Arne Jacobsen's Egg Chair
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Arne Jacobsen designed the ‘Egg’ chair in 1958, when he was assigned the major task of designing both the building and the interior for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. Several iconic designer furniture elements of Danish design saw the light of the day at this occasion, including the ‘Egg’ chair and the ‘Swan’ chair which, in terms of design, closely resemble each other.
This design icon has been a popular designer chair ever since its first appearance at the end of the 1950s, in Denmark, as well as abroad. Arne designed the chair with all the details thoroughly thought out, so virtually nothing is left to chance.
The ‘Egg’ chair is available in several colours and different materials, including leather and fabric.
- Black, white, brown and other colours
- Price significantly lower than at Danish resellers
- The ‘Egg’ chair – the chair that never goes out of fashion
This Jacobsen’s icon is still highly popular chair which found its way into many Danish homes, as well as numerous hotels, banks, lounges, airports, large companies and restaurants around the world. Thanks to its unique and elegant design, the ‘Egg’ chair will never go out of fashion.
Designed in a classic and timeless, yet undeniably modern style, this chair fits into many different rooms and homes. However, the finishing touches can be essential in determining what fits your home best. That’s why it’s important to find the specific variant of the ‘Egg’ that perfectly suits your needs, and your style. Various options include:
- Natural leather
However, not all materials are available in all colours. The more colourful versions are typically made of fabric. The most popular combinations among the Danish customers are:
- Natural leather
- Black leather
- Fabric in grey or black
- Fabric in vibrant colours
If you’re interested in a more classic look, then black, grey or brown colours are the best choice, with black being entirely classical and stylish. On the other hand, if you want a lounge chair that will get some serious attention, you might choose the ‘Egg’ in red or purple colour.
Inspired by Nature
The ‘Egg’ chair, similar to other Jacobsen’s designs is inspired by natural forms. As the name implies, the round curves in the back, sides, as well as in the overall shape of the chair are reminiscent of the shape of an egg. The same approach is evident in other works by Jacobsen, such as the ‘Ant’, the ‘Swan’ and ‘Series 7’.
Jacobsen’s world famous ‘Egg’ chair was designed alongside the ‘Swan’ chair with which it shares several common features. Some argue that the chair was inspired by Eero Saarinens ‘Womb Chair’ which has many similarities with the ‘Egg’, since Arne Jacobsen was known for drawing inspiration from abroad and create unique expression, in lines with Danish and Scandinavian style. In this way, Arne Jacobsen became one of Denmark’s most recognized designers and has almost become synonymous with modern Danish design.
Originally, Jacobsen also designed the ‘Egg’ in a couch model in the 1950s, but it never went into general production and there are only a few copies.
The Egg Price
How much does the ‘Egg’ cost? The price is, naturally, dependent on whether you chose to buy an authentic, second-hand or a copy of the chair. Furthermore, the price fluctuates depending on the variant, where natural leather is the most expensive, followed by all the other leather variants. The chairs in fabric upholstery are the relatively cheaper versions.Below, we show a table with some examples on prices
The Egg Chair, black leather (without foot stool)
around 8000 euro
Entirely depending on current supply
Replica (legal in Ireland)
ca. 1000 euro
Buying Second-Hand Egg Chair
Since the authentic version of this design icon is a costly affair, you might consider buying the chair second-hand. This can be an option if you search on eBay, Gumtree and various other auction websites.
However, there are some considerations you should be aware of if you decide to go with second-hand buy:
- Cracks in the leather (if you’re looking for a leather model)
- The stitching – check if the seams are unravelling, or if there are holes in other places in case you’re looking for the fabric upholstery
- Upholstering – often, upholstering can become worn out in older chairs, so you should make sure to try out the chair and feel if there are any softer areas
- Be sure to check if the foam padding is starting to crumble, especially on models with fabric upholstery – reupholstering is not cheap!
- The base – does the metal still look nice, is the chair stable and is the swivel function intact
Classic Arne Jacobsen Design
The ‘Egg’ has many features which are very typical of Jacobsen’s design style. First and foremost, he paid special attention to the proportions, which is what makes this chair quite unique. The large curved chair makes a fantastic statement. The design, with its curved and organic shapes is a prime example of how he found inspiration in nature, which is a core characteristic of the modernist wave.
The early version of the ‘Egg’ was designed without seat cushion and with more padding in the seat. The original base of the chair is moulded in one piece, while in the modern variants, specifically, from 1973 onwards, it’s made of aluminium mounted on a steel pedestal. The older models today are more sought after since they also had a finer and thinner padding than the new ones. However, those differences are mostly in the domain of refinements, and as such, are mostly interested to furniture collectors with an eye for details.
The original version from 1958 did not include the tilt feature, either. This was added later, with the other changes made after 1973. At that point, the chair shell was also made of fiberglass instead of foam.
When Arne Jacobsen first began producing the chair with its shell of foam, the idea was considered ground breaking since no one had used foam material as the main constituent of a chair before. The shell was either leather or fabric upholstery, and the basic shape wasn’t made in one piece as is the case with the ‘Egg’. As the story goes, Jacobsen first sculpted the chair out of clay in his garage.
Function and Experience
Jacobsen’s basic idea of the ‘Egg’ was that the chair had to be shaped out of one piece. The entirety and the round shape close protectively around the person who is sitting in the chair. If the chairs are placed in a circle in a lobby, they form a closed ring which creates a space within a space for the seated. This can be perfect for a large foyer in a hotel lobby, where one can feel the need for a smaller room. At the same time, the base can rotate and you can quickly turn around and either open up for other people and the surrounding space, or you can choose to turn slightly away from the person sitting nearby if you want a little privacy. The closed back of the lounge chair can effectively screen you if you desire so.
The Anniversary Model
The ‘Egg’ had 50th anniversary in 2008, and at this occasion a special anniversary edition was produced. This particular version of Jacobsen’s design masterpiece was produced in both leather and suede and showing a clear and spectacular distinction to the classic model. The back of the chair is made of chocolate brown suede, while the front is made of pure leather in the same colour. The anniversary edition of the lounge chair was only made in exactly 999 copies, so these versions are extremely sought after by the collectors.
Dimensions and Specifications
|Seat height||58 cm|
The chair is available in a wide range of fabric and leather upholstery. The shell is made of a synthetic material padded with cold-curled foam. The star shaped base is made of aluminium mounted on a satin polished steel pedestal. If you choose to purchase matching footstool complementary which is available for the ‘Egg’, it’s upholstered in the same fashion and has an aluminium base. When buying the lounge chair, you can choose whether you want to buy it with a footstool or not.
Jacobsen's Design Icon in Interior Design
The ‘Egg’ is a very striking chair, which can fit nicely in your living room, lounge or office. You can combine it with other Arne Jacobsen’s chairs like the ‘Swan’, or with one of the beautiful AJ couches. Furniture inspired by his work will give you a completely unique and mesmerizing Scandinavian style, which is both simple and elegant at the same time, and seems to never go out of fashion.