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  • Literature

    Tina Jørstian and Poul Erik Munk Nielsen, PH 100 Light&Design, exh. cat., Danish Museum of Art & Design, Copenhagen, 1994, p. 4
    Tina Jørstian and Poul Erik Munk Nielsen, eds., Light Years Ahead: The Story of the PH Lamp, Copenhagen, 2000, pp. 108-10, 112
    Erik Steffensen, Poul Henningsen, Denmark, 2005, p. 20

  • Catalogue Essay

    Poul Henningsen’s ‘Paris’ lamp, originally exhibited under the name Système PH at the Paris Exhibition in 1925, was celebrated for its innovative distribution of light. After a year of perfection and relentless experimentation with layered shade design, Louis Poulsen had the piece produced in German silver by Lauritz Henriksen’s Metalvarefabrik. The piece won a gold medal at the exhibition and the producers, Louis Poulsen, received silver. It has since been known as the ‘Paris’ lamp. Following the lights’ success in Paris, in an attempt to mimic the softer, gas lighting of Henningsen’s childhood, the piece was refined further. The shades were dulled and the voltage of the bulbs was worked upon until they emitted ‘an exceedingly beautiful light’ (Poul Henningsen, Nyt, December 1941). Later on in 1925, Henningsen adapted the ‘Paris’ lamp further when he was commissioned to design the lighting fixtures for the Schucani & à Porta restaurant in Copenhagen. In this revision he continued to reduce the glare by adding lightly matted gold plating. Axel Salto, with whom Henningsen had regularly worked, adorned the upper edges of the shades with leaf decorations.

    The only known remaining examples of the ‘Paris’ lamp are one from the Paris exhibition of 1925, one from the Schucani & à Porta commission and the present lot.


Rare 'Paris' ceiling light, designed for the Denmark pavillion, L'Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, Paris

designed 1925
Brass, painted brass, tubular brass.
60 cm (23 5/8 in.) diameter, variable drop
Manufactured by Lauritz Henriksen’s Metalvarefabrik for Louis Poulsen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

£70,000 - 100,000 

Sold for £87,500

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

Nordic Masters

London Auction 21 September 2016