To mark designer Finn Juhl’s centenary, Denmark's Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers will be holding a major themed auction of his design and the art and craft art of his contemporaries. As a tribute to the great furniture designer, they are recreating the atmosphere of Finn Juhl’s beautiful home in Ordrup at the preview at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen. Finn Juhl fans can add iconic to their own homes when his “Unika” furniture and timeless classics when they go under the hammer in September.
Interior at the auction house with furniture by Finn Juhl and paintings by Vilhelm Lundstrøm, Richard Mortensen and Jean Deyrolle.
One of Finn Juhl’s greatest strengths was his understanding of the interplay between space, furniture and colour. His own home in Ordrup just north of Copenhagen, which he himself designed and decorated, was one of his true masterpieces. The house was built in 1942 and stands today as a fine example of Danish modernism in architecture, furniture design and pictorial art. His dream was to create a “Gesamtkunstwerk” – i.e. an artistic whole, consisting of architecture, furniture, lamps, tableware, etc. – designed by himself and combined with his love of colour and contemporary art. Finn Juhl’s dream lives on at this autumn’s auction, where you can bid on his design and modern paintings by Vilhelm Lundstrøm, Richard Mortensen and Jean Deyrolle, who were some of Finn Juhl’s personal favourites.
Today, Finn Juhl’s home is open to the public as part of the art museum Ordrupgaard, and it can also be experienced in Takayama, Japan, where an exact replica of the house was opened this spring, attended by Frederik Bruun Rasmussen. There is immense international interest in Finn Juhl – particularly this year, when various cultural institutions around the world are celebrating the great furniture designer with exhibitions in Copenhagen, Kolding, Tokyo and Seoul, to name but a few.
Finn Juhl (1912-89) was one of the most influential figures in the Danish Modern design movement, which had its heyday from around 1945 to the late 1960s. Besides Finn Juhl, the movement also included furniture designers such as Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Poul Kjærholm, Mogens Koch and Børge Mogensen – architects who were all influenced by the furniture school established by Professor Kaare Klint at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in the 1930s. Finn Juhl was one of the first to achieve international success and paved the way for the major impact of Danish Modern on the international design market.
He had a versatile career in more ways than one. Aged just 18, he began his studies on the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art’s architecture programme in 1930, and soon set about designing furniture for his own flat. In 1934, he started work at Vilhelm Lauritzen’s studio, where he remained until 1945, when he chose to set up his own design studio in Nyhavn. Despite never actually having graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, he was accepted into the Danish Architects’ Association and thus became recognised as an architect by his peers.
As an interior designer, Juhl was awarded the prestigious interior design project of the Trusteeship Council chamber at UN Headquarters in New York from 1951 to 1952. The chamber is currently undergoing major renovation, fully in the spirit of Juhl.
Some of the furniture up for auction:
Finn Juhl: Chieftain chair. Estimate: DKK 200,000/€ 27,000
Finn Juhl: Sofa. Model 48. Estimate: DKK 175,000–200,000/€ 23,000–27,000
Finn Juhl: Unikaseng bed, 1943. Estimate: DKK 120,000–150,000/€ 16.000–20,000
Finn Juhl: Unikasofa, 1945. Estimate: DKK 100,000–125,000/€ 13,000–16,000
Finn Juhl: Very rare, early armchair, Cuba mahogany, original patinated leather with brass tacks. Niels Vodder 1939. Estimate: DKK 100,000–125,000/€ 13,000–16,000 (pictured below)
Finn Juhl: Teak desk with coloured drawers, metal frame. Made by Bovirke. Estimate: DKK 80,000–120,000/€ 10,000–16,000 (pictured below).
Finn Juhl: “Judas” table. Estimate: DKK 80,000–100,000/ € 10.000–13.000
Finn Juhl: A pair of chairs with teak frame, original upholstery. Model NV 45. Made by cabinetmaker Niels Vodder. (2) Estimate: DKK 80,000–100,000/€ 10,000–13,000 (pictured below)
Finn Juhl: Bowl of solid, turned teak. Designed 1951. Made by wood turner Magne Monsen for Kay Bojesen. H. 13.5, W. 27.2, L. 28.8. Estimate: DKK 15,000–20,000/€ 2,000–2,700