Orange Louis Poulsen “LamPetit” lamp designed by Bent Gantzel-Boysen/Verner Panton, 1966


Unashamedly orange and unashamedly blocky, this is the “LamPetit” desk lamp sold by Louis Poulsen and designed in 1966. Attribution is slightly confusing for the LamPetit, sometimes it is given to in-house designer Bent Gantzel-Boysen but there is also some evidence that it was designed by leading light of the mid-century movement, Verner Panton. Either way, the “LamPetit” is distincive – it is effectively two rectangular blocks connected by two pivoting and extendable armatures, the larger (and heavier, it contains a transformer) of the two blocks being the base, but there’s a lot more to it than that. The genius of the design allows the base to sit horizontally or vertically, on a desk or table top, or be mounted to a wall, whilst the “shade” on its two arms can pivot to the desired angle for any of these orientations. The base measures approximately 12 x 7 cm x 7 cm  (5 in. x 2¾ in. x 2¾ in.).

A push button switch, built into the base, is a three-position affair: cycling through “off”, “low” intensity, and “high” intensity. The aluminium reflector built into the shade amplifies the light to provide significant illumination from what is a deceptively small source. The two extending armatures, chromed brass with colour-matched plastic allow for additional positioning possibilities, with a minimum height of 20cm (8 in.) to 40cm (16 in.) approximately.

The transformer built into the base allows 220-240V to be output as 12V so that the LamPetit can take a standard 25W or less motoring bulb with a B15 (small bayonet) fitting. The lamp is currently cabled to a two-pin European plug which can be used with an adaptor or replaced for usage elsewhere.

This particularl LamPetit is in very good working condition, with very limited signs of superficial wear and tear which are to be expected for an item of its age and use. There are no chips or cracks to the plastics and only extremely minor cosmetic scuffs and scrapes generally. An eye-catching and unusual light which would grace any mid-century home and which is sure to attract attention despite its relatively small footprint, no matter how you use it.

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