DAN­ISH DELUXE

What’s bet­ter than hav­ing Weg­ner, Ja­cob­sen and Poulsen pieces in your house? Scor­ing one of the vin­tage ver­sions.

The Peak (Singapore) - - Contents -

Prove­nance meets iconic de­sign in the of­fer­ings of a new fur­ni­ture re­tailer.

Dan­ish heavy­weights like Hans Weg­ner and Arne Ja­cob­sen have long res­onated with de­sign-savvy home­own­ers in Sin­ga­pore, who eas­ily em­braced the sculp­tural func­tion­al­ism and fuss­free el­e­gance of their fur­ni­ture. This in­creas­ing aware­ness of Dan­ish de­sign no doubt led to our very first Dan­ish film fes­ti­val ear­lier this year, a se­ries of doc­u­men­taries that high­lighted ar­chi­tects, artists and de­sign­ers, most no­tably a sell-out film about fur­ni­ture de­signer Borge Mo­gensen.

Now, one busi­ness owner is con­fi­dent that the pop­u­lar­ity of Dan­ish de­sign has de­vel­oped to the point where buy­ers are in­ter­ested in prove­nance. Lynette Wong opened 1B2G in July this year, a store spe­cial­is­ing in Dan­ish de­signer fur­ni­ture made be­tween the 1930s and the 1970s.

“I spend a lot of time hunt­ing down th­ese pieces,” says Wong, who does her buy­ing at trusted online auc­tions. “Es­tab­lish­ing age is cru­cial so I look for the maker’s stamp. Chang­ing man­u­fac­turer also helps you date the piece – those by the orig­i­nal man­u­fac­turer will al­ways be worth more.”

It’s hard work but it’s clear that for Wong, the ver­sions be­ing made to­day can­not com­pare to their mid-cen­tury pre­de­ces­sors. “They used wood like Brazil­ian rose­wood that they can’t use to­day be­cause of sus­tain­abil­ity is­sues,” she ex­plains. “Also, they didn’t var­nish their wood, which al­lows it to take on a beau­ti­ful depth of colour as it ages.” Wong also points out other things that have changed – like chair bases that used to be metal now be­ing made of plas­tic, or parts that are no longer cast as a sin­gle piece.

“It took an ex­pe­ri­enced weaver three hours to do one of th­ese back in the day,” she says, in­di­cat­ing a Hans Weg­ner CH23 chair with an in­tri­cately wo­ven pa­per cord seat.

“They weren’t churn­ing th­ese things out in the thou­sands in the ’50s – they spent time on each piece and there was so much more at­ten­tion given to hand-fin­ish­ing.”

Not sur­pris­ing that prices for some of the pieces can range be­tween $20,000 and $45,000. But to Wong, it’s good value, given the tan­gi­ble – and in­tan­gi­ble – ad­van­tages of such fur­ni­ture. “Things with a story are a great way to make your space in­di­vid­ual, make it your own.”

1B2G is at The Mod­ern Space, #05-04 Tan Boon Liat Build­ing.

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