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 a tidy sum of money, but not unlimited…
Let’s fancy you have a tidy sum of money (between €/$ 500,- and 1500,-) set apart to buy a Mogensen piece. It will mean that the most famous icons (leather armchairs or sofa, Hunting or Spanish chairs, China cabinet) will probably be out of reach (unless you are very lucky) The first question you’d ask yourself is: why do you want to buy it? Your answer is important for deciding which choice is best for you. Do you want to buy it purely due to aesthetic reasons? Or are you pursuing a Mogensen piece with the idea to start collecting design furniture in general or Mogensen’s work in particular? Of course, you may have both, but your point of departure is different.
Let’s start with the first option: you want to buy a Mogensen piece due to aesthetic reasons, because you are fond of his sober Scandinavian design language. Let me suggest a few options in that case. You might consider to buy a 2218 three seater sofa or even better the four seater 2019 sofa. In the picture above you can see how it gives a wonderful Scandinavian ambiance. In his later years Mogensen designed a similar sofa, for two or three persons, the BM 2342 and 2343.
There are other options, of course. Consider a table for example. Mogensen designed it in different periods of his career. Very well known is his C18 Shaker table, originally produced by FDB, still in production with Fredericia. My personal favourite is another Shaker table, the BM 6286 (or its little brother, the BM 6289) designed in 1965 and also produced by Fredericia. This table is hard to get below 1500,-. Also from Fredericia and well-known is the BM 6284, from solid oak, just like the other tables (although older types of the C18 were produced in beech).
These sofa’s and tables are all lovely and typical species of the Scandinavian aesthetic. They don’t point to themselves, but breathe the simplicity and tranquility that are so distinctive in Mogensen’s design philosophy. Mogensen’s furniture in oak however is intimately connected with his sober design language. Not everyone would be satisfied with this simplicity. Some buyers might want something more outspoken or notable. In that case, you should consider different pieces of furniture. The two key words in that case are ‘leather’ and ‘teak’. In the first category, the obvious choice would be one of Mogensen’s famous leather chairs (like the Spanish chair or the BM 2207). But I’ll assume that this is not within (financial) reach. What options do you have? Think, for example, of two BM 3237 or 3238’s. In that case you would buy (a) beautiful and timeless chair(s) which will be your favourite, I’m sure! Please, be careful, because sometimes the BM 3251 – originally clothed with fabric – is relined with leather and sold as an original 3238. Note the different joining between the legs of the chairs and (sometimes) the different quality of the leather!
The other option is looking for a piece of furniture in teak. You might consider one of Mogensen’s teak cabinets, sideboards or secretaries, produced by Soborg. They are quite popular, as is the case with all teak Danish modern furniture, but it should be possibel to find something nice. A sofa or coffee table might be worth considering as well. Mogensen designed lots of sofa tables, not only in oak, but also in other types of wood. Take for example the iconic (in my eyes at least) 264, produced by Fredericia. This would be a very convincing choice.
What to choose then? That of course is a matter of taste, but also of value for money. For sure, all pieces of Mogensen provide value for money. There are differences as well. At this moment teak furniture is valued higher than furniture in oak. But if you’d ask me, I would prefer buying (a) leather chair(s). You won’t regret it.
© Text: Qualitative Design