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“The Prague Chair” by Madsen & Schubell, Denmark 1950s

Documentation Documented elsewhere (similar item)
Origin Denmark
Period 1950-1979
Materials Sheep Skin, Wood
W. 31.3 in; H. 39.17 in; D. 37.8 in;
W. 79.5 cm; H. 99.5 cm; D. 96 cm;
Seat H. 15.55 in;
Seat H. 39.5 cm;
Condition Good. Item has some minor marks and scratches. Recently re-upholstered in premium sheepskin.
Creation Date 1950s
Description This famous model, the “Pragstolen” (literally: The Prague Chair) by Danish designer duo Madsen & Schubell was designed by Henry Hans Schubell and was produced until 1961.

The frame is made of oak, teak and stained beech wood. The seat is slightly raised towards the front and the armrests are following the its curves to ensure sitting comfort. The back is angled and has little “wings” on top, providing an ergonomic and welcoming look.

This Prague Chair is upholstered with a grey fabric and features button tufting. The tufting stitches are festooned with seventeen light grey buttons, arranged in a symmetric pattern on the backrest and the seat. The chair further features a headrest cushion attached to the back.

The majority of Madsen & Schubell’s chair models were designed by Henry Hans Schubell, including the Pragstolen, and produced in the joint company with Arnold Madsen in Copenhagen. Under license some models were produced by Vik & Blindheim in Norway, and Bovenkamp in the Netherlands.

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, and their joint venture was named “Madsen & Schubell”.

The cooperation between Henry Schubell and Arnold Madsen was so successful that they purchased a factory building 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, Scandinavian Modern
Dealer Reference Number 20190306
Incollect Reference Number 365445
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