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Madsen & Schubell Highback Chair, Denmark 1950s

Documentation Documented elsewhere (similar item)
Origin Denmark
Period 1950-1979
Materials Sheepskin, wood
W. 32.28 in; H. 27.17 in; D. 29.13 in;
W. 82 cm; H. 69 cm; D. 74 cm;
Seat H. 14.76 in;
Seat H. 37.5 cm;
Condition Good. Wear consistent with age and use. Item has been reupholstered in a premium sheepskin.
Creation Date 1950s
Description This rare model of Danish design duo Madsen and Schubell is a great example of Danish mid-century modern design.

The frame is made of solid wood with an ergonomic shape. The shell-shaped high backrest is tilted, while the seat is slightly raised towards the front to ensure sitting comfort. The distinctive armrests are curvilinear and widen in the middle for optimal support. Thanks to the creative design, the seat rest appears to be floating atop the chestnut-coloured frame.

The chair and cushion have been reupholstered in premium sheepskin, providing comfort both visually and physically. The pairing of the sculptural frame with the soft upholstery created a stylish modern design.

About the designer:
Henry Hans Schubell was born on February 23. 1906 in Elsinore, Denmark. After completing school, he became an apprentice cabinetmaker in Elsinore. After 5 years he finished his apprenticeship, and was awarded a medal for his work. When he turned 20, he moved to Copenhagen, where he worked for various cabinetmakers. In 1929, at the age of 23, he was employed as a foreman at the cabinetmakers “Winter & Winding, where he supervised the production of furniture until 1945.

In 1944, the firm received a request from an upholsterer named Arnold Madsen, who had an idea for a chair. Madsen was having difficulties finding a cabinet maker with the required skills to do the woodwork based on Madsen’s little plaster model. Henry Schubell succeeded in producing the wooden frame, making it possible for the chair to be put into production. Arnold Madsen was so impressed by his work that he suggested to form a partnership where Henry Schubell would design the furniture and produce the wooden frames, which Arnold Madsen would then upholster and market. The workshop was realised in the inner city of Copenhagen, in a backyard, at Gothersgade 158B. Their joint venture was named “Madsen & Schubell”.

The cooperation between Henry Schubell and Arnold Madsen was so successful that they purchased a factory building, situated at the address, Biblioteksvej 55, on the outskirts of Copenhagen. Over the next 20 years, the company produced several successful models, most of which were designed by Henry Schubell. Some of these chairs were licensed to the Norwegian company Vik & Blindheim and to the Dutch company Bovenkamp.

The cooperation between the two ended in 1963, and by mutual agreement, Arnold Madsen established his new upholstery firm under the name “Madsen og Schubell”, in cooperation with his son, Ib Madsen. In the 1970s, Ib took over the company which still ran under the name Madsen & Schubell causing some confusion about the attribution of Madsen & Schubell models.~H.
Styles / Movements Mid Century, Modern
Incollect Reference Number 353842
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