Harp History

Today we visited the company that manufactures the famous Harp chair, J.C Snedkeri. What was so special about this visit was we had the opportunity to see and sit in the original/ prototype Harp chair, that was made by hand by the designer Jørgen Høvelskov in his basement for the Copenhagen Cabinet-Makers´Guild Furntiure Exhibition in 1963 .

It was amazing to see what would have been the designers first physical manifestation of his idea. It had been painted a matt black, the wood was oak I believe and he had use a large bolt to pull it together. It was originally called the Viking ship by him and it was only through the media that it became know as the Harp chair.

At the factory we were also able to spend some time looking over all Jørgen Høvelskov's original drawings and sketches on paper, and to my utter surprise he had also deisgned a dining table, dining chairs and a coffee table in the same vein as the Harp Chair. The dining table was 3 legged and to be produced with a marble or stone top. I am hoping to get a copy of all his drawings and sketches so we can exhibit them in our Showrooms and provide them to our clients, really beautiful sketches on draft paper.

The original Harp Chair will be donated to the Copenhagen Design Centre where it will be on display permanently, but we do hope one day it may travel the world for an exhibition in Australia, maybe even at the Great Dane Showrooms, we are working hard to make this happen.

I asked why he only made this one design and not the other pieces, and sadly from quite a young age he was sick and although only recently passing in the last few years he was not to see the realization of his other designs. Hopefully through J.C Snedkeri and their skilled craftsmen, we may get the absolute joy of seeing a range of furniture deisgned over 40 years ago brought to life as he would have wanted it. He is survived by his brother, who unfortunately can shed little light on the inspiration besides the obvious ship reference, to where this incredible deisgn came from. I would have loved to have been in the room the day he came up with the design, what was it that triggered him? what inspired his thoughts?…. A rare treat to get such a wonderful insight into a design classic.

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