of the anniversary.
A new book on the history of the Chieftain Chair, 'Lost Danish Treasure', by Carl J. D'Silva, is included with the purchase of the limited edition of the iconic chair.
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Finn Juhl presented the Chieftain Chair at the annual Cabinetmakers' Guild Exhibition in 1949. Here, it garnered great attention for its distinctive, organic design language and large size.

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At the exhibition, King Frederik the 9th was photographed in the chair. However, Finn Juhl found it too pretentious to name it the "'King's Chair". Instead, he emphasized that he had envisioned it for "an African chieftain".

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Finn Juhl's watercolour drawing of his stand, where he presented the Chieftain Chair, at the Cabinetmakers' Guild Exhibition.

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Finn Juhl sitting in the iconic Chieftain Chair from 1949 in his home in Ordrup north of Copenhagen.

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Decades later, when asked about the process behind the chair, Finn Juhl modestly recounted: "I began drawing the Chieftain Chair one day in the spring of '49. I was at home, and I started around 10 in the morning with a sketch about 5 centimeters high - just four vertical lines connected with 'something' - and by 2-3 in the morning, I had painted it, and off it went." (Rum & Form, 1981).

The watercolour drawing shown here will accompany the limited edition of the Chieftain Chair and is from a series of six different works that Finn Juhl created in 1949. This particular drawing has, for unknown reasons, been missing but surfaced in 2021 at Wright Auction in Chicago, where it was purchased by architect and author of the new book on the Chieftain Chair, Carl J. D'Silva. Unlike many of the other drawings, which are now in the archive at the Design Museum Denmark, this watercolour has not previously been reprinted. In connection with the anniversary, House of Finn Juhl has been granted permission to print one edition for each chair. For this reason, the watercolour can only be obtained with the purchase of the limited edition of the chair.

In the rediscovered watercolour, viewers can both observe and interpret that Finn Juhl intended for the wooden frame of the Chieftain Chair to be made of the exotic Brazilian wood Imbuya. This type of wood can no longer be imported, and at House of Finn Juhl, it was therefore decided to craft a limited edition of the chair in smoked oak, which both in terms of colour and aesthetics mirrors the expression Finn Juhl originally aimed for.

Uncompromising Quality and International Outlook

Hans Henrik Sørensen, Co-founder of House of Finn Juhl, reflects on the anniversary: "The Chieftain Chair represents the absolute peak of Finn Juhl's career as a furniture designer. It appeals to both senses and emotions and is an investment, not just for a lifetime, but also for future generations. We are proud to carry on Finn Juhl's cultural heritage in the form of this very special, deep olive-brown edition. Despite the chair's 75 years, it continues to inspire. The chair represents uncompromising quality, an international outlook, and a willingness to break with the traditions of the time."

The Chieftain Chair has been photographed at the Designmuseum Danmark (formerly the Museum of Decorative Arts), where Finn Juhl originally presented it in 1949 at the Cabinetmakers' Guild Autumn Exhibition.

When House of Finn Juhl chooses to introduce a limited edition of the iconic chair, it is crucial that the expression remains authentic. The chairs are manufactured in-house in Denmark by skilled craftspeople and the dark hue of the wood is achieved through a traditional treatment process of the FSC-certified oak. The process involves no dyes but instead triggers a chemical reaction with the tannic acid in the wood, resulting in a natural colour change that absorbs deep into the wood. Subsequently, the chair undergoes multiple oil treatments, giving it a silky matte finish.

The anniversary edition of the Chieftain Chair is manufactured in-house in Denmark.
The Chieftain Chair has been photographed at the Designmuseum Danmark (formerly the Museum of Decorative Arts), where Finn Juhl originally presented it in 1949 at the Cabinetmakers' Guild Autumn Exhibition.