Uncovering the Complicated Origins of the Oft Misattributed Clam Chair | Architectural Digest

Uncovering the Complicated Origins of the Oft Misattributed Clam Chair | Architectural Digest

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The web has made discovering and preventing furnishings knockoffs simpler than ever earlier than. Its seamless searchability and connecting of like minds is now additionally getting used to fact-check attributions which have lengthy been believed to be true. The most recent one is the Clam chair, one in all design’s most sought-after seats. In keeping with a brand new report from 1stDibs’s Introspective journal, latest analysis performed by design historians and collectors from around the globe has uncovered the favored piece’s official creator: one Arnold Madsen, a Copenhagen-based upholsterer who usual the chair in 1944.

Because the article studies, the long-lasting Clam chair was first attributed to Norwegian retailer Martin Olsen after which later to Danish architect Philip Arctander. AD credited the latter in a 2017 Object Lesson on the chair, and likewise named Danish architect Viggo Boesen, in addition to IKEA, on the record of misattributions within the design’s previous.

The Clam chair has now been attributed to Arnold Madsen.

Picture: Christopher Mottalini

Certainly, the newest revelation provides layers of character to an already richly storied chair. Not like the beforehand attributed architects and designers, Madsen lacked any technical or formal coaching. He was an upholsterer by career, and but he fashioned this enduring piece with none technical drawings for reference.

“The Clam doesn’t appear like anything from the interval,” Aaron FitzGerald, founding father of London’s Dagmar gallery and one of many design historians and collectors within the renewed seek for the chair’s genesis, informed Introspective. “It’s a really complicated factor, because it’s curving in about eight completely different locations, and it has these stress factors all around the joints. Madsen took a plaster solid of the design throughout Copenhagen, and quite a few cabinetmakers informed him it was too laborious to make.” Ultimately, he satisfied foreman Henry Schubell that it was price attempting, and the 2 went on to discovered Danish furnishings firm Madsen & Schubell.

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Quick-forward some six a long time, and FitzGerald has acquired sole rights from the property of Arnold Madsen to breed the design. Nice information for followers of the chair, contemplating “we’re not promoting classic ones in excessive numbers as a result of the availability has kind of dried up, and those which might be left are extremely costly,” FitzGerald shared with 1stDibs.

A restorer first and a vendor second, FitzGerald makes a speciality of Nordic furnishings from the mid-Twentieth century on show all through Dagmar, the place he has additionally assembled an in-house workshop of 4 restorers and three upholsterers. The Clam chair is one in all 16 licenses Dagmar at present has in manufacturing. After a long time of the identifiable silhouette being shamefully copied and overtly reimagined in an effort to seize its distinct je ne sais quoi, FitzGerald now hopes for its integrity to be stored intact by way of cautious craftsmanship carried out by expert artisans.

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