Skip to main content
Colonial Chair
Iconic Designs

Colonial Chair

About the Design

In creating his seminal work, the Colonial chair, in 1949, Danish designer Ole Wanscher (1903–85) found the ideal balance between minimalism and traditionalism through a simple silhouette, slim wooden framework and plush leather cushions. While Wanscher may not be a household name today in the way that his Danish contemporaries Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl and Hans Wegner are, he played a prominent role in mid-century Scandinavian design and is greatly respected by furniture historians.


Raised by an art historian father, Wanscher developed an appreciation for the arts at an early age, eventually going on to study architecture and furniture design under modernist master Kaare Klint at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. After graduating, he worked for Klint’s practice before starting his own firm. Then, after Klint’s death in 1954, Wanscher took over Klint’s academic role until his own retirement from the academy in 1973. His professional accolades include the Copenhagen Carpenters’ Guild Annual Award and the gold medal at the 1960 Milan Triennale.


An avid historian himself, Wanscher also traveled the world to study designs from different cultures and was particularly interested in furniture from Egypt, Greece and China, as well as from the Shaker movement and the Vienna Secession. He’d later publish the results of his global studies in The Art of Furniture: 5,000 Years of Furniture and Interiors. This approach, rooted in history, which was largely inspired by Klint’s own philosophy, set Wanscher apart from the segment of Scandinavian modernists who eschewed the past for the present and the future.


For the Colonial chair, Wanscher drew inspiration from 18th-century English furniture, namely ladder-backed chairs by Thomas Chippendale. He crafted the slim frame of roundwood timber, using curved armrests and legs — a Wanscher signature element — and thoughtfully placed mortise-and-tenon joints to create stability. And although the finished product radiates a sense of careful craftsmanship, Wanscher designed the Colonial chair to be easily manufactured: Its wood frame, woven cane seat and leather cushions can each be produced separately and joined at a later stage.


The Colonial chair was originally manufactured by P. Jeppesens Møbelfabrik, for whom Wanscher also designed the Colonial sofa and the Colonial coffee table to complete the Colonial collection. Today the chair is manufactured by Carl Hansen & Søn and sold alongside a footrest. It remains a crowd-pleaser with its timeless, elegant yet simple form.

Ole Wanscher Colonial Chair

Filter Results
to
Item Location
13
15
12
11
9
9
Ole Wanscher Easy Chairs/Armchairs PJ-149/Colonial by P. Jeppesen Møbelfabrik
By Ole Wanscher
Located in Malmo, SE
Rare set of 4 easy chairs / armchairs model PJ-149 / Colonial designed by Ole Wanscher. Produced by P. Jeppesen Møbelfabrik in Denmark.  
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Leather, Cane, Ash

Ole Wanscher Easy Chairs/Armchairs PJ-149/Colonial by P. Jeppesen Møbelfabrik
By Ole Wanscher
Located in Malmo, SE
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern

Materials

Leather, Cane, Ash

Ole Wanscher Pair of Vintage Rosewood Colonial Chairs, 1950s
By Poul Jeppesen, Ole Wanscher
Located in London, GB
Ole Wanscher PJ-149 Colonial chair, 1949 A fine pair of Ole Wanscher's most iconic design: The colonial chair. Produced by Poul Jeppesen in Denmark circa 1950s in exquisite Bra...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Rattan, Rosewood, Linen

Pair of Colonial Easy Chairs, Model PJ149, by Ole Wanscher
By P. Jeppesens Møbelfabrik, Ole Wanscher
Located in Lejre, DK
A pair of colonial easy chairs, model PJ149, designed by Ole Wanscher in 1949 and manufactured by P. Jeppesen. The chairs are of rosewood with cushions of black leather and both are ...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs

Materials

Leather, Rosewood

Pair of Armchairs, PJ 149, “Colonial”, Designed by Ole Wanscher for P. Jeppesen
By Ole Wanscher
Located in Stockholm, SE
Denmark, 1949. Solid rosewood with woven cane. Cushions upholstered in light Savak wool. Marked by P. Jeppesen. Measures: H 84 cm, 2' 9" W 64 cm, 2' 1" D 70 cm, 2' 3" SH 45...
Category

Vintage 1940s Danish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs

Materials

Cane, Rosewood

Ole Wanscher Vintage Rosewood Colonial Chair and Ottoman, 1950s
By Poul Jeppesen, Ole Wanscher
Located in London, GB
Ole Wanscher PJ-149 Colonial chair and ottoman, 1949 A fine example of Ole Wanscher's most iconic design: The Colonial chair. Produced by Poul Jeppesen in Denmark circa 1950s i...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Rattan, Rosewood, Leather

Ole Wanscher "Colonial" Chairs in Mahogany, a Pair
By Ole Wanscher
Located in Singapore, SG
A stunning matching pair of “Colonial” armchairs by Ole Wanscher for P Jepperson. They have a mahogany frame and a woven rattan cane seat. The cushions on the seat and back are uphol...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Cane, Mahogany

Armchair PJ 149, “Colonial”, Designed by Ole Wanscher for P. Jeppesen, Denmark
By Ole Wanscher
Located in Stockholm, SE
Rosewood with leather cushions.
Category

Vintage 1940s Danish Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Leather, Cane, Rosewood

Set of Colonial Chairs Model PJ 149 by Ole Wanscher for P. Jeppesen, Denmark
By Ole Wanscher
Located in Stockholm, SE
1949. Ash, cane and silk. Measures: H 83 cm/ 32 3/4'' D 70 cm/ 27 1/2'' W 64 cm/ 25 1/4'' Seat height 43 cm/ 17'' Literature: Noritsugu Oda, "Danish Chairs", Korinsha Pr...
Category

Vintage 1940s Danish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs

Materials

Silk, Cane, Ash

Midcentury Rosewood Ole Wanscher Easy Chairs, 1960s
By France & Søn, Ole Wanscher
Located in Lisboa, Lisboa
Pair of Danish modern easy chair, by Ole Wanscher, senator series, beautiful vintage chair, original condition and fabric cushions, fantastic condition, manufactured by France & Son,...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Rosewood

Ole Wanscher Pair of Vintage Rosewood Colonial Chair, 1950s
By Ole Wanscher, Poul Jeppesen
Located in London, GB
Ole Wanscher PJ-149 Colonial chair, 1949 A fine pair of Ole Wanscher's most iconic design: The Colonial chair. Produced by Poul Jeppesen in Denmark circa 1950s in exquisite Bra...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Leather, Rattan, Rosewood

Ole Wanscher Vintage Rosewood Colonial Chair, 1950s
By Ole Wanscher, Poul Jeppesen
Located in London, GB
Ole Wanscher PJ-149 Colonial chair, 1949 A Fine example of Ole Wanscher's most iconic design: The Colonial Chair. Produced by Poul Jeppesen in Denmark c1950s in exquisite Brazi...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Leather, Rattan, Rosewood

Ole Wanscher Vintage Rosewood Colonial Chair, 1950s
By Ole Wanscher, Poul Jeppesen
Located in London, GB
Ole Wanscher PJ-149 Colonial chair, 1949 A fine example of Ole Wanscher's most iconic design: The Colonial chair. Produced by Poul Jeppesen in Denmark circa 1950s in exquisite ...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Rosewood, Leather, Rattan

Ole Wanscher Rosewood 1st Edition Colonial Chair, 1949
By Ole Wanscher, Poul Jeppesen
Located in London, GB
Ole Wanscher PJ-149 colonial chair, 1949 The colonial chair is one of Wanscher’s best loved and most iconic designs, drawing influence from British and French Colonial furnitur...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Leather, Rattan, Rosewood

Ole Wanscher Colonial Chair in Rosewood
By Ole Wanscher
Located in San Francisco, CA
Ole Wanscher design "Colonial" chair for Paul Jeppsen, Denmark. Made with a solid rosewood frame and cane seat with chocolate brown leather cushions, labeled.
Category

Vintage 1940s Danish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs

Materials

Rosewood