Very rare pendant with nickel-plated socket house, frosted glass shades and bottom bowl, painted with spiral decoration. This example manufactured approx. 1930 by Louis Poulsen. Diam. 50 cm.
It is extremely rare to see a PH pendant with the original, decorated glass shades. There is a fundamental contradiction between Poul Henningsen's desire to have his design appear completely functional - where everything unnecessary is left out - and then the presentation of a PH lamp where the shades appear decorated with leafy ornamentation and geometric patterns. Poul Henningsen had previously collaborated with Axel Salto, who added the decorative leaf ornamentation to the lampshades, but a few years after the groundbreaking presentation of the PH lamp as a system at the World's Fair in Paris in 1925, the collaboration between Poul Henningsen and Axel Salto was halted. Later in the sales brochure from Louis Poulsen (1927–28) the following is stated: “In some cases it will be preferable to adjust the PH lamp to some degree in accordance with the nature of the room, in which case the lamp's shades can be decorated in different ways. This is especially true of the PH frosted glass lamp". The lamp up for auction appears in the catalogue from 1927, where the decoration on it is called "spiral decoration”. Describing the decoration of this lamp as a “spiral” is probably a geometric exaggeration, but the spiral itself, both as concept and form, preoccupied Poul Henningsen in his early designs. A closer examination of the decoration of this lamp, the inspiration from 1926 can be found in the sketch drawings with the patent application's patterns for the path of light, which show concentric circles. Each circle represents a portion of the bulb's bright surface as the light meets with the shades' curved surfaces based on the desire for a particular distribution of light. Lamps with this kind of decoration were, however, already very expensive at the time of their making and were taken off the market after only a few years.