Design Classic: Wishbone Chair

The Hans J Wegner classic chair that's on everyone's wishlist

Designer: Hans J Wegner, 1949

Details: From £670, Carl Hansen at Aram Store

Think of unlikely duos that work despite their differences and Hans J Wegner’s Wishbone chair is right up there with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in The Odd Couple.

Who would have imagined that ancient Eastern furniture would form the basis of a bestselling Scandi classic? But the Wishbone (aka the Y chair) actually evolved from Wegner’s earlier Chinese chair, which had been inspired by portraits of well-heeled merchants seated on traditional perches.

The sensual curve of the back legs, which have been manipulated by steam, tapers to the join of the circular back rail in and is a feat of joinery, difficult to replicate. However delicate this chair appears, it is crafted expertly to provide comfort and endurance, this is one wishbone that isn’t about to snap in half anytime soon.

Created in 1949, the wishbone chair was also the first collaborative effort between Wegner and Carl Hansen, who has been the driving force behind the wishbone’s mass production since 1950. The wishbone chair is the last and most distinguished piece from Wenger’s The China Chair series.

Although retailers’ initial responses to the elegant seat were lacklustre, trend-spotting consumers started snapping them up as fast as they could be made and today, annual production exceeds 17,000.

So, like the mighty Ming dynasty, Wegner has left a lasting legacy – of one wishbone you certainly wouldn’t want to break.

Daily Style Fix