Welcome to Mid-Century Monday, my new recurring series of blog posts about some of my favorite design classics. Let's start things off with a piece by Danish cabinet maker Hans Wegner: the Papa Bear Chair (a.k.a. the Teddy Bear Chair). These were originally manufactured in the 50's and 60's. PP Møbler, the original manufacturer of the chair's frame for Wegner, began making a reissue version a few years ago that goes for over $12K (the vintage ones go for a lot less.) I wanted to start the MCM series with this chair because I saw one for sale on Craigslist just four days ago, going for $50! It must've been up for only a couple of hours, but by the time I saw it, it was already gone. I was so bummed out!
What to look for:
The legs and arm inserts should be teak wood (a staple of Wegner's and Danish design in general). Wegner signed most of his works, so look for a signature. If the chair has its original fabric in good condition, the price will go up - but a lot of the older ones you'll find will be either pretty beat up, or they will have been reupholstered. Wegner designed an ottoman to go with the chair starting in 1954, but it's not as common, so finding a chair with the matching stool is a good thing.
Vintage, in good condition: $2,000 - $3,000
PP Møbler PP19 reissue, new: $12K+