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Egyptian stool design in Danish history

Product design
- 25 Mar 2016 -
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Product design

This is for cdsilva who suggested the topic in thread #44 about our latest finds.

The Hundevad folding stool is the one most people know about. My personal history with it is just that I was asked to make a new leather seat for one. I knew it was based on one that was found in a bog gravesite but had always assumed it was a stylized version. So when I looked it up I was very surprised that it was a near-exact copy.

The National Museum of Denmark has a page about it with more facts and photos of the original.

There's also a photo of a 1934 Egyptian style folding stool designed by Ole Wanscher. I didn't know until just now that he had designed one, too.

Egyptian stool design in Danish history
chairs & stools


- 26 Mar 2016

Thanks, spanky. Also, my understanding is that the propeller stool designs by Klint, Kjaerholm, etc. were all heavily inspired by the old Egyptian designs, although in a more abstract manner.

The safari, hunting, and Chinese chairs are also good examples of the Danish Modern take on historical furniture from other cultures.

The more I learn about Danish Modern history and development, the more I appreciate it as a distinct subset of Modernism, that was built on both historic precedent and the strong national background in furniture making (the cabinetmakers). It provides a nice contrast to the Bauhaus and International Style movements which were not rooted in historic/cultural references.

- 26 Mar 2016

1. Poul Kjærholm Stool Model No. PK 91, steel and leather, 1961

2. Uno and Östen Kristiansson stool for Luxus Vittsjö, 1950s

3. Propeller stool by Kaare Klint, designed in 1930 but not produced until 1962

- 26 Mar 2016

antique Chinese chair and Hans Wegner's Kinastole

- 26 Mar 2016

This one may be a stretch but I think the phrase "Chinese moon viewing chair" will be popping into my head every time I see a Danish style recliner, at least for awhile.

- 16 Jan 2017


Here are three different Egyptian stools from Ole Wasncher's 1967 book, "The Art of Furniture: 5000 Years of Furniture and Interiors". The last one, from Berlin and with photo dated just a few years before his version was designed, appears to be the same one as you posted earlier.

Interesting, the original is very modern in design with no discernible ornamentation (at least none that remains and is visible in the photo). The other two, while similar in form, have their lower legs carved into duck heads.

- 19 Jan 2018

Does anybody have an idea how the propeller stool is made? Been wondering for quite some time now.

- 14 Aug 2018

Just saw the stool mentionned by cdsilva in the Neues Museum in Berlin. There is also one in the Louvres Museum in Paris. I will post a picture if I can find it.

The modernity of the design is just striking. There are actually some ornamentations with ivory (?) inlays.

One very interesting point the museum was mentioning is that in ancient Egypt, wood was a very scarce resource and only the wealthiest could afford items made of it.

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