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Hans-Agne Jakobsson was undeniably one of the world’s most versatile and productive lighting designers and manufacturers in the fifties, sixties and seventies. He was also one of the best and most important designers in the Scandinavian era of golden and soft non-dazzle light. His earlier designs follow Scandinavian giants such as Poul Henningsen, Paavo Tynell and Alvar Aalto and he should be seen as important as the concurrent world renowned Nordic lighting designers Greta Magnusson-Grossman, Lisa Johansson-Pape, Verner Panton and Jo Hammerborg.

Until now, no one has to our knowledge had the ambition to cover Hans-Agne Jakobsson entire product catalogue. Hans-Agne Jakobsson AB and Ellysett AB produced much more than a thousand, maybe two thousand, different light fixtures in a period of almost fifty years. Documentation is rather scarce, and it is especially difficult to find detailed and secure information about the fifties production.

It is our ambition to identify as much as possibly of his production in the Hans-Agne Jakobsson Archive. We want to build a knowledge base that protect Hans-Agne Jakobsson’s legacy, that proves that he was one of his era's greatest lighting designers and that oppose all erroneous attributions to him as a designer and manufacturer. Every product attributed to Hans-Agne Jakobsson in the archive is verified, preferable through product brochures, price lists, etc. In some cases design literature or unambiguous labeling along with his design idiom has been doomed to be enough for a safe attribution. We need help to develop the archive, and will of course be very glad for any information and pictures that you can provide.

Iconic lights and important lighting series

1. Laminated pine In the mid-fifties, Hans Agne Jakobsson was decorating windows in his shop in Markaryd for Christmas. To screen off direct light, he used shavings of pine. Very soon, a man walked into the shop and wanted to buy this new light fixture. Hans-Agne’s biggest international success was born, and laminated pine fixtures were soon sold around the world.

2. Very large brass chandeliers In the late fifties Hans-Agne did his first large chandeliers and many were bought for public buildings such as churches and concert halls. Smaller versions were made for other types of rooms, including homes. He also designed matching wall appliqués, floor lights and to some extent table lights. He used different types of glass shades for the same fixture to give the buyers a bigger verity to select from.

3. Silk fringes The brass light fixtures with attached silk fringes were a big success in the mid-sixties. Fringes in different colors were offered and he made all sorts of fringe lights, small and large ceiling lights, reading and table lights, floor lights and wall lights.

4.The non-dazzle light Hans-Agne was probably inspired by Poul Henningsen’s non-dazzle lighting, and this inspiration continued to follow his designs for almost a half century. You will see this in most of his designs, excluding the chandeliers.

5. Pop art Around 1970 Hans-Agne Jakobsson launched a range of lights with a clear references to pop art and Verner Panton. He used sheets of brass, copper, aluminum and astralit (a plastic material) to make contemporary and youthful non-dazzle lights. But Hans-Agne did not design these light fixtures himself, the designer's name is Tomas Orrling.

Naming and Chronology

All lighting fixtures produced by Hans-Agne Jakobsson AB (HAJAB) and Ellysett AB has been given a unique ID, starting from 1951 when HAJAB was established. The two companies used the same ID system where no ID’s overlap, which means that their products can be put together to form a joint catalog. The ID’s consists of two parts, a letter code (one and later sometimes two letters) that tells the fixture type and a sequence number (that approximately also tells when the fixture was designed and launched).



Dating Hans-Agne Jakobsson's Work

Some of Hans-Agne Jakobsson’s designs were in production for a very long time; the wall light Diana (V155) was launched around 1960 and was still in production in 1991, the ceiling light Lamingo (T325) launched in the late fifties was still produced in 1991 (although the design and material were slightly altered) and the iconic outdoor light Tratten (S2064) made in 1954 was still around after 37 years. Other designs did not do as well at the time, and were dropped after a few years and are hence more difficult to find the appropriate documentation about.



Hans-Agne Jakobsson AB and Ellysett AB Labeling

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Ellysett made laminated pine lights for IKEA in the 1970s

You might find lights made of laminated pine that might look a lot like Hans-Agne Jakobsson’s work, that you cannot find in his catalogues. The model look almost like Hans-Agne’s, the material is the same and so is the construction. And yes, it is Hans-Agne Jakobsson. And no, it is not since Hans-Agne’s Ellysett was a subcontractor to IKEA.



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