A designer particularly close to Great Dane’s heart, Niels Otto Møller (1920-1982) is one of the most influential furniture craftsmen of his time.
Proud to stand by practices that have been around since he opened his workshop in Aarhus, Denmark in 1944, Møller’s family-run business legacy is to never compromise on quality – where old craft traditions are still used today.
Pictured above; Kristen Møller and Jorgen Møller with Great Dane founder, Anton Assaad
In 2017, Great Dane had the honour of hosting the family behind J.L . Møllers Møbelfabrik in Australia, celebrating a new phase for the brand under the leadership of the family’s third generation. At a special event at the Great Dane Showroom, Kirsten Møller, granddaughter of founder Niels Otto Møller, along with her father, Jørgen Henrik Møller shared how she planned to continue her family’s legacy, bringing a youthful approach to the business, while honouring the traditional craftsmanship and timeless designs for which the Møller name is celebrated.
Great Dane founder, Anton Assaad first fell in love with Neil Otto Møller’s furniture through Great Dane’s first incarnation as Australia’s home of premium vintage design, observing first-hand Møller’s inimitable craftsmanship worthy of standing the test of time. Thrilled to discover the Møller workshop remained in production, Anton began faxing the workshop in the hope of a to visit the workshop in Aarhus, Denmark. After many failed attempts, he was eventually granted permission marking the beginning of their strong relationship.
Today, each visit to the workshop includes a warm hug from Kirsten, followed by a tour through the factory and catching up over strong black coffee and pastries with the many generational craftspeople whom we’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the years.
From restrictions comes creativity
A piece of Møller furniture is instantly recognisable. The iconic paper cord design harks back to World War II when rubber was substituted for durable cord in Denmark. Niels Otto Møller incorporated this traditional, twisted paper cord into the seat design of his chairs, synonymous with Scandinavian design today.
Pictured above; Images from the Møller archive designdaily.com
The beginning of something great
Following his studies, Niels founded J. L. Møller in 1944 and achieved great success under his tutelage, which included winning the Danish Furniture Prize awards in 1974 and 1981. Today the company is helmed by Niels’s granddaughter, Kirsten Møller, where the commitment to careful material selection by specialist cabinetmakers is upheld to this day. The Møller factory proudly remains a workshop free of assembly lines…a rarity in this modern era.
Pictured above; Oak timber waiting to be used at the Møller workshop in Aarhus, Denmark
There are no assembly lines at the Møller workshop, each piece of timber used is carefully sorted and chosen by specialised life-long cabinetmakers who proudly uphold these traditions. Wood is also still sourced from the same sawmills as the 1960’s: oak from Spessart in Southern Germany, maple from Belgium and beech from Denmark.
With our Scandinavian artisans in high demand, Great Dane’s new Reserve Collection ensures an exclusive supply of our most coveted designs. These products are handcrafted after ordering.