Danish furniture manufacturer Sibast began in 1908 when cabinetmaker Peder Olsen Sibast opened a woodworking atelier on Denmark’s island of Funen. The family-owned company steadily expanded throughout the first half of the 20th century. In 1943, Sibast’s children, Emma, Ole, and Helge, took the reins, and together they carried Sibast to international acclaim. According to Anna Sibast, great-granddaughter-in-law of the company’s founder, “Emma was in administration, taking care of the finances and the employees’ wellbeing. Ole played a big role in selling, for example, to Hilton Hotels and the White House, to name a few. And Helge was the driving force in the design and production side of the business.” In the postwar era, Sibast became one of Denmark’s largest producers of fine wood chairs, tables, and sideboards, celebrated for high quality craftsmanship and modernist silhouettes.
Helge Sibast apprenticed under his father and was responsible for a many of the company’s most successful designs, including No. 7 Chair and No. 8 Chair (both 1953). He also commissioned a number of top Danish designers of the day, like Grete Jalk, to develop Sibast lines. Arne Vodder, in particular, collaborated with Sibast frequently between the 1950s and ‘70s. Notably, in 1957, Vodder was awarded first prize at the X Triennale di Milano for his No. 29A Sideboard for Sibast.
The taste for Danish modern furniture waned by the 1980s, and Sibast declined. In 1984, the Sibast family sold the business—a year before Helge passed away—but wisely retained the copyright to many of its most popular designs. In 2012, the fourth Sibast generation, Ditlev and his wife Anna, revived the company, which today produces a few of the most iconic Sibast designs from the midcentury, along with a few new ones that carry on the same spirit.
* All images courtesy of Sibast Furniture.