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PH's first floor lamp at auction

Press release   •   Feb 16, 2017 08:20 UTC

Poul Henningsen's first floor lamp (1926-28)

The ”Light Maker” Poul Henningsen’s first floor lamp from the late 1920s and a unique dining table by architect Poul Kjærholm from the late 1970s are some of the highlights at the upcoming Nordic design auction at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers in Copenhagen.

"This year it is 50 years since the Danish social critic, revue writer, architect and “light maker” Poul Henningsen (1894-1967), better known by his initials PH, passed away. He was a beacon within Danish design during the first half of the 1900s, and we celebrate his work at this auction with his first floor lamp, which was purchased in the late 1920s by the current owner’s grandfather. The red copper lampshades provide the finest soft light, and today this particular lamp is considered an icon among international collectors", says Peter Kjelgaard, head of Nordic design at Bruun Rasmussen.

Fame and Theories of Light

In 1919, PH set up his own drawing office, and from here he ran a versatile architectural business. In the beginning of the 1920s he began his groundbreaking collaboration with the lighting company Louis Poulsen & Co, which led to the creation of the glare-free PH-lamp. The lamp received the gold medal at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1925 – an event that garnered PH considerable fame, and led to the development of several lamps based on the same lighting principles.

As many other Danish architects at the time, PH welcomed new ideas from the rest of Europe. He supported the maxims of functionalism such as ”Form follows function” and ”Less is more” that were the underlying principle of all of his designs.

Poul Kjærholm’s Unique Table

Poul Kjærholm (1929-1980) belongs to a younger generation of Danish architects, and he stands apart from what one normally associates with ”Danish Modern”. In contrast to the general focus on wood as a material and organic forms, steel was Kjærholm's preferred material to create his well-known minimalistic and almost floating furniture. He was inspired by International Modernism and the Bauhaus tradition, and with his futuristic designs his work still resonates internationally. His furniture pieces are regular guests at our auctions, and this time we can present a unique dining table made of chrome steel and oak, which is designed as a combination of "PK 40" and "PK conference table" in the late 1970s.

The table has belonged to furniture manufacturer E. Kold Christensen and has until now been in the family's possession. Kold Christensen combined the two types of furniture into this beautiful piece, which is a testament to his fine eye for design as well as the close relationship between the architect and the manufacturer. Kold Christensen lived in "The House on Piniehøj" in Rungsted just steps from Kjærholm's home, and the two were both close friends and collaborators until Kjærholm's death in 1980.

Nordic design auction

Auction: Thursday, 9 March at 4 pm at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen

Preview: 23-27 February at the same address

View all the design lots

Read more about the auction

Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers is one of Scandinavia’s leading international auction houses, and one of Denmark’s oldest. It all started on 6 October 1948, when Arne Bruun Rasmussen conducted the first traditional auction in the saleroom at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen. Today, Jesper Bruun Rasmussen stands at the helm of the family-run business together with the third generation of the family, his son Frederik and daughter Alexa, and the company’s CEO Jakob Dupont.

In 2004, the first online auction was launched, and today the auction house has expanded to include departments in Copenhagen and Aarhus and representations in Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Spain, Italy, Thailand and the US. About 100,000 lots are put up for auction each year at the traditional auctions and daily online auctions. Here you can bid on everything from art, antiques, modern design and jewellery to books, coins, stamps, wine and weaponry.