May 11, 2011

Before & After: Papa Bear Chair

Hans Wegner was a Danish furniture designer who was known for his popular mid-century Danish designs. Best known for his chairs, he designed the Papa Bear chair in 1951. Born to a cobbler in 1914, he worked as a child apprentice to Master cabinetmaker H.F. Stahlberg where he discovered he enjoyed working with wood, and had an affinity towards fabric. After completing his apprenticeship, he joined the military and later went to the Danish School of Arts & Crafts and the Architectural Academy in Copenhagen.

The Papa Bear Chair, sometimes referred to as the Teddy Bear Chair, received its name after a critic referred to its armrests as 'great bear paws embracing you from behind'. This became one of Wegner's most popular design in later years.

We were brought the above piece, which was in desperate need of some TLC. The upholstery was stained and ripped and the wood had long lost its' sheen and smooth touch. It's always a joy to work on these pieces, and watch them come alive again before our eyes.

We love getting into the piece; peeling away the layers tells a story itself.

Of course, the restored chair is always worth the wait - it's as beautiful as it was when originally produced.

Hans Wegner Papa Bear Chair - reupholstered in Kvadrat Hallingdal #103. More of our restoration projects can be found on our website under restoration/repair.

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