The AJ Oxford table lamp by Louis Poulsen was designed by Danish architect Arne Jacobsen in the 1960s. It was originally created for St Catherine’s College, the largest college within Oxford University, as part of Jacobsen’s “Gesamtkunstwerk” of the college’s architecture and interior in 1962. This modernist yet tradition-inspired project marked Jacobsen’s main international breakthrough.
The AJ Oxford table lamp was designed specifically for the college’s dining hall, whose long rows of oak tables are still, to this day, illuminated with Jacobsen’s pin table lamps. Combining a slim metal base with an opal glass shade, the luminaire emits a pleasantly diffused, glare-free light that is filtered through three layers of mouth-blown glass. The light is mostly directed downwards, but the milky opal glass also creates a softly glowing halo that shines around the lamp.
AJ Oxford is characterised by graphic lines and minimalist appeal, yet some of its sophisticated details might not be instantly evident. One such example is the lamp’s cord running through the stem and forming a continuous black line with the base. Another is the shade’s finger screw and union nut in untreated brass which will develop a lovely patina over time.