Over the last month or so, having looked at a number of Danish chairs designed in the 20th century, it seemed important to include this chair - The Snake Chair designed by Poul Henningsen - not because it is remotely representative … it is actually perversely unique … but because it is distinctly modern in the materials it used, with a single coil of tubular steel to support the seat and back, breaking very clearly with almost all conventions, but equally it appears to be 'of it's period'. So if someone who did not know the chair was asked to guess its date they would, at the very least, see that it is unlikely to be a recent design but is not old, in the sense of being traditional or conventional, and if then told that it dates from the 1930s would probably see that it fits with the general style of that period … with aspects in common with furniture from the Bauhaus in Germany or with Art Deco furniture from France or the Neterlands. It appears to be even more certainly of that period when you see photographs of the chair along with the piano that Poul Henningsen designed.
The form of the chair is the product of a highly individual and unconventional designer known now for his work designing lights that were - and still are produced by the Danish company of Louis Poulsen - but Poul Henningsen was also a journalist, writing for Politiken, and an editor of the journal Critical Review, he was an advocate of jazz music and admired Josephine Baker when she performed in Copenhagen, wrote songs, was a filmmaker and was architect to the park at Tivoli.
Designed by Poul Henningsen (1894-1967)
Originally made by VA Høffding
Height of seat 50cms