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Poul Henningsen

Poul Henningsen (Denmark, 1894–1967)

The name Poul Henningsen is synonymous with the best and most innovative modern Scandinavian lighting. The Danish designer created a signature vocabulary of fixtures with tiered and layered shades in sculptural arrangements that are at once naturalistic and geometric. 


Henningsen grew up in a town on the outskirts of Copenhagen and studied architecture at the Technical University of Denmark. He would become a noted art critic, journalist and screenwriter, but his first love was lighting design. Henningsen’s childhood home was illuminated by oil lamps. When his family switched to electrified lighting, he was alarmed and repelled by the harsh glare cast by an incandescent bulb, and in his late teens he began conducting quasi-scientific experiments to measure which materials and methods best diffused or reflected light to give it a warm brightness. His work came to the attention of the lighting-fixtures firm Louis Poulsen, which sponsored the development of a prototype lamp. The design won a gold medal at the 1925 Paris Expositions Internationales des Arts Decóratifs et Industriels Modernes — from which the term Art Deco derives. The lamp, whose three-part shade is said to be inspired by the arrangement of a dinner plate atop a soup bowl atop a teacup, became the basis for Henningsen’s most successful design, the PH 4/3 desk lamp.


All told, Henningsen would design some 100 lighting fixtures in his career. Some of his most notable creations are hanging lamps, which include the “Septima” (1929), a pendant composed of seven graduated frosted-glass layers; the “Spiral” (1942), made of a single ribbon of enameled aluminum; and the “Artichoke” (1958), whose 70 glass or metal fins in a staggered and graduated arrangement on a central steel frame resemble those of its namesake. The last is likely Henningsen’s masterwork and an icon of mid-20th-century design. Like all Henningsen lighting designs, it is striking, sculptural and — thanks to his insistence on the primacy of the quality of the light cast — superbly functional.


Iconic Designs from Poul Henningsen
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Artichoke Lamp
Artichoke Lamp
PH 3/2 Table Lamp
PH 3/2 Table Lamp
PH 3 1/2 - 2 1/2 Floor Lamp
PH 3 1/2 - 2 1/2 Floor Lamp
PH 3-2 1/2 Outdoor Wall Sconce
PH 3-2 1/2 Outdoor Wall Sconce
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Mid century Poul Henningsen Contrast Pendant for Louis Poulsen, 1960s
By Louis Poulsen, Poul Henningsen
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Poul Henningsen. ‘Kontrast’ lamp fitted with 10 shades, each with four different surfaces, adjustable pendant tube for adjustment of contrast lighting, fitted with fabric cord, light...
Category

1960s Danish Scandinavian Modern Vintage Poul Henningsen

Materials

Aluminum, Chrome

PH Charlottenborg Pendant Lamp, Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen, Denmark.
By Poul Henningsen
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Wonderful Poul Henningsen large Charlottenborg pendant, PH 5-4 1/2 produced by Louis Poulsen. This is the Ø 45 cm version with four shades, off-white lacquered metal ad one blue/purp...
Category

Early 2000s Danish Mid-Century Modern Poul Henningsen

Materials

Metal

Poul Henningsen
By Poul Henningsen
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Wonderful Poul Henningsen large Charlottenborg pendant, PH 5-4 1/2 produced by Louis Poulsen. This is the Ø 45 cm version with four shades, off white lacquered metal ad one blue/purp...
Category

Early 2000s Danish Mid-Century Modern Poul Henningsen

Materials

Metal

Extremely Rare PH 4/3 Copper and Amber Glass Shades Lamp
By Poul Henningsen
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Rare PH 4/3, copper top, amber glass shades, bronze foot. From 1929-1930, marked ‘Patented.’ Designed by Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen. About 54 cm high, diameter 40 cm. In v...
Category

Early 20th Century Danish Poul Henningsen

Materials

Copper

Rare Poul Henningsen Glass Four-Shade Lamp by Louis Poulsen
By Poul Henningsen
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Category

1930s Danish Vintage Poul Henningsen

Materials

Glass

Rare copper PH3/2 by Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen, 1929, Patented.
By Poul Henningsen
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Category

Early 20th Century Danish Poul Henningsen

Materials

Copper

Extremely rare big PH 4.5/3 lamp Poul Henningsen , Louis Poulsen, PATT APPL.
By Poul Henningsen
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Category

Early 20th Century Danish Poul Henningsen

Materials

Copper

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Hans Wegner Opala White Pendant, Denmark, 1970s
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Wall-Mounted Cabinet in Teak by Poul Cadovius Danish, 1960s
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Table Lamp "Panthella" by Verner Panton for Louis Poulsen
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Pair of Rare Green Panthella by Verner Panton for Louis Poulsen
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