Bukowskis in Stockholm has got the honour to sell important items from Arne Jacobsen´s Royal Hotel, Copenhagen.

At the autumn "Moderna" sale at Bukowski´s in Stockholm, November 7-9 2000, we will be selling 30-40 items comprising various articles and furniture from the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. Here Bukowski offers a unique opportunity to buy original furnishings from this famous hotel, from door furniture and bedside tables to a unique blue-patterned rug or a Drop chair in brown leather

The SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen is considered one of Arne Jacobsen´s most important works. There was a lively debate when the project was initiated in 1956, with concern that the building would dominate its surroundings excessively. The most concerned voices were however reassured with the appointment of Arne Jacobsen as the architect.

The hotel consists of two sections. The lower, horizontal, section contains the lobby, restaurants and airport terminal. The upper, tall, section has accommodation on 22 floors. Arne Jacobsen created a total environment in the Royal Hotel in which he designed everything, from the doorstops to the AJ cutlery in the dining room. However, the latter was eventually replaced with more traditional designs because the guests complained that they were uncomfortable to eat with.

It is remarkable that so many of the products designed for the Royal Hotel are still in production. Several, such as the Egg and Swan chairs and the various versions of the AJ lamp, are today regarded as Contemporary Furniture Classics. Several generations of Egg and Swan armchairs have been worn out in the hotel and replaced with new ones. There have been no original chairs in the hotel for a long time now. However, the lobby still has Egg and Swan chairs upholstered in fabric. Jacobsen designed a number of models that were made exclusively for the hotel and not manufactured subsequently, such as the Egg in sofa form, the Drop chair and the Giraffe dining chair.

The interiors

The hotel has 275 rooms and a number of suites, with an ingenious arrangement that allows various elements to be fixed to a dado panel, for example the bedside table with drawer, shelf, radio or dressing table unit with mirror. The head of the bed was also fixed to the panel. This arrangement freed the floor from furniture, which made cleaning easier and made it simpler to rearrange the furniture.

The auction includes a number of these unique pieces. There are several lots of bedside tables, a very unusual chest of drawers with blue laminate in original condition, a freestanding writing table and a number of lots of door handles.

The "AJ" door handle, manufactured by Carl F Petersen, is considered one of the high points of Arne Jacobsen´s output from the 1950-60´s, and is typical of his design idiom at this time. The AJ handle is used throughout the Royal Hotel.

The Drop chair was designed for the hotel in 1958, and about 40 were upholstered in brown leather for the hotel´s Bistro. The Drop chair is one of Jacobsen´s moulded shell chairs. Produced by Fritz Hansen exclusively for the Royal Hotel, it was never manufactured subsequently. In addition to the approx. 40 chairs for the Bistro, a larger number of Drop chairs were made with fabric upholstery for the bedrooms. The auction includes a Drop chair upholstered in leather.

The Giraffe chair was designed for the Royal Hotel´s dining room. It too was not manufactured subsequently. The Giraffe chair has a shell upholstered in fabric, and wooden edging. The legs, in profiled laminated wood, are the same as those on the Grand Prix chair. The Giraffe chair´s design objective was that its high back would be restful and make guests feel relaxed and comfortable at the table. In addition, good access between the chairs would make serving easy. The sale includes two Giraffe chairs.

Today the hotel has sold the original furnishings, and chosen to furnish, as they say, in the spirit of Jacobsen.

Eva Seeman
Expert, 20thC Design