he Butterfly chair, who hasn’t seen this chair around somewhere? It is one of those well designed classics from way back when also known as the Hardoy chair, the Safari chair, the Sling chair or the Wing chair. Actually, the design is so clever and simple, that unauthorised copies are swarming all over the place.
History of the Butterfly Chair
This chair, originally known as the BKF chair, was designed by three guys from Argentina, Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy in 1938 (hence the name BKF). They were the partners in the Austral Group, a co-operation of leading architects in Argentina which totally defined most of the architecture and design of the 1930’s in South America. The BKF chair was actually developed for an apartment building the Austral Group designed in Buenos Aires. Soon after, the chair was shown at the 3rd Salon de Artistas Decoradores exhibition. It was there that the chair was discovered by Edgar Kaufmann Jr, the curator at the time of Industrial Design of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He brought three production-chairs to the USA, the first was exhibited in the museum, the second went to Edgar’s own home (Fallingwaters, designed by family friend Frank Lloyd Wright, lucky him!) and the third chair was never heard of anymore. No one knows where it went.
Kaufman predicted that the lightweight and inexpensive chair would become a huge success in the USA, and it did. From 1941 – 1948 the butterfly chair was produced by Artek-Pascoe, sending back royalties to Argentina. After that the Knoll company acquired the US production rights. That turned out to be a bad investment because unauthorised copies of the butterfly chair began to surface everywhere, and not only in the USA. Knoll kept losing legal action against these “illegal” producers and ever since the butterfly chair is freely produced all over the globe to this day.
I hope you enjoy this small collection of butterflies, authorised or not.
If you enjoy reading my blog, please consider giving my Facebook page a “like“
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
- he history of the famous Thonet chairs, begins with Michael Thonet, pronounced "Toe-net" (instead of "Tho-nay"). He was the founder of a building- and furniture workshop in Boppard, Germany in 1819. His unique success story began with the transition of manual furniture production to industrial production. From the 1830's, Thonet…
heb jij een goed 3d model van deze prachtige stoel weten te vinden? Ik heb het voorrecht er een in real life te bezitten. 35+ jaar oud, van mijn ouders, met nog originele leer…..
Lucky you Mattijs! De vintage exemplaren zijn het mooist. Ik heb er zelf (nog) geen model van, (en ook nog geen echte :-)) maar hier is een link waar je er een kan downloaden: https://www.formfonts.com/3D-Model/1/16055/3/e20-furnishings/e2020-movable-furnishings/bkf-butterfly-chair/
Hi there, beautiful blog indeed. I wonder whether the following Butterfly Chair is real one since I intend to purchase one but I am still hesitant, since I don’t know what to look out for in order not to run into a ‘fake’ geometry of the Butterfly: Butterfly Chair. Thank you in advance for any hints
Hi Peter, thanks for your kind words. You know, a “real” Butterfly is almost impossible to find. You would have to search for a vintage piece, produced by the Austral Group in Argentina. But I guess that is not realistic, as production of these chairs was in the 1930’s or 1940’s. But the fact that Archetypen mentions the history of this chair, tells me they will produce them with care and respect for the original design. So I would go right ahead and get this beauty into your home.
I Like the collection of Butterfly Chair. Please Give the Contact Details.