Hans J Wegner fakes destroyed by Norwegian authorities
Hans J Wegner The Round Chair

Fake Hans J Wegner chairs destroyed by Norwegian authorities

A delivery of 100 replicas of Danish designer Hans J Wegner's Round Chair has been seized and destroyed by Norwegian customs.

Danish furniture manufacturer PP Møbler, which now owns the copyright and produces Wegner's 1949 design (pictured), was contacted by Norwegian authorities earlier this year about a consignment of 100 copies of the chair.

Hans J Wegner The Round Chair

Produced in China, the imitation Wegner chairs had been ordered by a Norwegian restaurant owner for his business. Despite offering PP Møbler money to keep the chairs, the individual was eventually forced to pay for their destruction.

A 16-second video reported by danishfurniture.dk shows the claw of a digger being used to smash the chairs – still in their boxes.

PP Møbler owns the rights to produce a range of Wegner designs, including his iconic Wishbone and Peacock chairs.

The brand described the Round Chair, often simply referred to as The Chair, as "absolutely the most important work of Hans J Wegner". Its design features a curved wooden back and arms made of a single piece of solid wood.

Hans J Wegner The Round Chair

The gradually tapered legs of the chair extend above and beyond the level of the seat to act as supports for the arms and back.

Reportedly the trigger for the first ever foreign report on Danish design, in American Interiors Magazine, the Round Chair also found fame during the first televised election debate between John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon, in 1960.

The manufacturer marked the designer's 100-year anniversary in 2014 by launching a collection of his best-known designs and pieces that never made it into production.

Norway isn't the only country taking action against furniture piracy. Earlier this year, news site thelocal.ch reported on an ongoing investigation by Swiss authorities after seizing a consignment of replica Le Corbusier furniture in 2011.

Hans J Wegner The Round Chair

The pieces were reportedly ordered from a British company, which was subsequently investigated for copyright infringement and violation of unfair competition laws.

In the UK, manufacturing and selling copies of mass-produced designs won't be illegal until after 2020, when a new copyright protection law will be introduced to give industrially manufactured items the same protection as works of art, books or music.

Images courtesy PP Møbler.