Designer chair goes for record amount at Danish auction house

Chair was expected to only attract the second-highest bid

A chair designed by the modernist Danish architect and designer Flemming Lassen was sold yesterday for a record amount by Bruun Rasmussen auctioneers in Copenhagen.

‘Den Trætte Mand’ (‘The Tired Man’) was sold for a whopping 1.42 million kroner – nearly three times its 500,000 kroner estimate.

In fact, ‘Den Trætte Mand’ was only expected to attract the second-highest bid of the day, behind another Lassen chair, ‘Unikum’ ('Unique'), which was expected to set a new Danish record. In the end, it sold as expected for 900,000 kroner.

“It was wonderful and a huge surprise,” Kasper Nielsen, the director of valuation and sales at Bruun Rasmussen, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “It’s the most expensive designer chair we’ve ever sold.”

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Danish design moving up
In comparison to the 1938-designed ‘Unikum’, of which only one was ever made, about 50 copies of ‘Den Trætte Mand’ – which was designed between 1935 and 1936 – were produced.

Nielsen went on to say that the high price of both chairs illustrated that Danish and Nordic design is more popular than ever abroad.

“But fashion changes within Danish design too. First they wanted design in steel and marble, then it’s wood and now people want more organic furniture,” Nielsen said.