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Danish Brazilian Rosewood/Palisander "Jacaranda" Dining Chairs by Niels O. Moller, for J.L. Moller Mobelfabrik.


These Danish mid-century modern chairs had loosened frames


These Danish mid-century modern chairs had loosened frames

These Danish mid-century modern chairs had loosened frames, considerable sun bleaching varying from chair to chair, and original vinyl upholstery our client wanted to recover.

 

During restoration


This seam is hand-sewn

This seam is hand-sewn. It didn't have to be, and was an exclusive high-end furniture design feature. Hand-sewn seams were often seen in the best Space Age and Danish Modern furniture. Making fine, regular hand-stitching in leather or vinyl is difficult to do well, and becoming a lost art. Used by many fine modern furniture designers, including:

  • Arne Jacobsen -the Egg, and Swan

  • Hans Wegner's Papa Bear, Sawtooth CH-28

  • Saarinen's Womb, Executive, and other chairs

  • Kai Kristensen

  • Pierre Paulin's Ribbon and Oyster chairs,

  • Poul Kjaerholm's PK-22

  • Adrian Pearsall

  • Finn Juhl

  • Neils Moller

  • Paul McCobb'

  • Vladimir Kagan

  • Milo Baughman

Larger than life detail of hand-sewn seam

Larger than life detail of hand-sewn seam

Fabric covering and padding removed, showing wood frame with plywood panel seat and webbing back support

Fabric covering and padding removed, showing wood frame with plywood panel seat and webbing back support

The Jacaranda had fine mortise and tenon joinery under the upholstery, but the framework is inadequate to keep it from breaking up in use

The Jacaranda had fine mortise and tenon joinery under the upholstery, but the framework is inadequate to keep it from breaking up in use. Many of the back stiles were cracked apart at the mortise joints, so only the screws in the back and upholstery were holding the frames together.

Note how many of the chairs had already been nailed by the prior upholsterer

Note how many of the chairs had already been nailed by the prior upholsterer, through the tenons into the mortises. This is a lazy, destructive technique that does more harm than good. Cabinetmakers should repair fine chair frames, not upholsterers. The upholsterer may not charge much for repairs, but you are buying trouble with repairs like these. The joinery breaks up around the nails. The nails focus far too much stress around the nails, and destroy whatever joints are nailed before long.

All the chair upholstery frames needed rebuilding, and joinery repair
All the chair upholstery frames needed rebuilding, and joinery repair

All the chair upholstery frames needed rebuilding, and joinery repair

These chairs have been refinished, with the rosewood lightly sanded, selectively to match the color of the various parts.

These chairs have been refinished, with the rosewood lightly sanded, selectively to match the color of the various parts. They still have a pleasing patina, matched per the clients' specification.

They still have a pleasing patina, matched per the clients' specification.



By Peter Triestman

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