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June 15, 2006

Piano Man


Detail_ph_1Poul Henningsen was given a carpenter's workbench when he was just three years old, and that gift, as a critic later said, would "make the boy the craftsman of the next century's Danish cultural history".

Look at his piano and I think you'll agree that Henningsen was a rare creative mind.  He worked with a utilitarian philosophy and sought to create objects that serve the function first saying even, "We do not want any new shape unless it is required by the task before us".  Henningsen is remembered for wanting to bring good design to the people.

But this piano-- Utilitarian? For the people? Henningsen first created 50 of them in 1931 for the cocktail lounges of a fleet of Scandinavian ferry boats.  The piano has recently been reintroduced and built with state of the art components from Schimmel.

As always, the piano employs a jazz inspired shape, that certainly looks as musical as it sounds. The clear top brings the inner workings of the piano to light and the leather sides soften what might otherwise be a harder, lacquered look.  It sounds sublime and looks as though it may dance away itself, but not into the common person's living room. This artistic creation retails for over $80,000.

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