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Another twist in the Jørn Utzon Søvaernspendel debate

The identity of the designer of the Søvaernspendel, the light produced first by Nordisk Solar Compagni and later by Louis Poulsen, has been the subject of an ongoing debate on this blog over the past couple of years. Our previous posts and the valuable insights contributed by our readers on the issue can be read here, here and here.

To summarise the key points of the debate so far:
• Three versions of the light were produced, as pictured below. The first, pictured to the left, is the larger Nordisk Solar Compagni version; the second, pictured centre, is a more compact Nordisk Solar Compagni production; and the third, pictured right, is the Louis Poulsen version, a later production and the one most often seen today.*

• The July 1956 issue of Mobilia magazine carries a picture of the smaller Søvaernspendel, attributing its design to Jørn Utzon. But the following month’s issue includes an erratum retracting that attribution.
• Alternative suggestions as to the identity of the lamp’s designer have included Jørn Utzon’s naval architect father Aage, an anonymous member of the navy’s technical office, and architect Henning Klok.

But a new contribution from one of our readers brings us back full circle to considering Jørn Utzon. Amongst the exhibits currently on display at the Utzon Centre in Aalborg, Denmark, Hans Jakobsen discovered two drawings for the Søvaernspendel’s design, one of them dated 3 March 1952 and labelled Søvaernspendlen, and the other including the Søværnets Bygningsdistrikt (Navy Buildings Department) logo. Hans took pictures of the drawings on his cameraphone and has kindly given us permission to reproduce them here.


* UPDATE 8 October 2012: a reader from Denmark, Kurt Christensen, tells us that the Louis Poulsen version of the Søvaernspendel (discontinued circa the 1980s) is now back in production under a new name – the Doo-Wop!

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