50s Finn Juhl sofa for Japan fauteuil for France & Son
Born in Denmark in 1912, Finn Juhl studied architecture at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen. After graduating, he worked for ten years in the office of Vilhelm Lauritzen, a leading Danish Modernist architect. In 1945, he set up his own practice, specializing in interior and furniture design. Juhl created design forms with the mindset of a sculptor and much of his furniture was technically ahead of its time.
Juhl’s career blossomed through his participation in the annual Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild exhibitions, nationally sponsored events that supported design innovation through collaborations between young architects and traditional cabinetmakers. Juhl found great success in his partnership with craftsman Niels Vodder, and together they created a number of important works.
One surviving story claims that France & Søn was the first—under the direction of Finn Juhl—to figure out how to work with teak at an industrial scale, an impressive feat in the modernist era. Juhl’s Model 133 Spadestolen Chair (1953) was the first result. Furthermore, France & Son ensured its products could be easily dismantled, making them cheaper to export. In the late 1950s to early 60s, the company supplied furniture to offices of the International Monetary Fund and created large export markets in Germany and the United States. And the fact that so many France & Søn pieces can be found today in very good condition attests to the company’s achievements in quality.
This model 137/3 sofa is the result of the personal continuing development skills of Finn Juhl and his turn towards quality and simplicity, just within a very short time after the model 133’s. This original 1st edition piece is completely new re-upholstered with high quality fabric and shows a magnificent condition.