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The scene would be nowt with the chair taken out: Ox Chair in Austin Powers

The scene would be nowt with the chair taken out: Ox Chair in Austin Powers

With a distinctive head rest reminiscent of ox horns, the Ox Chair is an iconic modern classic by Danish designer Wegner, created in 1960. A padded chair, covered with oxhide or fabric and raised off the floor by light but strong legs in chromium-plated steel, it was Wegner’s own favourite chair at home because quite simply, it is comfortable. It is also very commanding. What’s not to like?

As the Scandinavian furniture specialist shop Skandium tell us: “Like other pieces of furniture which are now regarded as modern classics, the Ox chair was ahead of its time when it was launched in 1960. Making use of superior craftsmanship skills Wegner had created a sophisticated and demanding construction. In 1989 furniture manufacturer Erik Jørgensen and Hans J. Wegner collaborated in bringing the Ox chair back to life”. Today it stands as a sculptural manifestation of the very best that Danish furniture has to offer.ox-chair-austin-powers

This handsome chair is also the essence of masculinity and was chosen for Mike Myers portrayal of Doctor Evil in Austin Powers (1997) to parody the high-backed, black leather chair that Donald Pleasence sits in as Blofeld in the Bond movie You Only Live Twice (1967), and perhaps also to underline Myers comedic interpretation of power and authority of the Dr Evil character.

Donald Pleasance at Blofeld in You Only Live Twice
Donald Pleasance at Blofeld in You Only Live Twice

As with most design classics there are many rip-offs but official licensed versions of the Ox Chair are available from 2Modern. These chairs are not cheap but high craftsman skills and costly production are involved in bringing this chair into being. Vintage 60s version can be found on vintage dealer sites like Pamono.

The original high-backed, black leather chair from the You Only Live Twice sold in an auction last year in California for $16,000. It had been expected to sell for around $3,000 but fierce bidding drove the price up to more than five times that estimate (read more >) proving once again how much avid interest there is in iconic film set furniture.

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