This is a beautiful lounge chair in teak designed by Grete Jalk for the Danish maker France & Son. A stunning, sought-after chair with gorgeous flowing lines to its arms and a beautiful shape to the seat back.
Recognized as an important Danish modernist designer—working at a time when women were a rarity in the design world—Grete Juel Jalk was born in Copenhagen in 1920. Around 1953, Jalk opened her own studio and began to develop furniture designs for some of the best known Danish manufacturers, like Fritz Hansen, Glostrup, and France & Søn. Inspired by the Eameses’ and Aaltos’ organic, molded furniture, Jalk continuously experimented with new materials and production techniques.
Jalk is known for her thoughtful designs that are well adapted to users’ needs and that embrace societal and technological progress. Through her long career, she gained a reputation in both Denmark and abroad for designs that are economical—both in terms of material and cost—and ideal for the evolving, modern home. In 1947, she created a “self-supporting women’s den” for single, working women, which included an all-in-one sofa bed, storage space, and desk. Her Watch and Listen Unit (1963) was intended to store and display—as opposed to hide—television sets, record players, and stereo systems. Her storage units, coffee tables, and cabinets are typically designed to serve many purposes, just like the multifunctional living rooms in which they were intended. Her minimalist sofas and lounge chairs feature clear yet comfortable forms—perfect for cost-effective mass production.
France & Søn—and its predecessor, France & Daverkosen—are among the most sought after names on the vintage market today. Numerous pieces that are still in circulation retain their original identifying labels and were designed by major midcentury Danish designers, like Hvidt & Mølgaard, Grete Jalk, Finn Juhl, Arne Vodder, and Ole Wanscher. It’s surprising, then, that so little information about the company’s history and evolution has survived.
Most sources agree that the popular Danish manufacturing firm was founded in Denmark around 1948 by British businessman Charles W. France and Danish cabinetmaker Eric Daverkosen. Mattresses may have been the company’s first focus, but by 1952 France & Daverkosen had built a large furniture factory in Hillerød, just outside of Copenhagen, and was fast becoming one of most successful Danish furniture companies dedicated to mass production rather than traditional artisanal methods. Seating that features loose cushions and light, teak frames became France & Daverkosen’s signature.
The cushions have been replaced or reupholstered at some point. You may choose to replace them or keep them as they are. They’re not quite the perfect fit that the originals would have been but they remain useable.
W64 x D65 x H86cm (Seat Height: 42cm)