Shopping: Half-century-old vintage Danish furniture at 1B2G
Newly opened 1B2G may well be the only store of its kind in Singapore, specialising in rare and original furniture and lighting by renowned Danish designers of the 20th century, such as Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Poul Henningsen, Arne Vodder and Bodil Kjaer.
1B2G founder Lynette Wong started collecting vintage furniture about 10 years ago. Her collection, sourced from shops and at auctions in Europe, became so large that she wanted to introduce like-minded homeowners to the beauty of vintage furniture and sell some pieces off at the same time.
Her love for vintage furniture began when she moved into a black and white colonial bungalow. "I wanted furniture that would complement and respect the integrity of the house. Danish furniture spoke to me," she says. "They were of great design, made with fantastic wood like teak and Brazilian rosewood." Ms Wong adds that such wood features beautiful grain patterns which develop a deep patina and warmth over the years.
The first piece that she bought for her home was the China Chair by Hans Wegner. Wegner designed the chair in 1944, inspired by Chinese chairs from the Ming Dynasty. "Once you sit in it, you will realise why people wax lyrical over Wegner's chairs. It's very comfortable, the back support is perfect. When you sit on the chair and run your hands over the arms, you can really feel the wood," says Ms Wong.
At The Modern Space, a showroom which she shares with gallery Art Agenda SEA, the vintage furniture pieces that she has on sale include the JH501 by Wegner, which is so iconic that it is referred to as "The Chair". Today, Danish furniture manufacturer PP Mobler produces the chair, now called PP501. But the pair retailing at 1B2G were made by its original maker Johannes Hansen.
"Vintage pieces have a stamp on the underside bearing the maker's name, an indication that they are originals produced decades ago," says Ms Wong
Another rare piece that she has is a high back lounge chair also by Hans Wegner. This particular chair is still produced today, but the back is made of wooden slats. The one that Ms Wong has is made of flag halyard, the hemp used for ship rigging. "There are very few pieces like this making the chair highly collectable," says Ms Wong.
Original vintage pieces are hard to come by, and even then, Ms Wong is careful about which she purchases. "I look for the highest quality and in the best condition given their age," she says. "I would say to anyone interested in collecting that you should always buy one good piece rather than many smaller pieces."
Expect to pay S$3,800 for a coffee table by Severin Hansen and S$45,000 for a desk by Bodil Kjaer.
Ms Wong says that vintage furniture will never go out of trend. "Vintage pieces were so well crafted and they always stand the test of time."