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Compact Dinette Set by Hans Olsen for Frem Rojle Moblefabrik

Stephen Coles

Our family takes an annual summer trip to Sun Valley, Idaho. The Coles clan has expanded to such a size that we require several separate accommodations. One of this year’s was a condo that, to our delight, was furnished with several mid-century Danish pieces instead of the usual country/western-styled castoffs that are so prevalent in timeshares and rented homes. The compact dining set was especially drool-worthy. Four three-legged chairs with curved backs tucked neatly under a round top. The table expanded via an unusual hidden folding mechanism to seat five or six. I had seen the design before, but had forgotten who came up with the original ingenious concept.

This week, Design Addict has posted an excellent specimen of the set on Ebay and refreshed my memory:

Compact Dinette Set by Hans Olsen for Frem Røjle Møblefabrik

Hans Olsen designed this dining set in 1953 for Frem Røjle Møblefabrik, and it serves as the quintessential model for the holistic integration of form and function. The design is certainly as progressive and relevant today as it was 60 years ago.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. This set doesn’t expand like the one I used, and there is larger version with four-legged chairs, but I would watch this auction closely. DA’s set looks like it’s in great shape.

50282 PE146487 S4

Predictably, IKEA has issued their own version of the design (Fusion), but like so many of their knockoffs, it falls far short of the original. It’s too small to really be the practical set that makes Olsen’s design so appealing. And the chairs — with their vertical backs and tiny seats — are so uncomfortable they are nearly torturous. Chalk up another Ikea disappointment. They could really make this idea work and still be original — just as they’ve done with other designs inspired by the classics.

Hans Olsen Frem Rojle Dining Set (chair)

Here’s the first Olsen set I saw and forgot, a sunny version that sold for $510 after 16 bids.

FREM ROJLE DINING SETTreadway/Toomey Galleries lists a Hans Olsen expandable set with 3-legged chairs. This is exactly like the one I experienced in Sun Valley. It looks very much like DP’s non-expanding set, but you can just make out the seam where the sides separate for expansion. Treadway’s estimated value at very good condition is $1200-1500.

The chairs stack nicely, as shown by this less than perfect set available from the charmingly named Orange and Brown. Their price is £999.

Update: There is an expanding version of the table with six chairs on Ebay. It’s inexplicably credited to McCobb and isn’t in as fine a condition as Design Addict’s, but the way the other auction is going, this one may just be the cheaper set at $2,495.

» More Hans Olsen on Ebay

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40 Comments

  1. 10.29.07 babyphat523

    I had a dream about this exact set recently. It is tidy little package, isn’t it? What a rare find in Idaho, how fortunate of you to have been able to enjoy it! :)

  2. 01.14.08 — frederic moquin

    I have the same set from ferm rojle mobelfabrik in teak in superb condition for sale with 4 chairs and without leaf. Price requested is 2200$ plus shipping.

  3. 06.24.08 — Teri Presley

    I have the hans olsen frem rojle suite with the hidden leaf and 5 chairs (chairs have three legs) all in excellant condition. I would like to sell them to any interested party.

  4. 08.02.08 Bombay Beauty

    Quick question if anyone is still reading this post.
    What’s the difference between this and the Wegner Heart Chair?
    http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/hans-wegner-heart-chairs-fh4104-1952-4
    I have a set of 4 that more resemble the Wegner with a slightly tapered back support. I’m just curious.
    BB

  5. 08.12.08 — patricia riley

    hi; i have the expandable table and six chairs for sale the vinyl on one chair is tore as a curtain rod fell on it an the table top could use refinishing i am asking 2500 firm i live in Ontario i can be contacted via e mail thanks

  6. 08.15.08 Bjon

    I really missed out on this set.. I saw it on eBay, I’d say, about 3 months ago and they sold for a fraction of what I think I would have paid. The auction ended early and I missed out.. Bummer.

  7. 09.22.08 — Amber

    I have this set but i do not recall the branding i will have to look when i get home. its my grandmothers and it was purchased prior to my birth in the late 60′s its in decent condition no major issues with the table or chairs other than its a little wobbelly a couple chairs have small tears in the vinyl. i have 6 chairs and the leaf ,which the color is not matching anymore due to it not being used as much as the rest of the table. Should i try to sell it?

  8. 12.03.08 — Susan

    I have the set, but only with four of the six chairs, and mine is made by Winchendon. Like Amber, mine belonged to my grandmother, as well. I’m currently trying to get the lay of the land because I need to sell this in the next few weeks. Will the fact that it’s American made decrease the value?

  9. 01.11.09 — Patrick

    I own the table and chair set with five chairs (there were six, however one chair was broken when shipped). It is an original that was made in Denmark and branded. It was purchased in Germany by my grandparents in the 60′s. It has a cup mark on the top and one of the legs was slightly damaged when it was transported back to the states. We are looking for buyers. Please contact me via email @ patrickwwalker@verizon.net.

  10. 01.14.09 — Veronica

    Hi, I wanted to know if anyone knows where I can get a set like this. I have a small apartment and something like these sets would be great. Any ideas?

  11. 01.25.09 — Ross Worthington

    Hi there guys,
    I’ve been having a clear out at home and in the process am lokking to get rid of a 4 chair set and extendable table that you’ve been chatting about. I am based in the UK and wondered if you know of anyone who would be interested. I’ve grown up with this table and my parents had it from new as a wedding gift.
    drop me a line.
    info@raw-adventure.co.uk

  12. 01.28.09 — allen

    hello – i’m curious how many of these sets were made, does anyone know? i’m also interested in how to determine if a set is authentic danish or american made. advice on that would most appreciated.
    - allen

  13. 02.09.09 — Carol Felker

    I have this set for sale. Made in Denmark; round table with stored leaf to expand to seat 6; 4 chairs. All in good condition.
    I can be reached by email at: felkercarol@yahoo.ca
    Make me an offer!
    I also have a 67″ long buffet; teak; 4 drawers in the middle; a sliding door at each end. This would make a great stand for the new large tv’s.

  14. 02.20.09 — A Bailey

    Just wondering if anyone has more info re: Frem Mobelfabrik – Orte ? Looking to price a vintage dining set for sale and don’ t know where to begin. The set is not as unique as this, but Made in Denmark from the 1960′s nonetheless. thanks

  15. 02.24.09 — Felicia U

    I have a set very similar to this. The only difference is who manufactured it. Mine was made by the Winchendon Furniture Company, in Mass. I have been trying to see exactly how much this set would be worth, and when I saw this I thought “that’s my table”. My table does have the capability of separating for added seating, however I do not have the “leaf” that goes in there. This table was a gift about 9 years ago. And I’m debating whether or not to sell it. But I don’t know what it’s worth.

  16. 03.02.09 — rona hernan

    Hi,i have the same set with 4 three legged chairs and table which does not expand..i wish to list this on ebay ..any ideas at what i should be asking for this gorgeous set..i am in Australia and have not seen one like this here..Thanks

  17. 04.11.09 — mark

    thanks !! very helpful post!

  18. 04.28.09 Akolwes

    Hi, I have a set of 4 chairs and the danish teak dining table (expandeable)designed by Hans Olsen and manufactured by Frem Rojle. It is Original with imprint.
    I want to sell it.
    If anybody is interested, contact me: akolwes@web.de
    Thank you

  19. 05.09.09 — CNic

    HI, I have this set, expandable, in very good condition. I’m in Toronto.
    If you’re interested, contact me at baanjo@sympatico.ca
    Thanks.

  20. 05.19.09 — Joel Vasta

    HI, I too have this set branded Frem Rojle Made in Denmark. It is with 4 legged chairs . The Table is made of Teak and Mahogany. It comes with a leaf. Does need to be refinished. I do have pictures if anyone is interested. I am looking to sell. Contact me at youngwise@optonline.net. Subject Table. We live on Long Island, NY.

  21. 05.22.09 — Antoine

    Hi,
    I’m looking for an affordable Hans Olsen teck table. I already got 4 three legs chairs then i just need the table. Please make me offer by email.
    Price would be arround 400$ / 350€ without shipping of course…
    Thx to u
    Antoine
    cityinterface@gmail.com

  22. 05.29.09 — Chanelle

    Hello,
    Im looking for the playtable/ dining set from hans Olsen. Anyone knows where i can buy/ order one? I have looked on ebay but nothing is posted there at the moment.
    Hope somebody can help me.
    Thanx in advance!
    Chanelle
    c.overmeer@bergers.nl

  23. 08.10.09 — Mariah

    If anyone is interested, I have this EXACT set: the table and four chairs made by Frem Rojle in Denmark. The table does not expand. The only problem is that the table has a bad burn mark and one chair is missing a small piece of vinyl. I’m asking $450. I’m sure it could be restored quite nicely by an antique repair shop. I’m in St. Paul, MN, USA. Let me know if you are interested! Thanks! mariahloy@gmail.com

  24. 08.24.09 — June

    I have the round table with 2 leaves and 5 three legged chairs. Looks exactly like this set. When I checked underneath for the Hans Olsen mark it says Jefferson Wood Working Company, Louisville, KY. Does anyone know about replicas being made by this company? My parents purchased this set in the early 60′s.

  25. 09.01.09 — kim

    i have this set too……… my table does expend but i have only 4 chairs with 3 legs.. i have 2 regular chairs made by the same brand if anyone would like to trade………. i can provide pictures by email,…….. same color as the first pictures………. i’m in montreal

  26. 09.15.09 — Laurie

    For sale:
    Rojle Frem table with four tripod chairs in excellent condition, black plastic upholstery in great condition as well, no tears. Has blue sticker and engraved Made In Denmark an dmanufacturer’s logo engraved. Exact same dining set as pictured here.
    Please email me if interested.
    Will provide photos. I am a longtime eBay seller with excellent feedback, so if you prefer can go through the eBay.
    cheers

  27. 09.15.09 — Laurie

    …forgot to say I’m just outside Montreal. Willing to ship internationally.

  28. 09.29.09 — Cynthia

    Could you post your email address if the table and chairs are still available Laurie who is outside of Montreal?

  29. 01.14.10 — Ed

    Hi, I have the set complete in white with red cushions and a formica table top instead of teak. They are a one of a kind original that is easy to clean and no damage. Asking $1800 for it since it’s more practical and rare than the bland teak one. I am in Montreal, Canada, write me at toronto4500@colba.net if pics needed or if interested in buying.
    Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

  30. 01.16.10 — Andy

    Anyone in Sydney australia who has a set they would like to sell me?

  31. 11.15.10 — Emilie

    Hi,
    We like to sell this Dinette set with expandable table and four chairs. Perfect condition, but the table top needs to be re-finished. We live in London UK.

  32. 01.13.11 — Jim

    Interested in buying this table set. Please contact me if you have one for sale koby12@gmail.com

    thank you

  33. 02.20.11 — Andrea

    I have a white lacquer version of this set. The table expands to seat 6. There are 4 chairs.

    The set has been used on Quebec movie sets for several years and is now available for sale. A set lamp fell on the foam/vinyl cover seat of one chair and left a large gouge. The lacquer has rubbed off in a few places over the years. The set is otherwise in good nick.

    I am asking $1300 CDN (negotiable) for the set. It is located in Montreal.

    ajbwood@gmail.com

  34. 11.22.11 — M

    Is the 3 legged set comfortable?

  35. 09.11.12 — jaki romero

    I also have this table with 4 chairs in very good condition with some of the original stickers under the chairs. I’m not sure what it’s worth, but I would like to sell it. I’m in Pocatello, Idaho. Any ideas? Jakiockerman@live.com

  36. 09.11.12 — jaki romero

    I also have this table with 4 chairs in very good condition with some of the original stickers under the chairs. I’m not sure what it’s worth, but I would like to sell it. I’m in Pocatello, Idaho. Any ideas? Jakiockerman@live.com. The table also expands.

  37. 10.12.12 — vjoyw

    I have the four 3-legged teak chairs ( no table) for the Compact Dining Set by Hans Olsen for Frem Rojle Moblefabrik. They have the sticker on the bottom marked Winchendon Furniture Company, Mass. They have the black vinyl covers and are in close to perfect condition. Stackable. Would like to sell. Will send pictures. Chicago, Il area. vjoyw@yahoo.com

  38. 02.08.13 Brenda Pence

    I have this dinette set for sale have 4 chairs an table with a leaf,,, im looking to sell it make a resonable offer please emeil me thanks an you all have great day

  39. 03.12.13 — Nicole Jolley

    I am interested in purchasing this set in good condition. Please contact me: nicole.s.jolley@gmail.com

  40. 01.21.14 — Davy

    I’ve got an expanding variance that has 4 four-legged chairs. The chairs have a lip at the top that protrudes above the surface of the table to enhance your grip when sliding them out, not sure where in the timeline this version sits but would love to find out! Here’s an example on ebay, same chairs (albeit six in the listing) but the table is quite different with tapered ends…?

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/330790457504?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2648

    Mine has the Made In Denmark stickers underneath but no Frem branding.

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