Ole Wanscher designed this clean-lined sideboard for Poul Jeppesen in the 1960s. Constructed of a rich stained mahogany, the raised case features three locking doors (with the original brass key) that conceal shelves on either side of two shallow drawers. A gorgeous Danish midcentury mahogany Rungstedlund sideboard, this piece is part of a dining room set, named after author and adventurer Karen Blixens manor house in Rungsted, north of Copenhagen, called Rungstedlund.
Born in Copenhagen in 1903, Danish architect-designer Ole Wanscher was a key player in Denmark’s midcentury modern movement. In the postwar era, the simple and refined aesthetic he achieved by reinventing classic forms helped define Scandinavian design, and many of his pieces became staples in Scandinavian homes. Wanscher studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts under famous architect-designer Kaare Klint (1888-1954). Upon graduating, Wanscher worked with Klint from 1924 to 1927 and, after Klint passed away, Wanscher was given Klint’s professorship at the academy —a position he held until he retired in 1973.
In 1927, Wanscher opened his own architecture firm, specializing in furniture design. Like Klint, Wanscher disagreed with the modernist full-sail rejection of the past and preferred to explore classic yet minimal aesthetics informed by precise study of the human body. Wanscher was also heavily influenced by Greek, Chinese, and Egyptian designs—which he encountered during his many travels abroad—as well as proto-modernist movements, like the Viennese Secession, Biedermeier, and Shaker styles.
Wanscher went on to write various articles and publish several books on design history, such as The History of the Arts of Furniture (1956) and Five Thousand Years of Furniture (1967). Although less known than many of his contemporaries—Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, Poul Henningsen, and so on—Wanscher made a strong impression on many important critics. In 1958, Sven Erik Moller wrote in Danish newspaper Politiken: “If one owns a chair by Wanscher, it will be an experience every day—perhaps for hundreds of years, because that is how long it will last. One senses the man behind the chair and the value of man-made work…”.
Scant information remains available on Danish furniture manufacturer P. Jeppesen Møbelfabrik A/S, even though the company achieved a great deal of success between the 1940s and 1960s producing the designs of well-known designers Ole Wanscher (1903-1985) and Grete Jalk (1920-2006). Sometimes also written as Poul Jeppesen or PJ Furniture, the date that the company was established is unknown. However, records show that sometime in the 1950s, Wanscher left his private firm and joined P. Jeppesens Møbelfabrik as head designer, a role that would last for the rest of his professional life.
W180 x D49 H83cm