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Chair #42
Iconic Designs

Chair #42

About the Design

A radical, simple piece of furniture, Kai Kristiansen's (b. 1929) Chair #42 perfectly exemplifies Danish modern design’s meld of form, space and functionality. Produced in 1956 for Danish manufacturer Schou Andersen, the functional and modest properties of Kristiansen’s minimalist dining chair are emphasized when viewed from the front. Admiring Chair #42 from the side tells a different story, however, as the focus shifts from its sharply inclined rear legs and joined armrests to a tilting, floating backrest. The chair’s profile is dramatic and radical, and examining the frame from this perspective helps clarify why Chair #42 earned the nickname “Z Chair” over the years. Kristiansen’s elegant piece is both simple and technically difficult, its soft lines belying the expert craftsmanship therein while referencing earlier artisan furniture that influenced the Danish modern movement as well as Kristiansen himself.


Trained as a cabinetmaker, Kristiansen studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen under Kaare Klint, who is widely recognized as one of the founders of modern Danish design. The young Kristiansen established his practice soon after, focusing mostly on seating and storage for prominent Danish manufacturers such as Andersen, Fritz Hansen and Magnus Olesen. While he’s largely known for the quality of his designs, Kristiansen was equally comfortable designing chairs, desks, sideboards and wall units. He designed the Model 31 chair shortly after Chair #42 — a similar model, with inlaid arms — as well as the popular Paper Knife series of sofas and chairs. As a designer, Kristiansen favored teak and rosewood, and garnered major renown for his dark-wood FM modular wall unit in 1957 for Feldballes Møbelfabrik. The customizable shelving system was popular throughout Europe and in the United States, and remains one of the best-known examples of modular shelving, predating Dieter Rams’s 606 Universal Shelving System for Vitsoe by several years. Many of Kristiansen’s designs fell out of production due to their manufacturing challenges, although some collections have recently been reissued by Japan’s Miyazaki Chair Factory.


The stripped-down, spare Chair #42 is one of the earliest modern ergonomic chairs, specifically designed to support the sitter. Suitable for a dining room or as a reading chair, it is Kristiansen’s best-known chair. The piece has effectively remained in production since the 1950s and is currently available from Miyazaki.


Kai Kristiansen 42 Chair

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Kai Kristiansen Set of Eight Restored Dining Chairs in Oak, Inc. Reupholstery
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Knebel, DK
Set of eight restored and refinished dining chairs in oak with adjustable backrest by Kai Kristiansen for Schous Møbelfabrik. The chairs have Kai Kristiansens typical light and el...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Oak

Kai Kristiansen Set of Four Restored Dining Chairs in Oak, Inc. Reupholstery
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Knebel, DK
Set of four restored dining chairs in oak with adjustable backrest by Kai Kristiansen for Schous Møbelfabrik. The chairs have Kai Kristiansens typical light and elegant design tha...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Oak, Fabric

Kai Kristiansen Set of Ten Restored, Ebonized Dining Chairs, Inc. Re-Upholstery
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Knebel, DK
Set of 10 restored and ebonized oak dining chairs, inc. re-upholstery with swivel backrest by Kai Kristiansen for Schous Møbelfabrik. The chairs have Kai Kristiansen’s typical lig...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Oak

Set of 6 Kai Kristiansen Model 42 Dining Chairs, Rosewood
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in London, GB
Kai Kristiansen Model 42 dining chairs, 1956. Set of 6 dining chairs produced by Skovman Andersen for the Illum Bolighus department store in Copenhagen. Refinished rosewood fra...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Chairs

Materials

Rosewood, Wool

Kai Kristiansen Set of Ten Refinished Oak Dining Chairs, Inc. Re-Upholstery
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Knebel, DK
Set of 10 refinished oak dining chairs, inc. re-upholstery with swivel backrest by Kai Kristiansen for Schous Møbelfabrik. The chairs have Kai Kristiansen’s typical light and eleg...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Oak

Kai Kristiansen Chair Model 42
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in Chorzów, PL
Iconic model 42 chairs made of teak wood. Designed by famous Kai Kristiansen. Excellent condition.
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Teak

Four Kai Kristiansen Chairs Model 42
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in Chorzów, PL
Iconic model 42 chairs made of teak wood. Designed by famous Kai Kristiansen. Excellent condition.
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Teak

8 Danish Model 42 Dining / Conference Chairs in Rio Rosewood by Kai Kristiansen
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Shepperton, Surrey
A set of eight Danish Rio rosewood "model 42" chairs by Kai Kristiansen, circa 1960. The Rio rosewood is strikingly rich in color and varied in its veining. They are the best example...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Leather, Rosewood

Kai Kristiansen Set of 8 Model 42 Dining Chairs, Rosewood
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in London, GB
Kai Kristiansen Model 42 dining chairs, 1956. Set of 8 dining chairs produced by Skovman Andersen for the Illum Bolighus department store in Copenhagen. Refinished rosewood frame...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Chairs

Materials

Wool, Rosewood

Kai Kristiansen Set of 8 Model 42 Dining Chairs, Rosewood and Leather
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in London, GB
Kai Kristiansen Model 42 dining chairs, 1956. Set of 8 dining chairs produced by Skovman Andersen for the Illum Bolighus department store in Copenhagen. Refinished rosewood fra...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Chairs

Materials

Rosewood, Leather

Kai Kristiansen Model 42 Dining Chairs, Rosewood
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in London, GB
Kai Kristiansen Model 42 dining chairs, 1956. Set of 8 dining chairs produced by Skovman Andersen for the Illum Bolighus department store in Copenhagen. Refinished rosewood frame...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Chairs

Materials

Wool, Rosewood

Kai Kristiansen Set of 8 Model 42 Rosewood and Boucle Dining Chairs
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in London, GB
Kai Kristiansen Model 42 dining chairs, 1956. Set of 8 dining chairs produced by Skovman Andersen for the Illum Bolighus department store in Copenhagen. The frames are made from ...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Chairs

Materials

Rosewood, Bouclé

Kai Kristiansen Model 42 Rosewood Dining Room Set
By Kai Kristiansen, Drevotvar, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Praha, CZ
- Chairs made in Denmark by Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik - Solid Rosewood - Newly upholstered - CITES permit for export outside of EU available within circa 6 weeks - Table mad...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Beech, Fabric, Rosewood

1960s Kai Kristiansen Model 42 Rosewood Dining Chairs, Set of 4
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Praha, CZ
- Made in Denmark by Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik - Solid rosewood - Newly upholstered - CITES permit for export outside of EU available within circa 6 weeks.
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Fabric, Rosewood

Set of Six Model 42 Chairs by Kai Kristiansen for Schou Andersen
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Little Burstead, Essex
These chairs are made from Santos Rosewood, with wonderfully marked grain on the solid arms and legs, They are all in excellent original condition, the only thing that has been done ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Hardwood

1960s Kai Kristiansen Set of 4 Danish Dining Chairs in Teak Inc Reupholstry
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Knebel, DK
Set of 4 model 42 teak dining chairs with adjustable backrest by Kai Kristiansen for Schous Møbelfabrik. The chairs have Kai Kristiansens typical light and elegant design that mak...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Teak, Fabric

Chairs by Kai Kristiansen Model 42
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Vienna, AT
Dining chairs, model 42, designed by Kai Kristiansen and manufactured in Denmark by Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik. The chairs are made from solid hardwood, featuring tapered legs, curve...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Hardwood

Set of Four Kai Kristiansen Model 42 Rosewood Dining Chairs Danish Midcentury
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Bridgeport, CT
Set of four model #42 dining chairs also known as the "Z" chair designed by Kai Kristiansen manufactured by Schou Andersen in the 1960s. One of the most iconic and coveted chairs to ...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Palisander, Rosewood

Set of Four Kai Kristiansen Model 42 Dining Chairs in Rosewood Stained Oak
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Bridgeport, CT
Set of four model #42 dining chairs also known as the "Z" chair designed by Kai Kristiansen manufactured by Schou Andersen in the 1960s. One of the most iconic and coveted chairs to ...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Teak

Set of Six Model 42 Kai Kristiansen Danish Modern Dining Chairs in Rosewood
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Berkeley, CA
Origin: Denmark Designer: Kai Kristiansen Manufacturer: Schou Andersen Mobelfabrik Era: 1958 Dimensions: 21 wide x 21 deep x 29 tall  Seat: 19 wide x 16 deep x 17 tall Conditio...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Rosewood

Kai Kristiansen Model 42 Dining Chairs, Rosewood
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in London, GB
Kai Kristiansen Model 42 dining chairs, 1956. Set of 8 dining chairs produced by Skovman Andersen for the Illum Bolighus department store in Copenhagen. Refinished rosewood frame...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Chairs

Materials

Wool, Rosewood

Set of 4 Dining Chairs, Model 42, Designed by Kai Kristiansen, 1960s
By Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik, Kai Kristiansen
Located in Lejre, DK
A set of 4 dining chairs, model 42, designed by Kai Kristiansen and manufactured by Schou Andersen in the 1960s. The chairs are of rosewood and upholstered in light wool fabric.  
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Rosewood

1960s Kai Kristiansen Refinished Rosewood Dining Chairs
By Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik, Kai Kristiansen
Located in Knebel, DK
Rosewood dining chair with adjustable backrest by Kai Kristiansen for Schous Møbelfabrik. The chair have Kai Kristiansens typical light and elegant design that make it fit in easily...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Fabric, Rosewood

Kai Kristiansen, 8 Chairs, Oak Model 42, Produced by Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
By Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik, Kai Kristiansen
Located in Seevetal, DE
Set of eight (8) chairs! Produced in Denmark in the 1960s. Classic elegant midcentury design by Kai Kristiansen (b. 1929). Eight (8) chairs with solid oak frame, tilt backs and sea...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Oak

Set of Four Model 42 Black Leather and Hardwood Chairs by Kai Kristiansen
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in Madrid, ES
Four armchairs, model 42, of solid hardwood and original black leather upholstered seat and tiltable back. Designed in 1956-1957 by Kai Kristiansen and manufactured by Schou Andersen...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Leather, Hardwood

1960s Set of Eight Kai Kristiansen Dining Chairs in Rosewood, Inc. Reupholstery
By Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik, Kai Kristiansen
Located in Knebel, DK
Set of 8 1960s rosewood dining chairs with adjustable backrest by Kai Kristiansen for Schous Møbelfabrik. The chairs have Kai Kristiansens typical light and elegant design that make...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Rosewood

Set of Twelve Danish "Model 42" Chairs in Rosewood & Leather by Kai Kristiansen
By Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik, Kai Kristiansen
Located in Shepperton, Surrey
A set of twelve Danish Rio rosewood "Model 42" chairs by Kai Kristiansen, circa 1965. These chairs have been lovingly restored, re-polished and upholstered in black, natural grain...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Leather, Rosewood

Set of Six Kai Kristiansen Brown Leather and Hardwood Dining Chairs
By Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik, Kai Kristiansen
Located in Madrid, ES
Six armchairs, model 42, of solid hardwood designed in 1956-1957 by Kai Kristiansen. Seat and tiltable back upholstered in brick red / brown leather. Manufactured by Schou Andersen F...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Leather, Hardwood

Set of 4 Teak Model 42 Dining Chairs by Kai Kristiansen for Andersen, Denmark
By Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik, Kai Kristiansen
Located in Amsterdam, Noord Holland
A beautiful set of 4 Danish design chairs designed by Kai Kristiansen for Schou Andersen. The chairs have model name number 42 and are made of solid teak wood and are upholstered in ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Wool, Teak

Kai Kristiansen Model 42 Dining Chairs, Rosewood
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in London, GB
Kai Kristiansen Model 42 dining chairs, 1956. Set of 8 dining chairs produced by Skovman Andersen for the Illum Bolighus department store in Copenhagen. Refinished rosewood frame...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Chairs

Materials

Wool, Rosewood

Kai Kristiansen Twelve Refinished Dining Chairs in Oak, Inc. Reupholstery
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Knebel, DK
Set of 12 model 42 oak dining chairs with swivel backrest by Kai Kristiansen for Schous Møbelfabrik. The chairs have Kai Kristiansens typical light and elegant design that make them...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Oak

Twelve Kai Kristiansen Refinished Rosewood Dining Chairs, Inc. Reupholstery
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Knebel, DK
Set of 12 model 42 rosewood dining chairs with adjustable backrest by Kai Kristiansen for Schous Møbelfabrik. The chairs have Kai Kristiansens typical light and elegant design that ...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Fabric, Rosewood

1960s Kai Kristiansen Set of 12 Dining Chairs in Teak, Inc. Reupholstery
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Knebel, DK
Set of 12 model 42 teak dining chairs with adjustable backrest by Kai Kristiansen for Schous Møbelfabrik. The chairs have Kai Kristiansens typical light and elegant design that make...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Fabric, Teak

1960s Kai Kristiansen Set of Six Dining Chairs in Teak - Inc. Reupholstery
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Knebel, DK
Set of six Kai Kristiansen model 42 teak dining chairs with adjustable backrest for Schous Møbelfabrik. The chairs have Kai Kristiansens typical light and elegant design that make t...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Fabric, Teak

Kai Kristiansen Rosewood Dining Chairs, Model 42, Set of Six, 1960s.
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Porto, PT
Set of 6 rosewood dining chairs model 42 with movable backrests, upholstered in the original blue fabric. These items are in original condition, can be sold as they are or fully res...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Fabric, Rosewood

Midcentury Danish Set of 8 Kai Kristiansen Rosewood Chairs, Model 42
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Courbevoie, FR
Midcentury Danish set of 8 Kai Kristiansen rosewood chairs, model 42. Newly reupholstered with Camira Blazer fabric color CUZ14. Referenced by the Design Museum Danmark under number ...
Category

Vintage 1960s Scandinavian Chairs

Materials

Teak

Kai Kristiansen Model 42 Dining Chairs, Rosewood
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in London, GB
Kai Kristiansen Model 42 dining chairs, 1956. Set of eight dining chairs produced by Skovman Andersen for the Illum Bolighus department store in Copenhagen. Refinished rosewood f...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Chairs

Materials

Wool, Rosewood

Chairs by Kai Kristiansen Model 42
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Vienna, AT
Dining chairs, model 42, designed by Kai Kristiansen and manufactured in Denmark by Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik. The chairs are made from solid hardwood, featuring tapered legs, curve...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Hardwood

Four Kai Kristiansen Cognac Leather and Mahogany 'Z' Dining Chairs
By Kai Kristiansen
Located in Brooklyn, NY
A second set of four dining chair from Danish designer Kai Kristiansen. This version of the ‘Z’ chairs has a back and seat upholstered with a bright cognac leather which is a rare co...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Leather, Mahogany

Kai Kristiansen Model 42 "Z" Teak Dining Chairs
By Kai Kristiansen, V. Schou Andersen
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Set of four Classic Danish modern dining chairs by Kai Kristiansen. Great form with solid teak frame and cushioned seat and back. (Please confirm item location - NY or NJ - with d...
Category

Vintage 1960s Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Wood

Hardwood and Leather Chairs by Kai Kristiansen Model 42
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Vienna, AT
Dining chairs, model 42, designed by Kai Kristiansen and manufactured in Denmark by Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik. The chairs are made from solid hardwood, featuring tapered legs, curve...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Leather, Hardwood

Rosewood Chairs by Kai Kristiansen Model 42
By Kai Kristiansen, Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik
Located in Vienna, AT
Dining chairs, model 42, designed by Kai Kristiansen and manufactured in Denmark by Schou Andersen Møbelfabrik. The chairs are made from solid rosewood, featuring tapered legs, curve...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Rosewood