These lovely and minimalist Danish modern teak side tables were designed by Peter Hvidt & Orla Mølgaard-Nielsen in the 1960s for France & Daverkosen / France & Son. Made entirely of solid teak, the top has gorgeous grain, and each side has an arced cut-away on the bottom edge, giving the table dramatic lines. Beautifully made, with metal leg ends that screw into the threaded inserts under the table and are removable for easy shipping. Stamped with makers marks underneath.
Hvidt & Mølgaard was a Copenhagen-based, Danish design and architectural firm which existed from 1944 until 2009. Founded by Peter Hvidt (1916-1986) and Orla Mølgaard-Nielsen (1907-1993), the company was a pioneering force in Danish furniture design and industrialized production in the 1950s, creating furniture that was easy to mass-produce and economic to transport.
In 1944, the pair co-established Hvidt & Mølgaard Studio, which they ran together until 1975. During this time, the pair created designs for Fritz Hansen, France & Søn, and Søborg Møbelfabrik. In 1950, the pair designed the AX Chair, which solidified both of their careers as industrial designers and became an icon of Danish mid-century design. AX was inspired by the work of American design duo Charles and Ray Eames, and was the first Danish chair that was crafted with both a seat and back made of curved laminated wood. The chair utilized a laminated technique for production which was carried out by Fritz Hansen. The chair’s design allowed for mass production and easy packaging, opening a successful market for Danish furniture to be exported around the world. The AX Chair was eventually accompanied by the AX Table, which was exhibited in 1951 as part of the “Good Design” show sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Like many designers of the mid-century period, they also incorporated leather in their designs, as well as teak and cane, and created modular units such as bookcases and living room sets.
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.
In 1957, when France’s son Julian France joined the company, the name was changed to France & Søn. Many models produced by France & Daverkosen had been named FD followed by the model number, and France & Søn continued to produce those designs under their original names while introducing new collections every year. As to what happened to Daverkosen or the reason he left the partnership, no information seems to be available.
Sometime between 1964 and 1967, Danish designer-manufacturer Poul Cadovius purchased France & Søn and renamed it CADO. Cadovius continued to produce France & Søn designs and to collaborate with an impressive roster of iconic designers, including Verner Panton, until he closed shop some time in the mid- to late-1970s. Notable designs produced over two decades by France & Søn and its related companies include the FD164 armchair and ottoman by Arne Vodder (1960s).
The table tops have been refinished and look really nice.
L46 x D46 x H40cm