When compared to his more famous peers in Danish furniture design, Frits Henningsen is somewhat of a mysterious figure. Born at the beginning of the twentieth century, he was known as both a proprietor of a furniture-making workshop in central Copenhagen, overseeing a team of cabinetmakers and apprentices, as well as the designer of the products of that workshop.
Henningsen’s work was greatly respected for its very high standards of craftsmanship. (Especially by his peers; Henningsen was an active member of the Cabinetmakers’ Guild from 1927 onwards) As evidence of Henningsen’s insistence on quality, one notes how much of his output was in expensive and exotic woods, such as palisander (Brazilian Rosewood) and Cuban mahogany. Every piece with the Henningsen signature is entirely hand-made, using exclusively the labor-intensive, traditional methods he inherited from the nineteenth century.
Apart from its superb quality, a Henningsen piece is notable for its elegance of line. The gorgeous curves he loved to flourish, especially in the arms of his fantastic chairs and sofas, at first glance appear to be early-twentieth-century modernism tempered by the historicism of an urbane but conservative craftsman. Henningsen was indeed a staunch traditionalist; for him, the graceful curves of his furniture were simply the result of the marriage of elegance and comfort.