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The specialist's choice – Jonatan Jahn lists lighting favourites from Modern Art + Design

Specialists choice Jonatan Jahn

We have spoken with Jonatan Jahn, Head Specialist Contemporary and Modern Design, who talks about the selection at this spring's Modern Art + Design. He also takes the opportunity to list some of his favourite objects among the substantial amount of design at this spring's auction.

What can we look forward to, regarding lighting, in this season's Modern Art + Design auction?

– My interest in lighting has always been significant. Swedish lighting history is one of several reasons for Sweden's strong international reputation as a design nation. During the golden age of Swedish design, from the 1920s to the 1950s, fantastic luminaires were produced by several manufacturers of absolute top quality. Many of these were designed by designers relatively unknown to the broader public, such as Harald Notini, Hans Bergström, and Lars Holmström. Others are of more significant character, for example, Gunnar Asplund, Josef Frank, Carl Axel Acking and Greta Magnusson Grossman. All of the designers mentioned above are represented in this spring's catalogue, and below, I have listed some of my favourite luminaires from the auction.

Browse our web catalogue and welcome to visit the viewing. Don't hesitate to email me if you have any questions.

When is the viewing and auction?
Viewing: May 11 – 15, Berzelii Park 1, Stockholm
Open: Weekdays 11 am – 6 pm, Weekends 11 am – 4 pm
Live Auktion: May 16 – 17, Arsenalsgatan 2, Stockholm

Read more about the auction and view the catalogue

Gunnar Asplund A wall lamp, "Typ 16"

Gunnar Asplund is the Swedish architect with the highest international reputation. Asplund's many projects are now classified as cultural landmarks and are included on UNESCO's World Heritage list. One of these notable projects that Asplund carried out was the extension of Gothenburg City Hall, which was completed in 1936. The catalogue presents two wall luminaires by Asplund; these were designed explicitly for this project and have not been put into production since then. The characteristic shade made of lacquered metal is a recurring form that Asplund has used in other projects such as Skogskyrkogåren and the City Library in Stockholm. Both luminaires were rescued from a container during the renovation of the City Hall in the 1970s, as several pieces of furniture and luminaires were sold or discarded. Since the 1970s, the lamps have been in the possession of Rolf Walter, a significant collector of Swedish and primarily German modernism.

To one of the two lamps

Carl Axel Acking Floor lamp, model "2645"

Another favourite is Carl Axel Acking's unusual floor lamp, model 2645. Acking, who worked under Gunnar Asplund in his early years and contributed to several pieces of furniture and luminaires for Asplund's office, later gained significant influence under his own name. Several of Acking's furniture pieces are now recognized as classics. However, his luminaires belong to an almost forgotten chapter. Acking designed fantastic luminaires for several projects, such as Hotel Malmen and Restaurant Söderport, and his major international breakthrough came at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. Acking designed a collection of luminaires for the exhibition, including this auction's luminaires. Acking primarily collaborated with a Malmö-based company, Bröderna Malmströms Lampvarufabrik, to produce his luminaires. Together, they have made some of the most exclusive luminaires that significantly contributed to the introduction of the concept of Swedish Modern to an international audience.

To the floor lamp

Josef Frank Floor lamp model "G 2346"

To the floor lamp

Hans Agne Jakobsson Ceiling lamp, model ”T 177”

We are delighted to present a collection of furniture and luminaires designed by Hans Agne Jakobsson. Jakobsson is perhaps Sweden's most prolific luminaires designer, having furnished most of the country's public spaces and churches during the 1960s-1980s. The collection in this spring's auction primarily consists of pieces from Jakobsson's early career, which took off in the early 1950s. Jakobsson worked at Hans Bergström's firm, Ateljé Lyktan, in Åhus. He significantly influenced the design at Ateljé Lyktan and decided to start his own business in 1951. It turned out that Åhus was too small for the two designers, and Jakobsson moved to Markaryd, where he would spend the rest of his life.
Many of the luminaires in the auction exhibit the connection between Jakobsson and Bergström. The luminaires and furniture have an organic quality, each with a strong character. The objects are crafted from typical materials of the time, such as teak, brass, lacquered metal, and shades in various types of glass. Many items are highly rare, some being unique and specially commissioned for different projects. Jakobsson is among the most significant light fixture designers of the 20th century, but he is largely absent from our contemporary historical accounts. He deserves to receive renewed recognition.

To the ceiling lamp

Contacts our Specialists

Jonatan  Jahn
Jonatan Jahn
Head Specialist Contemporary and Modern Design
+46 (0)703 92 88 60
Camilla Behrer
Camilla Behrer
Head of Design/ Specialist Modern & Contemporary Decorative Art & Design
+46 (0)708 92 19 77
Eva Seeman
Eva Seeman
Chief Specialist Modern and Contemporary Decorative art and design
+46 (0)708 92 19 69
Björn Extergren
Björn Extergren
Head of Consignment and Sales Department, Fine Art. Specialist Antique Furniture, Decorative Arts and Asian Ceramics
+46 (0)706 40 28 61