compared to his more famous peers in Danish furniture design,
Fritz Henningsen is a somewhat mysterious figure. Probably
born at the end of the nineteenth century, he was known as
both a proprietor of a furniture-making workshop in central
Copenhagen, overseeing a team of cabinetmakers and apprentices,
as well as the designer of the products of that workshop.
work was greatly respected for its very high standards of
craftsmanship. (Especially by his peers; Henningsen was an
active member of the Cabinetmakers’ Guild from 1927
on.) As evidence of Henningsen’s insistence on quality,
one notes how much of his output was in expensive and exotic
woods, such as palisander and Cuban mahogany. Every piece
with the Henningsen imprimatur is entirely hand-made, using
exclusively the labor-intensive, traditional methods he inherited
from the nineteenth century.
Apart from its superb quality, a Henningsen piece is notable
for its elegance of line. The gorgeous curves he loved to
flourish, especially in the arms of his fantastic chairs and
sofas, at first glance appear to be early-twentieth-century
modernism tempered by the historicism of an urbane but conservative
craftsman. Henningsen was indeed a staunch traditionalist;
for him, the graceful curves of his furniture were simply
the result of the marriage of elegance and comfort.