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Can you help me identify this. I think it is Grete Jalk

Product design
- 21 Dec 2017 -
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Product design

This sofa was purchased in the 1960s. It was poorly reupholstered around 1995 and then not used after about 2000.

I think it is Grete Jalk but am not sure.

Does anyone know?

Can you help me identify this. I think it is Grete Jalk


- 21 Dec 2017

I believe this is the Vita sofa by Nanna & Jorgen Ditzel, produced by Getama.
Gorgeous piece of furniture.

- 21 Dec 2017

Could also be manufactured by Søren Willadsen. Maybe even more likely?

- 21 Dec 2017

This sure does appear to be the Ditzel Vita sofa, but it was not made by Getama back in the 1960s.

If it was purchased between 1952 and 1954 it would have been made by Knud Willadsen and one of the Pedersen brothers of PP Møbler. When that shop closed, I suppose it would be natural to think that Søren Willadsen, Knud’s father, could have been the company that took over the design.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s Getama worked exclusively with Wegner and towards the end of the 1960s maybe with Nissen and Gehl. Except for one design that one if the directors of Getama himself drew.

- 21 Dec 2017

Do you know btw how long Søren Willadsen was active? He (or his company) made some pretty nice things by Nanna Ditzel (the vita sofa looks truly great), Finn Juhl and Kristian Vedel but as usual there is not much to find online about the later history of the workshop. I can only guess that it must have been one of the bigger ones, in a picture from the early 40s you can see about 40 staff members, and I assume that they enlarged in the late 40s and early 50s.

- 21 Dec 2017

No I don't know much about the later history of Søren Willadsen. It was run under the master - apprentice system and sometime probably in the 1960s but before 1965 one of the apprentices, J.D. Lawaetz took it over. At this point it was called Søren Willadsen Eftf. And possibly you would see Lawaetz's name mentioned too.

I know a fair bit about Søren Willadsen in the 1950s though.

- 21 Dec 2017

Oh, This is quite a lot. What can be said about the development of the company in the fifties? They seem to have been among the bigger players with designers like the mentioned, but my understanding is that they Never really made it to the the top category with the likes of Johannes Hansen.

- 22 Dec 2017

Probably the better compare/contrast candidate for Søren Willadsen would be Niels Vodder. It is hard to define the 'top category' of Danish Modern. In one sense it is too easy to simply say that the Copenhagen cabinetmaker's guild was the top category, but in fact the Copenhagen guild represented the cabinetmakers from Copenhagen.

Personally I believe that there were other makers around Denmark who were capable of and executed work on the same level. Søren Willadsen is among them. It says a lot to me that Knud Willadsen and Ejnar Pedersen, both apprentices of Søren Willadsen (Knud was his son too), were able to set up shop and be immediately welcomed into the Copenhagen guild.

It is odd that there is not more information about Søren Willadsen and Finn Juhl.

- 22 Dec 2017

I just saw that Søren Willadsen appears to have unregistered itself in 1971.

"Firmaet »Søren Willadsens Eftf. Møbelfa­ brik ved J. D. Lawaetz«, Vejen er afmeldt."

This was in a periodical called, "samling af anmeldelser til handelsregistrene"

I am not sure if my Danish is good enough to know whether 'er afmeldt' in that context means the company closed down or what. A lot of companies like Søren Willadsen had already gone out of business by 1971. The 1960s and the late 60s in general were brutal on the high end, low volume cabinetmakerly companies.

- 22 Dec 2017

Also, Søren Willadsen at least as early as 1948 was a partnership between Søren Buhl Willadsen and Johan Daniel Lawaetz. (the I/S at the end of the name means partnership). So J.D. Lawaetz was already an owner then.

- 22 Dec 2017

Very helpful, thank you, but I'm not quite sure about the comparbility (if there is such a word) with Niels Vodder either. Maybe in terms of quality but maybe not in terms of size. I enclosed two pics of the Willadsen workshop I found, one from a fire in 1945, the other one from before the fire. It was quite a building, Niels Vodder's workshop on the other hand used to be locatet in a normal residencial building in Copenhagen at least until 1956. That makes me think that Vodder up to then cannot have had more than four or five employees.

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