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  • Literature

    Gorm Harkær, Kaare Klint: Volume 1, Copenhagen, 1988, p. 400 for a six-armed example; Tina Jørstian and Poul Eric Munk Nielsen, eds., Light Years Ahead: The Story of the PH Lamp, Copenhagen, 1994, pp. 117 and 162

  • Catalogue Essay

    Architect Poul Henningsen, or PH as he was known, has become synonymous with 20th-century Danish lighting design. Trained at the Copenhagen College of Technology, Henningsen was a proficient inventor, a prolific writer, and a sharp critic of art, architecture and society.

    Blinded by the glare of electric bulbs, Henningsen developed what would become a lifelong preoccupation, a lamp that would afford him with the same soft, relaxing light cast by the petroleum lamps of his youth. The result of his efforts, the three-shade PH lamp of 1926, represented a long investigation into the properties and effects of light. The particular curvature and placement of the PH lamp’s opaque glass shades distributed light evenly below while radiating a golden tone into the room, thereby avoiding harsh contrasts. From pendants, chandeliers, and sconces to table lamps and floor models, Henningsen expanded his range of products and materials. To this day, the PH lamp represents one of the highest achievements of incandescent lighting design. At his death in 1967, Henningsen had designed more than 100 lamps.


Three-arm ‘Academy’ chandelier

c. 1927
Chrome-plated metal, tubular nickel-plated metal, cased opaque glass.
Variable drop, 60 cm (23 5/8 in) diameter
Manufactured by Louis Poulsen, Denmark. Underside of each light fixture impressed with 'PH-4 PATENTED.'.

£30,000 - 40,000 

Sold for £34,850

Important Nordic Design

17 November 2011