B&W market - in search of contemporary

This has to be one of the the biggest flea markets for mid-century furniture in Denmark.

In a huge hangar out on Refhaleøen and just across from Copenhagen Contemporary, there are traders and dealers here with a phenomenal stock of furniture and lighting and ornaments and tableware. Most is from the mid 20th century and is what my parents at the time called “contemporary design”.

There are classic pieces of furniture by the acknowledged names but there is also plenty of good furniture of the period, made by all those Danish furniture factories and sold by all those ordinary furniture shops where ordinary people bought good furniture.

It was an interesting mix of customers from students and young couples looking for a bargain to well healed older couples reminiscing ….. remembering when they or their parents “had one of those” or something “just like that”.

This is the place to see just how much the way we live has changed … how many people buy a full set of six or eight matching dining chairs now? And why are there so many chests of drawers? It’s one of the most useful pieces of storage furniture invented. Sadly too many book cases … there is a steady stream of posts and newspaper articles about people still buying books but the number of bookcases here suggest that might be wishful thinking. That, or people vertical floor stack.

Refshaleøen B&W Loppemarked


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the set of six three-legged chairs on an upper shelf are the Heart Chair from Fritz Hansen designed by Hans Wegner in 1952. Wegner experimented with several designs for small chairs that pushed in tightly under a table for a small apartment. Perhaps the ultimate design using three legs and a triangular seat with a round table is the design by Hans Olsen - shown here wth an Egg Chair balanced on the top. Olsen, like Wegner, studied under Kaare Klint. Note how the frame over each leg of the table and the chair back rests form a continuous line. The chair bottom left is the Sawbuck by Wegner from 1951.