Dining Room Lamp Mystery


Every once in a while we like to hand the magnifying glass and the sleuth-work over to our readers.  This time it's not one of my usual thrift store mysteries - for me this is as close to a genuine family heirloom as I get. 

My mother bought this hanging lamp in a Danish furniture store in the late 60's.  She had just immigrated to the U.S., fell in love with the lamp, and bought it despite not really being able to afford it.  As a new citizen of this country there were a lot of new stresses for her, so having at least one nice thing waiting for her at home was a comfort.

Diningroom The shade is made of slender bent wood and the light glows a warm orange right through the wooden sides.  The photos will tell you that the shade is a terribly fragile thing, and it wasn't helped by the bashing that it got when it was first installed (not by my father, thank you very much...).

It's still holding together, and I've inherited the tradition of effecting frequent repairs on the thing.  I've used weights, a bubble level, hot glue... but I've still got a long way to go to seamlessly repair this featherweight wooden lamp.  If only it would at least hang straight.  Then the brainstorm – maybe I could find another one out there?

My mother got this some 40 years ago, so I don't know what the likelihood that this might still be available.  Have any of you seen one of these before?  Any idea of who might have made this or what the style is called?  Someone I know thought that these are still being made in Denmark today...  what do you readers out there think?


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My only suggestion (while you wait for another lamp to appear) is to try and balance it like you would a tire: placement of small weight to adjust it.

Not knowing your lamp, I don't know if said weights could be hidden. I'm thinking thin metal lightly hot-glued in the interior.

That would me my only (and probably imperfect) suggestion.

these two were the closest ones I could find. They're Swedish, though. Maybe the people selling those lamps would have an idea?

I'm a history major (yeah, big surprise, I know), and the saying goes "if you've got a fact in question, don't ask around, go to the source." So why are you asking all of us about a Danish lamp? I'd try e-mailing some Danish furniture stores; there's bound to be a smart manager who knows English and would be the equivelant of a Danish Retro-fan.

You'd probably get an answer pretty quickly if you send your question and photo to the folks at www.apartmenttherapy.com

@Robert - the weights are a good idea. Nothing I've done can make this thing hang straight - it's as if it exists in some sort of gravity eddy.

@Marte & Hoyt - those are great suggestions. I'll email both of those resources and see what they say.

@Nash - "So why are you asking all of us about a Danish lamp?" Um... cos it's fun? ;)

Okay, okay, I missed the point. As an olive branch, I poked around and did some research online. . .didn't find much, but the style of the lampshade is close to (but not quite close enough) to designs by Poul Henningsen. Sort of an atomic age piece, but if I had a gun to my head I'd swear it was a bit earlier than that.

Yes, this looks very much like a PH (Poul Henningsen) lamp, though those are usually made of metal or sometimes plastic. Most PH lamps are designed to spread the light from the bulb in a pleasing and seamless manner, using vanes and parabolic reflectors.

Those kind of lamps were not that uncommon in Sweden trough the 70's and 80's. I would guess that IKEA copied some danish design and sold it at low price to all sorts of people. The high price tells of some sort of designerware, though the "fragile state" tells of IKEA quality. Difficult to tell, really. The use of wood fitted nicely into the 70's back-to-basics retro "Ye Olde Workeshoppe" culture, though in this case in typical dansih fashion, with modernism and style. We had a similar lamp on foot behind the living-room chair when I grew up.

I come from "apartment therapy". I live in Japan, and I saw the same lamp at Japanese store named "Yamagiwa"

Yamagiwa store
see: Product > Jakobsson lamp

According to their information, it's designed by Agne Jacobsson.

I saw one just like it at a store called "heart of the home" in New Hope, PA. Same featherweight, bent wood style, and a sign admonishing not to touch it for those selfsame reasons :)

You might give them a ring and ask about it.


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