23 April 2024, 21:42
By Furniture News Jan 02, 2014

Modernising history

Multi-disciplinary designer Henri Davies’ Tyger collection ingeniously upcycles old wine and water decanters, transforming them into lamps that strikingly reflect light through cut glass.

A graduate of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Henri Davies started his career as a fashion designer before turning his attention to interior design. His latest venture into lighting and product design synthesizes his varied experiences. Henri scours markets and auction sites on the web to find decanters, before transforming them with electrical fittings and silk or linen shades, which are specially chosen for the lamps.

Glass decanters first started appearing in the homes of the British gentry after George Ravenscroft developed clear lead crystal glass – also known as flint glass – in the 17th Century. The first decanters derived their shape from the squat, short-necked wine bottles of the time. This ‘shaft and globe’ style persisted into the middle of the 18th Century, when the shape became narrower and took on new elegant forms.

Decanters were used to not only show off the clarity and colour of wine, but also their owner’s good taste in interior design. Wine culture has been changing over the past 50 years and decanters are not used as often as they once were. Henri’s mission is to give these eye-catching decorative objects a second life. “Some of the lamps are really quite special,” Henri explains. “I’ve found an exquisite pair of William IV decanters that have become bedside lamps.”

The styles and periods of the lamps vary considerably. The collection includes Georgian and Victorian decanters as well as an array of 20th Century styles, from art deco to mid-century modern. Henri’s lamps are given high-quality fittings and silk-covered cable in order to enhance their collectability.

Each lamp is unique – a one-off design – unless Henri manages to find a rare pair of matching decanters. The designs of decanters reflect the style of bygone eras but they are reworked as contemporary lamps that can fit into any interior design style. Each encapsulates a moment in history, but reinvented with modern style.

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