Pelican Chair

Finn Juhl, 1940

Pelican Chair make more visible Finn Juhl’s fascination for surrealism than any other furniture. It was also  the furthest ahead of its time off all his designs. When it was presented at the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition in 1940, it stood out with its unusual shape and sturdy legs. 

Finn Juhl normally named his furniture numbers after the year in which they were designed, but over time the nickname "Pelican" stuck to the chair. Very few were manufactured and the chair was almost forgotten until we rediscovered and relaunched the chair in 2001. 

The characteristic soft and organic shape is almost like a body holding a body. When you sit down, the chair practically gives you a friendly hug. Like many of Finn Juhl’s later designs, the chair offers several comfortable ways to sit. 

The sculptural chair fits seamlessly into most modern interior styles and works particularly well with the Pelican Table and its close relative, the Poet Sofa from 1941. 

The Pelican Chair is produced in two versions - with or without buttons. It is manufactured with a cushion and upholstered by hand in fabric or leather. The legs are available in oak, walnut and black painted. 

Legs oiled oak, oiled walnut or black painted

Upholstery fabric or leather

Dimensions H68 x L85 x P76 cm – Seat height 37 cm

Pelican Chair
without button

from 5585 €

Pelican Chair
with buttons

from 5845 €

deposit for free samples
95 €

> explore the fabrics and leathers

oiled oak

oiled walnut 

black painted

customize your Pelican Chair

Vidar 633 (fabric price group 4) + dark oiled oak / white oiled oak / oiled walnut

Vidar 582 (fabric price group 4) + dark oiled oak / white oiled oak / oiled walnut

Remix 163 (fabric price group 1) + dark oiled oak / white oiled oak / oiled walnut

Remix 823 (fabric price group 1) + dark oiled oak / white oiled oak / oiled walnut

Remix 123 (fabric price group 1) + dark oiled oak / white oiled oak / oiled walnut

Hallingdal 100 / 457 (fabric price group 2) + dark oiled oak / white oiled oak / oiled walnut

Hallingdal 376 / 227 (fabric price group 2) + dark oiled oak / white oiled oak / oiled walnut

Hallingdal 960 / 980 (fabric price group 2) + dark oiled oak / white oiled oak / oiled walnut

Watercolour Butterscotch Yellow (fabric price group 2) + dark oiled oak / white oiled oak / oiled walnut

Watercolour Cast Iron (fabric price group 2) + dark oiled oak / white oiled oak / oiled walnut

Watercolour Golden Syrup (fabric price group 2) + dark oiled oak / white oiled oak / oiled walnut

Watercolour Fresh Sage (fabric price group 2) + dark oiled oak / white oiled oak / oiled walnut

sheepskin Moonlight (leather price group 4) + oiled walnut

sheepskin Off White (leather price group 4) + oiled walnut

sheepskin Gotland (leather price group 4) + oiled walnut

Finn Juhl

As a teenager, Finn Juhl (1912-1989) wanted to become an art historian, having a passion for the fine arts since childhood. His father stopped him and Finn Juhl started architectural studies. Later, when his fame as a designer of furniture acquired, he speaks of himself as an autodidact, in reference to this upset vocation that forced him to walk intellectually on a lonely way. His style owes much to this singular trajectory, with its non academic interpretation of art visible in his work. Finn Juhl started his studies in 1930, a key period which saw the birth of modern design and furniture.

His modern offices in central Copenhagen was greeting his visitors with a huge Japanese fish in paper, symbol of imagination. Rather than thinking in terms of practical construction, Finn Juhl had the mind-set of a sculptor, when he shaped a piece of furniture. In the 1940s and 1950s, this way of working had never been seen before. His ambition was to design furniture with movement and life.

Juhl took pride in making both the structurally supportive elements of the furniture and the seated person look as though they are floating. In some of his chairs, the backrest and the seat are almost invisibly joined, as if they were clouds floating through the room.

In creating his furniture, Finn Juhl worked with two elements: The carrying element, and the carried. He eventually became known for his special ability to separate the bearing parts from the borne. This is one of many examples of how he broke free from conventional working methods and found his inspiration in art.