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Illum Wikkelsø “Model V11” Sofa for Holger Christiansen, Denmark 1960s

Documentation Documented elsewhere (similar item)
Origin Denmark
Period 1950-1979
Materials Leather, Rosewood
Dimensions
W. 90.75 in; H. 25.39 in; D. 30.71 in;
W. 230.5 cm; H. 64.5 cm; D. 78 cm;
Seat H. 17.32 in;
Seat H. 44 cm;
Condition Good. The legs show minor wear. The leather has (light) marks and scratches, which can be polished out on request. Some discolouration.
Creation Date 1960s
Description This free-standing sofa, better known as “Model V11” sofa is considered among the masterpiece designs of Illum Wikkelsø. The designer created the “V11” series in 1965 whilst working with cabinetmaker Holger Christiansen in Aarhus.

Wikkelsø’s three-seater sofa combines a rectangular shape and long lines with rounded out edges. The low back and deep seat give the sofa a modern and elegant look. The Brazilian rosewood legs are cone-shaped, a stand-out design element of the sofa. Three loose seat cushions guarantee sitting comfort, and along with the sides, back- and armrests, are upholstered in patinated black leather.

The sofa was manufactured by Danish manufacturer Holger Christiansen Møbelfabrik in Aarhus in the 1960s. The leather is in a desirable vintage condition.

About the designer:
Kristian Illum Wikkelsø (1919-1999), by his full name, is best known for his seating designs. Like most Danish designers at the time, Wikkelsø trained as a carpenter until 1938 and then followed in the footsteps of many of his later colleagues and continued his studies at the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts, graduating on 1941.

In 1944, Wikkelsø moved to Århus to work as an interior designer He was then employed at the carpentry master and architect Jacob Kjær's drawing room and then at Peter Hvidt & Orla Mølgaard Nielsen’s architectural firm, where he worked until 1954. The same year, Illum Wikkelsø began designing his own furniture and a few years later, he established his own workshop. A number of Danish manufacturers produced Wikkelsø’s designs, such as C.F. Christensen, Holger Christiansen and Søren Willadsen.

Like many of his Danish contemporaries, including Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, and Hans Wegner, Wikkelsø’s designs emphasize formal simplicity and biomorphic silhouettes. Wikkelsø’s background in cabinetry engendered in him a profound understanding of materials and an excellent attention to detail. Working with teak and rosewood, he captured delicately sculptural forms. Wikkelsø believed that furniture should be built to last while cradling the body and pleasing the eye.

Though little biographical information survives, the quality of Illum Wikkelsø’s designs affirms his status as an active proponent of Scandinavian modernism in the post-war era. ~H.
Styles / Movements Mid Century, Modern
Book References 300 Danske Designmøbler By Per H. Hansen and Klaus Petersen. 2015. Unpaginated.
Dealer Reference Number 20200364
Incollect Reference Number 374317
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