Peder Moos (1906-1991) was a Danish furniture designer and cabinetmaker who is widely known for his distinctive and elegant furniture pieces. Born on January 27, 1906, in Sønderborg, Denmark, Moos attended Askov Højskole before becoming a carpenter's apprentice, first in Jutland and later in Copenhagen. He went on to work in Paris, Geneva and Lausanne from 1926 to 1929.
Moos' design career began in 1935 when he opened a cabinetmaking workshop in Bredgade, Copenhagen, which he ran for 20 years. During this time, he took classes at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, studying under Einar Utzon-Franck and Kaare Klint. Moos had a very particular way of working, finding the wood he needed and building the furniture himself before making the drawings. His furniture, made to order, was very special and elegant, with a style reminiscent of Art Nouveau but entirely his own. He worked almost exclusively in wood, sanding each piece many times with very fine sandpaper and washing them down each time. This resulted in an exclusive finish. Instead of nails and screws, he used dowels and wedges in other types of wood, creating a special effect, almost like intarsia.
Moos' pieces were highly sought-after, with a level of craftsmanship that was almost unmatched. His work was created to last and, as such, was not mass-produced. He designed a bed that could be pushed in and out of his window so he could sleep outside in the fresh air. He built almost all of his furniture himself, with the exception of a rolling table and a triangular coffee table produced at Fritz Hansen.
Moos' furniture was so unique that it was assumed that he had only created around 40 pieces until 2014 when the French auction house Piasa contacted his family. They discovered that Moos had another 60 original and previously unknown pieces of furniture, which were auctioned in September 2014 at very high prices. In Denmark, too, his furniture fetches high prices when it occasionally comes up for auction.
In 1956, Moos moved to Funen, where he taught at the Danish School of Arts and Crafts in Kerteminde. He opened a workshop in Bredebro in Southern Jutland in 1962. Moos' furniture has been exhibited in Stockholm, The Hague, and at MoMA in New York.
Moos had a unique approach to pricing his work. If customers asked him what it would cost, he typically replied: "If we have to think about money, the result will not be as good as it should be. Let's see how it goes. If you think it's too expensive, I'll keep it and sell it to someone else." It happened more than once that customers who had left because they found a piece of furniture too expensive returned a few weeks later and bought it anyway.
Peder Moos passed away on April 1, 1991, in Bredebro, Tønder, leaving behind a legacy of exceptional craftsmanship and timeless design.