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Chair - Jason

Jason

  • Object:

    Chair

  • Place of origin:

    Middlesex (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1950-1951 (designed)
    post 1950 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jacobs, Carl, born 1925 (designer)
    Kandya Ltd. (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Moulded 5-ply beech plywood seat with solid beech frame

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Kandya Ltd

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.305-1970

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

From the early 1950s progressive British taste fell under the sway of Danish design. The Jason chair was designed by a Danish designer Carl Jacobs but was manufactured by Kandya, a British firm. The lightweight, stackable, chair has gently tapering splayed wooden legs that are typical of Danish design of the period. The seat and back of the chair are folded from a single sheet of flexible plywood that wraps around the chair and joins below the seat in an expressive, though functionless, jigsaw puzzle type connection. In America the Eames and Eero Saarinen were experimenting with moulding single-piece chair seats and backs, but it required far simpler technology to bend plywood to achieve the same effect, as with this chair. Principally designed for domestic use, the Jason chair was in continuous production for almost twenty years, with metal legs as an option. In 1952 three hundred were installed in the South Bank Restaurant on the site of the Festival of Britain.

Physical description

Chair, with one-piece seat and back of moulded 5-ply beech plywood and solid beech frame. The seat and back are moulded from a single, shaped piece of plywood. The outer edges of the back are long strips that are folded under the seat to create the cut-outs in the back. The seat is attached to the solid beech frame with three metal screws that go through the seat directly into the frame beneath. The chair has four tapering solid beech legs with rubber stoppers at the ends.

Place of Origin

Middlesex (manufactured)

Date

1950-1951 (designed)
post 1950 (manufactured)

Artist/maker

Jacobs, Carl, born 1925 (designer)
Kandya Ltd. (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Moulded 5-ply beech plywood seat with solid beech frame

Dimensions

Height: 74 cm, Width: 52.5 cm, Depth: 43.5 cm, Height: 45.7 cm seat

Historical context note

Despite the influence of Isokon in Britain during the 1930s, Kandya lacked the expertise after the war to produce plywood furniture and commissioned a Dane, Carl Jacobs, to develop a chair. The seat and back unit, which is formed from a single sheet of plywood moulded and secured under the seat with a joint similar to a jig-saw piece, was developed through twenty-seven prototypes. Simplicity of construction dictates the form as does the need to be stacked. Principally designed for domestic use, it was in continuous production for almost twenty years, with metal legs as an option. In 1952 three hundred were installed in the South Bank Restaurant on the site of the Festival of Britain.
[Gareth Williams, 'British Design at Home', p.139]

Descriptive line

Jason chair, designed by Carl Jacobs, manufactured by Kandya Ltd, beech frame and beech faced plywood seat and back, Middlesex, Britain, designed 1950-1951

Production Note

Manufactured from 1951.

Materials

Beech

Categories

ELISE; Furniture

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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