Vintage Fredrik A. Kayser Teak, Leather & Brass Easy Chair #563, Norway, 1950s
A brilliantly-conceived compact lounge chair in patinated hand-sculpted teak and cognac leather upholstery with baseball stitching designed by Norwegian industrial designer Fredrik A. Kayser, 1950s. This frame features a completely demountable construction, with the two side assemblies joined firmly to the seat and back panels and beech front stretcher with custom brass keyhole hardware and two beautiful brass cylindrical spacers--a la Finn Juhl. The construction lends the chair an attractive simplicity, with lots of airy negative space and a transparent physicality that pleases the eye.
Avoiding cumbersome and unattractive cloth webbing to support the seat and back cushions on their hinged frame, Kayser opts instead to machine semicircular grooves directly into the wooden frame, they house rubber-covered steel springs that span the open frames while providing absorptive support. This detail is both a stronger and more modern treatment than upholstery webbing, it also leaves a trace of the production of the piece in a quintessentially mid century way.
Stunning carved in-the-round armrests become the visual and tactile focal point of the form. Restraint and understated shaping dictate the rest of the chair's elements, allowing the curvilinear scooped arms to really steal the show. The ergonomics are dialed in just right for an easy chair, a petite lounge chair perfect for the morning paper, or an afternoon tea; it's not overly reclined, and the seat isn't too deep, or the pitch-angle too severe, so while being very supportive and comfortable, it doesn't necessarily invite a nap as a larger lounge chair might. It wouldn't be difficult for an older individual to pop in and out of this chair, especially with the strong and substantial armrests.
Overall an excellent example of Norwegian midcentury design, ancient shapes connoting Viking ships, aggressive martial culture, and a strong craft tradition. The piece is marked both with the manufacturer's label (Vatne Lenestolfabrikk), as well as the export control mark (Made in Norway). Very good vintage condition.