Original Poul Henningsen Spiral Tivoli Lamps

Original Poul Henningsen Spiral Tivoli Lamps

Jeanine Brennan
Sep 26, 2008

We have a serious thing for Danish lighting designer Poul Henningsen. He designed one of our favorite lights, the PH lamp which just turned 50 this year. That iconic lamp will get a separate post from us soon, but we've been following an upcoming auction for his original Spiral Tivoli lamps that were installed until recently in the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. These playful lamps on auction were designed and installed in 1949 and just recently taken down. More info on the auction by Bruun-Rasmussen in Denmark after the jump...

Poul Henningsen (also known as PH) was in-house designer at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen in the early 1940's. According to the The Bruun-Rasmussen auction site, Henningsen described his design of these Spiral lamps by saying:

"When I was commissioned to design new lighting around the Tivoli Lake it hit me that a slowly rotating spiral lamp would give a discreet and fine effect. Discretion is important because too much rotation would make people feel drunk ...".

"The Tivoli lamp" is made of green laquered metal with spiral shaped shades of white lacquered metal. Its inner shade is a transparent acrylic tube painted with a red spiral. The two parts rotate in opposite directions, driven by a motor mounted in the fixture's head.

Apparently, unfortunately, the small engines that drove the shades on these original lamps were powerful enough to turn the shades once they were moving, but had a hard time starting the rotation. So after a few years, the lamps stopped moving. The good news is that Louis Poulsen has now produced new Tivoli lamps, identical to the originals, except for a more powerful motor. The new lamps were apparently installed this summer in Tivoli Gardens, and these old ones were taken down and are now about to be auctioned off after 60 years. It looks like this auction includes three of the original lamps.

More information on the online auction (ends October 9th) on the the Bruun-Rasmussen web site.

>>> //www.bruun-rasmussen.dk

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