The PP550 chair, commonly known as the “Peacock Chair”, is possibly one of Hans J. Wegner’s lesser-known designs. Nevertheless, the chair has earned a very special place in the history of interior design, at least in part because of its unusual and elegant appearance.
Hans J. Wegner, also known as “The Master of the Chair”, designed the Oculus chair. It was his great passion for chair design that eventually made Wegner a legendary figure in Danish modernism and a world-renowned furniture designer. He created more than 500 chairs, many of which went into mass production.
The prototype of the Peacock Chair was introduced in 1947 and commissioned by Johannes Hansen shortly after its launch by the furniture company Møbelsnedkeri A/S. Unfortunately, production didn’t last long and soon the chair shared the fate of many of Wegner’s designs, including the Shell Chair and the Elbow Chair. The chair fell into oblivion for almost half a century before it gained enough attention and was commercially available again.
The Peacock Chair was brought back to life in 1992 by furniture company PP Møbler. The furniture design classic produced under the new brand was immediately commercially successful and ultimately fulfilled Wegner’s basic conviction. that a chair is only complete when someone actually sits in it.
The shape of the chair is rather ascetic, but still refined and unusual. Its design embodies its creator’s famous creed that states: “A chair should have no rear view.” It should be beautiful from all sides and angles. “In fact, the chair with its famous curves looks very attractive and elegant from every angle. A light, attractive and comfortable lounge chair that looks just as modern today as it did more than half a century ago. A superb example of Wegner’s constant pursuit of organic simplicity to create sculptural beauty, comfort and outstanding stability.
The Peacock Chair is further proof that Hans J. Wegner was way ahead of his time when it came to designing wooden furniture. The chair’s minimalist and no-nonsense appearance suggests that it’s relatively easy to manufacture, which is far from the truth. Due to the use of steam-bent solid wood components, the chair requires perfect craftsmanship and a thorough understanding of woodworking. Hans J. Wegner was inspired for his design by the British Windsor Chair. However, Wegner’s version has shorter legs and a more generous, slightly reclined backrest, suggesting a comfortable, relaxing lounge feel. The backrest consists of the steam-bent arch and spindles, which are flattened roughly in the area of a person’s shoulder blades.
The backrest gives the chair its exotic look and is reminiscent of a bird’s tail. Hence the name of the chair – “The Peacock Chair”. The high seating comfort is due to the hand-woven seat shell made of paper cord. The pattern in which the seat is woven is similar to the seat of the Wishbone Chair. The chair is supported by four short dowel legs that clip together for extra stability. An extremely low center of gravity makes the chair very stable and balanced. The PP550 is made from ash and is available in soap, oil or paint finishes. If the monochrome design is too monotonous for you, you can order the sloping armrests of the chair in much darker teak.
Although the chair looks like a masterpiece of modern art, it is fully functional and very comfortable. This timeless piece of furniture still looks extravagant and fascinating and is a great, tasteful addition to any modern interior.