In 1953 PP Møbler was founded in Allerød - a small town north Copenhagen - by the brothers Lars Peder and Ejnar Pedersen. The company started as traditional cabinetmakers … the first chair made in the workshops was the Pot Chair - designed by Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel - that was produced by the upholstery company AP Stolen but with PP Møbler subcontracted to make the frame.
Then they produced the frame for another important upholstered chair from AP Stolen - the Papa Bear Chair designed by Hans Wegner. He was impressed by the quality of the work - even though it was to be hidden by upholstery - and that was the beginning of one of the major partnerships in the history of modern Danish furniture.
The collaboration with Wegner was close … he challenged the cabinetmakers to think in new ways and they responded by not only developing new methods and techniques for bending and joining wood to realise the designs but they were also prepared to challenge and criticise and contribute suggestions in the development of his new designs.
In 1969 Wegner designed his first chair that was exclusively and specifically for the company - pp201 - and he encouraged PP Møbler to become an independent brand with their own products and their own sales department to sell furniture under their own name. He even designed a new company logo.
Circle Chair designed by Hand Wegner and produced by PP Møbler since 1986
Now PP Møbler also have the licences to produce earlier designs by Hans Wegner - with rights to make pieces originally produced by the cabinetmakers Johannes Hansen after they closed in 1990 - so they make some of the best-known chairs designed by Wegner including the Round Chair, the Minimal Chair, the Peacock Chair, Valet Chair and Tub Chair.
Ejnar Pedersen was certain that craftsmen had to have pride in their work so the company have remained traditional cabinetmakers. They have a huge respect for wood, retaining traditional methods of cutting and finishing but they are also aware of the need to develop and move forward although they make it clear that technology is not a substitute but should enhance “the craftsman's field of skills.”
They have developed computer-controlled milling machine for precision cutting and shaping - seen clearly on the Cow Horn Chair from 1952, with the two parts of the back joined by a comb in contrasting wood, and for the cutting and shaping and joins for the back of The Round Chair which are seen from every angle so even slight imperfections would be obvious.
Tub Chair pp530 designed by Hans Wegner in 1954
They produce a number of very complicated and demanding designs that tests the skills of the cabinetmakers …. the Chinese Chair by Wegner pp66 from 1943 where the back is formed from a length of wood that has been compressed and then bent in three dimensions … the Tub Chair that has a double bent shell - one bent - one bent and twisted - the Peacock Chair designed in 1947 and the Flag Halyard Chair with a metal frame strung with rope designed in 1950.
PP Møbler have produced a prestigious group of experimental designs that pushed conventions include the bentwood chair by Poul Kjærholm from 1978.
Several chairs remained as prototypes for many years until the machines and techniques were developed including the machine that was necessary to make the hoop of wood for the Circle Halyard Chair designed in the 1960s but finally realised in 1986 and the Chinese Bench pp266 that was finally put into production in 1991 with the development of advanced pre-compressed and bending techniques.