Poul Henningsen - Nordic Design London Wednesday, September 30, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Grete Jalk, ed., Dansk Møbelkunst gennem 40 aar, Volume 4: 1957-1966, Copenhagen, 1987, p. 91
    Tina Jørstian and Poul Eric Munk Nielsen, eds., Light Years Ahead, The Story of the PH Lamp, Copenhagen, 1994, pp. 266-67
    Peter Fiell, Scandinavian Design, Cologne, 2002, p. 424 for the front cover of a Louis Poulsen sales catalogue

  • Catalogue Essay

    The ‘Spiral’ ceiling light was originally designed for the University of Aarhus in Denmark. The bulbous teardrop shape was in response to the architect C.F. Møller’s similar forms drawn onto the main plan for the canteen.

    Henningsen’s design of a spiraled section of painted metal appears as an unbroken winding line but is in fact composed of many individual sections. In comparing the ceiling light to some of his other well-known models, Henningsen focused on its qualities of light reflection: "The principle in this lamp is much more the same as in the PH lamp and the Globe per se, but the light ray direction is reminiscent of the way it shines outwards from the Globe. The shape is geometric and the light strikes all the parts of the spiral, which are illuminated at the same angle, reflecting it out into the room in the same way". The quality and direction of refracted light was always of primary importance to Henningsen, and his design decisions were informed by this value with great success. Unlike the task-oriented purpose of his smaller lights, the ‘Spirals’ were intended to illuminate grand spaces, and to interact with the architecture in a manner that was as expressive as it was functional.


'Spiral' ceiling light

designed 1942
Aluminium, painted aluminium, chromium-plated metal.
116.5 cm (45 7/8 in.) drop, 59.5 cm (23 3/8 in.) diameter
Manufactured by Louis Poulsen, Denmark.

£60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for £64,900

Contact Specialist
Madalena Horta e Costa
Head of Sale
+44 20 7318 4019

Nordic Design

London Auction 1 October 2015