The chair was originally
developed and built for the studios of Austral office, where the
architects Bonet, Kurchan, Ferrari-Hardoy (1913-1975)
worked .Therefor it is also known as the "B.K.F.
Chair" in America, named after the above employees.
Grupo Austral introduced
their new chair of leather and enameled steel at the 3rd Salon
de Artistas Decoradores interior design exhibition in Buenos Aires
in 1940. On the occasion of the Salon, the group sent a note to
the organizers indicating that the chair was the sole work of
Ferrari-Hardoy. Hence it is most commonly referenced in design
circles as the Hardoy chair, but it is also known as the Butterfly
chair and the BKR chair.
The chair received two design
prizes at its introduction. In 1941 the chair was awarded the
Acquisition Prize by the Musuem of Modern Art, after Edgar Kaufmann
Jr. bought the chair to MoMA's attention.
Knoll acquired US production
rights of the Hardoy chair in 1947, brining international notice
and commercial success to the design. A rash of inferior copies
prompted legal action by Knoll in 1950. After losing thier claim
of copyright infringement, Knoll dropped the chair from its line
in 1951. More than five million copies of the chair were estimated
to have been produced by numerous manufacturers during the 1950s