Paavo Tynell Lighting



2015-06-26 10:43:14

Paavo Tynell lighting is lighting designed by the esteemed Finnish designer Paavo Tynell.


Paavo Tynell was a Finnish designer. Having co-founded the designer lighting company Taito Oy Tynell, Tynell worked as the company’s chief designer from 1954.

During his commercially successful design career, Tynell collaborated with architect Alvar Aalto on fixtures for the Paimio sanatorium, Savoy restaurant, and Viipuri library. His enormous chandeliers dominate the entry to the Eliel Saarinen red brick railway station, and his sconces and ceiling fixtures are a striking part of the décor in the Sokos Hotel lobby and its time-warp penthouse lounge, Café Vakuuna, which have not been redecorated since 1952.

Toward the end of his career, Tynell spent time in New York, where his later designs, mostly comprising desk and pendant lamps made of brass with light-transmitting perforations, were sold by Finland House and Lightolier.

In 1955, he designed lighting for the office of the Secretary General in the United Nations building. But tough economic conditions in 1950s Finland led to Taito Oys being swallowed up by a conglomerate before folding altogether in 1965. Tynell's pieces today attract an international clientele of collectors, and prices of his most important pieces have soared during the 2000s.

Collecting information

Paavo Tynell lamps and lighting are highly sought after by collectors, with rare examples generally fetching four and even five figure sums at auction.

Lamps should be in good working order, good to excellent condition and impressed with manufacturer's mark 'Taito'.

Any damage or wear should be reflected in the price.

Only the finest materials were used, such as brass. Genuine Paavo Tynell lighting will therefore be substantial yet refined; weighty yet appearing light. Replica lamps and lighting will not be created form such good quality materials.

Pieces exhibiting a greater degree of workmanship (mouldings and engravings for example) or especially eye-catching in shape tend to do better at auction then more standard models. However, classic designs remain popular also.

Many designs were named with a number.

Standard lamps are considered a design classic by collectors and are particularly prized. Chandeliers and table lamps are also very popular.


  • A number of luxury brass lamps
  • Ceiling light Snowflake, Snow Flake, 1947
  • Table lamp mussel, 1941
  • Elevator Lamp, Brass, 1948
  • Starry-lamp, 1946
  • Cowbell-lamp, 1946
  • Grandma's pitsipöksy lamps

Price guide

A pair of '9068' ceiling lights from the 1950s brought €5,500 at Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH in December 2012.

A pair of '5066' table lights, circa 1945 sold for €4,500 at Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH in December 2012.

A pair of '9201' table lights, circa 1949 brought €2,000 at Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH in December 2012.

A 'Golden Bell' ceiling light, circa 1954 sold for €800 at Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH in September 2012.

A pair of standard lamps, circa 1940 brought £26,000 to Phillips de Pury & Company in November 2011.

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