“France & Son, British Pioneer of Danish Furniture” by James France

France & Son is Denmark’s leading publisher. Without it, some icons of Scandinavian design might never have seen the light of day… Its name is absolutely inseparable from the history of 20th century furniture! Of course, we couldn’t resist ordering THE reference book“France & Son, British Pioneer of Danish Furniture” written by James France. Having just received it, we would like to share our opinion on this exceptional book with you! But first, let’s start with the history of this Danish company founded by an Englishman…


Fearnley France in November 1966, page 117 of the book

How did a young Englishman manage to turn the production and export of Scandinavian furniture on its head? That’s the reason everyone is asking! Shortly before the Second World War, Fearnley France left England and travelled to Denmark to help his sick friend Eric Daverkosen, who was running the LAMA mattress production company. Unfortunately, the man died soon after the young Englishman arrived. One thing led to another: war was declared and F. France was taken prisoner by the Germans because of his nationality. During his five years of captivity, he thought of many ideas and had the ambition to produce chairs in light wood through industrial production. His revolutionary approach to design did not end there… For this man with a visionary mind, the key to economic success lies in simplifying transport with kit furniture! At the same time, he thought of something completely different: using the mattress production business to design smaller versions of mattresses, adapted to seats, backs and sofas! Once freed, the ingenious Fearnley France set up his projects and surrounded himself with the best Scandinavian designers of the moment: Finn Juhl, Grete Jalk but also Ole Wanscher! The company grew and, with its 350 employees, met with enormous success, illustrated by an impressive export rate!

As you can see from our enthusiasm, we really enjoyed this beautiful book! Why did we like it? Simply because its texts, photos, illustrations and vintage advertisements make it a profoundly exhaustive work! When you look at the author’s name, you can easily understand why so many unpublished documents are listed! The writer, James France, is none other than the son of Fearnley France, the founder of the company France & Son!


James France (1958), page 107 of the book

We now leave you to discover for yourself“France & Son, British Pioneer of Danish Furniture”, published by VITA, by buying it as soon as possible!