The Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair.

5/18/2010 07:56:00 pm

I have a story to tell you. It makes me giggle. But in a sort of uncomfortable way. I foreshadowed it here, and then forgot about the foreshadowing.

Before I begin, I have to tell you that I'm really annoyed at myself because I have either forgotten the key detail of this story, deleted a post that contained that key detail at some point in the past, and/or thrown out the catalogue that held not only the key detail, but a whole lot of other cool stuff. So when i get to the kicker, it's actually just made up. Well, it's as best I remember, and I'm pretty sure that it's correct. You will see, I will mark the kicker with an asterisk so you know what I'm talking about when you get there.

Let's proceed.

In 2007, the mothership and I went travelling in Scandinavia. Our shenanigans are chronicled here, but I was blogging because of a sense of obligation to my non-existent readership and the chronicle is kind of shit. Maybe that's why I deleted the post that contained the key detail (I might be imagining it though, so you see, things are a bit complicated).

We were in Copenhagen and it had been raining and then warming, and it was humid and sticky and I needed to do a wee. Wandering around Størget we came across Illums Bolighus. Illums Bolighus is a department store. The kind of fancy shiny department store where all the staff look the same in a eugenic nordic way, and there is electro-jazz playing as the muzak, and everything is white and metallic and gleaming, in a terrifyingly expensive way. They had cushions made out of seal cub.

In 1925 Illums Bolighus was founded under the name BO by the Danish business man Kaj Dessau. Apart from having business flair Kaj Dessau also possessed a great aesthetic sense. Together with Kaj Dessau’s artistic consultant, Brita Drewsen, he created a concept, which up to that time had never been seen anywhere in the world. A store comprising designed interiors, where textiles and furniture formed a synthesis with art. Drewsen's and Dessau's unusual vision and sense of quality up through the 1930'es has since then had an immense impact on the international status gained by Danish interior design. [...] In 1997 Illums Bolighus was appointed Purveyor to the Royal Danish Court.

Etcetera. Basically, it's really expensive and fancy, and tourists go in there to take pictures because they can't afford to buy anything. Especially not in euros or crowns. 

Anyway, so my face was all shiny and I needed to go wee wee. The bathrooms were on the same floor as the furniture, so mother found a chair and threw herself down in it, legs splayed, looking at photos on her digital camera. She may or may not have have had in her possession a money pouch and a bum bag, but that's not for discussion here. 

I went to the bathroom, did bathroom things... brushed my hair, blotted my face, looked at some pimples, put on some perfume... you know what I mean. I went back out and located the mother, who remained lounging whilst we talked about what to do for the afternoon. 

It was at that point we noticed, and ignored, one of the very eugenic shop attendants hovering near by. Hovering actually, sort of, on top of us. 

Suddenly he materialised beside my right elbow and asked, in a sort of poshy nordic way if he could help us with anything. We replied no, that we were just browsing, because you know, there's nothing I need more in life than a few seal cub cushions...

But he kept hovering, and so the mother began to remove herself from the chair. 

It was a nice chair. Very comfortable. 

As she stood up, she glanced at the price tag. It said 72,000 Danish kroner.* 

That's more than $13,000 Australian dollars.

It was an Arne Jacobsen Egg chair. A leather one. An original.

We left pretty soon after that.

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