This (series of) blogpost(s) is different. Usually, I introduce a piece of qualitative design here, be it from long ago or a brand new product. This time however, I succumb to my dedication to my design hero: Børge Mogensen. In this post I offer you a short Buyer’s Guide if you consider to buy one of Mogensen’s design with almost nothing to spend…
Let’s fancy, you have about € 500,- (or if you like $ 500,-) and you have this strong impulse, this undeniable desire to buy a piece of furniture from Børge Mogensen. It will be your first item from his hand. But what do you buy? A few principles are non-negotiable. It has to be an original piece. Imitation is definitely no option. In particular, because we are talking about Mogensen, master of proportion, advocate of quality. Every imitation of his furniture lacks both: his sense of proportion and the uncompromising level of quality. So, we are looking for a true original!
Your first glimpse at 1stdibs, for example, might lead to shudders of despair. Those prices… But there is no need of despair. There are many alternatives, like auction sites, online marketplaces, shops, and so forth. Determine how much effort you are prepared to make. Do you really want to buy at a foreign auction site (remember the procedures, VAT, and so on). And of course, you’d better be patient. But leaving that aside for now, your first task is to determine what kind of piece of furniture you want to purchase. A small table, a little book case maybe? In this post, I will take the quest for a chair as an example.
From here, you have basically two options. One option is to invest in a (more or less) classic piece. Mogensen’s true classics, like the Spanish chair or his leather chairs are out of reach of course. But think of one (if you consider to buy it new) or two People’s chairs (J-39) for example… There are many of them, but they remain true classics! Simple, solid, elegant, beautiful. Another classic option would be his Windsor chair (J-52). Its worth should not exceed your budget. Both chairs were produced by FDB Møbler. Yet another option is a chair produced by Soborg, the classic Soborg Chair (recently reintroduced by Fredericia) or the less well known no. 147 for example. Last but not least, one of Mogensen’s most beautiful dining chairs is his BM 61, produced by P. Lauritsen, later by Fredericia.
However, you might consider another – and in general cheaper – option. It was the way I chose. Mogensen was a productive man and lots of his designs are forgotten nowadays. You might look for one of those, although it might be not very easy, since they are not well known. What do you think of a 2340 armchair for example, one of his later (and not very popular) designs. Mogensen designed also lots of relatively unknown dining chairs, like a BM 73, a 3233 or a 3248 for example. Or you might consider a 2257, also produced by Fredericia, and designed in the late 1960’s for a retirement home. This last chair, the 2257, was my first Mogensen piece, which I bought for € 60,-. It was not the Mogensen chair I dreamed of… But still, I was proud to have it!
In general, this last option should be less expensive than the first. It should be now, at the moment you buy. However, you should realize that these relatively unknown pieces of Mogensen will be much harder to sell, for example because you want to buy another piece of furniture… That moment could come. I happen to know…
Next post will be devoted to those who can afford more in their quest for Mogensen’s furniture.
© Text: Qualitative Design