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Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Søværnspendel

The origin of the light widely known as the Søværnspendel has been a topic of debate for several years. The word itself means "Navy pendant," which has given rise to one notion that it was designed by the Danish Navy. Others contend that it was designed by Jørn Utzon. The light has been produced by several companies, and in the 1950s few Danish products had names, which has helped give rise to the confusion.

Several years ago, the Vintage Danish Lights blog posted about the debate and received an email from Hans Marvell, from &tradition, the company that curently produces Utzon's Tivoli lamp. He stated that Utzon was definitely not the designer of the Søværnspendel but that he might have an interesting theory.

Marvell said that Nordisk Solar Compagni was the first to produce the lamp, followed later by the better known version by Louis Poulsen, who gave it the name Søværnspendel and who named the Søværnets Bygningsdistrikt (Navy Buildings Department) as the designer. A 1956 issue of Mobilia, a Danish magazine, had previously stated that the light was not designed by Jørn Utzon.

However, Marvell pointed out that Utzon's father Aage was an architect and designer for the Danish Navy, so it is possible that he might have had a hand in its design. Wouldn't that be an interesting coincidence?


Nordisk Solar Compagni version

Louis Poulsen version - OldAndCold


  1. Whoever came up with the design, it's a great one!

    1. I'm not sure why the debate is still raging. The mystery seems to have been solved decades ago. Sometimes you just have to drop the argument and enjoy the design. That ones a beauty!