Design Icons :: The Artichoke Pendant

by | Feb 25, 2015 | Lighting | 1 comment

Over coffee and scones, one of my friends (a transplant from London) and I were discussing (more of a heated debate) over what were some of the most iconic lighting examples to emerge in interior design over the past 50 years. She argued it was the George Nelson “Bubble Lamp” and I picked the “Artichoke Pendant.” Both are worthy of note, but I have a special place in my heart for the “Artichoke.” I know it may seem that I have a preference for contemporary design, but I truly love most eras. It’s just that European design is cutting edge, and I’m currently craving clean, artistic lines synonymous with our overseas compatriots.

My philosophy has always been to mix different periods and styles; I love eclectic interiors with a carefully curated mix of old and new. In my past life as a single girl chasing the dream from one big city to the next, I had a chance to collect a lot. Most items were unfortunately sold when I got married (the dreaded marital purge). I can only say that I had a momentary lapse in judgement and since I was moving into a 100+-year-old Bungalow, I didn’t think I would have a need for antique Hamadan rugs and substantial collection of Blenko glass. I also sold an Artichoke Pendant (and “choke” is the feeling I have whenever I think about it). It hung over my dining table when I lived in former Governor Dix’s Mansion in Albany that had been divided up into Condos. It had been a gift from a very generous neighbor who found it in the back room of an antique shoppe outside of NYC. Eventually, it made the final journey with me to Atlanta, and our garage. Then I was forced to sell it, unwillingly.

I still think about my Artichoke Pendant, because it would fit perfectly in our Frank Lloyd Wright inspired home and just about any other future home we might buy. Luckily, I still keep in touch with the person who bought the pendant, and he promises that if he ever were to sell it, he would call me first. Which seems nice, but I’m also going to be paying a lot more than what he paid me for it. Frankly, it’s a piece of design history that I want back regardless of the price (but I have a strong feeling that I will be vetoed). The originals were designed by Poul Henningson (designed 1958) for the Langelinie Pavillion in Copenhagen, and replicas still hang in homes big and small all over the world. It’s not just a light it’s a piece of art suspended from the ceiling. The one that I once owned hung from 100-year old plaster ceiling medallion in the middle of my NY dining room for years, the perfect study in contrasts.

Of course, if you need convincing I have photographic evidence that proves how stunning this light truly is…


 via DWR {link}

Modern elements in a centuries old space.

Contemporary Porch by New York Architects & Building Designers Harry Elson, Architect PC
Modern with a rustic vibe.

We’ll be at the annual Design Bloggers Conference this week, and I’ll be bringing you the latest and greatest from the conference…

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Until next time.