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Clam Chairs, Arnold Madsen

Beautiful pair of Clam Chairs by Arnold Madsen for Vik & Blindheim

This pair of “Clam” chairs has a beloved design thanks to which it is considered by some as one of the most attractive chairs of “Nordic Design”.

The model has a rather perplexing history, and has been attributed to several designers before, the latest being the Danish architect Phillip Arctander. However, recent research revealed that the “Clam” is the model that in fact started the story of Madsen & Schubell. Arnold Madsen designed the chair in 1944 in his small basement workshop in Gothersgade, Copenhagen.

This pair has a characteristic organic shape with soft curves, perched on club-shaped beech legs. The name comes from the shape of the seat and back that together form the silhouette of an open clam. The round armrests compliment the overall round feel of the chair. The seat is slightly raised towards the front, while the back is tilted back to provide great sitting comfort. The seat and back are covered in cappuccino-coloured sheepskin, adding to the soft and cosy feel of this “Clam”. Interestingly, Hans Schubell invented the special connecting piece of this chair, formed from only one piece of wood. The rest of the seat and backrest were glued to this single piece.

In 1944, the chair was already exhibited in conjunction with the presentation of the newly opened furniture store NY FORM A/S in Copenhagen, which sold leading design of the day. In 1953, Madsen & Schubell sold the licence for the chair to the Norwegian company Vik and Blindheim.