Paavo Tynell for Idman Rare Chandelier in White Steel and Opaline Glass
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Paavo Tynell for Idman, chandelier, lacquered steel, opaline glass, Finland, 1950s
Striking chandelier by Paavo Tynell, originating from the central railway station in Helsinki. The chandelier consists of nine lightbulbs in a geometric shape. Round opaline glass bulbs are finished with a white steel ring on the bottom and top. Furthermore, a metal plate on top of the bulb characterizes the design. All nine shades are arranged in a rectangle and fixed to the ceiling with four cylindric mounts. This atmospheric lamp is special within Tynell’s oeuvre who usually preferred brass as the main material for his lightning designs and also is well known for his delicate, organic shapes. In this case, Tynell was responding to the public office the lamps were designed for.
The chandeliers has an interesting provenance. It originates from the Central Railway Station in Helsinki, one of Finland’s most well-known buildings. The railway station was designed in 1904 by Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen (1873-1950), the father of Eero Saarinen. The station opened its doors in 1919 and is used as the main railway station in Helsinki until today. The monumental, expressive building nowadays is the focal point of the capital city and one of Helsinki’s landmarks. Paavo Tynell not only designed the large chandeliers for the main hall but also lamps for the rest of the building. Until recently, the present example was hanging in the administrative part of the station. Due to a renovation and transformation into a hotel, this lamp was taken down.
Finnish designer Paavo Tynell began (1890-1973) began his career as a blacksmith. After studying to become a master craftsman at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki, he founded his own manufacturing company named Taito Oy. During his career, he collaborated with fellow Finnish designers and architects such as Alvar Aalto. Their collaboration proved to be very fruitful and achieved Tynell’s reputation of “the man who illuminated Finland.” Tynell’s international design influence grew thanks to the Finland House located in New York and allowed him to see himself trusted with prestigious orders both for public buildings such as the UN but also for important private collections. Based on existing models, the wealthiest families in Finland ordered custom versions.
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