Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint

Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint

Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint

The well-known brand of lamps known as LE KLINT was founded in 1943, but the story behind the pleated LE KLINT lampshades traces its roots all the way back to the 1900s, when Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint folded the first pleated lampshade for a petroleum lamp that he had made himself.

He came from a family that combined innovativeness and art with entrepreneurship and business acumen. They mixed all those things together, and the result has lived on to become one of the oldest, established suppliers of lighting solutions in Denmark – LE KLINT.

The First Pleated Lampshade

P.V. Jensen-Klint is up there with the most significant and admired architects in Danish history. As he would say himself, Grundtvig’s Church is a fact: evidence of Danish traditions for design and buildings. But aside from his work as an architect, P.V. Jensen-Klint designed and manufactured petroleum lamps made from stoneware. One of his lamps was missing an appropriate lampshade, and in connection with this, he came up with the cross-pleated lampshade. The idea was to place it on the altar at Grundtvig’s Church.

In the years that followed, the folded lampshades were refined, and these days, they make a fitting present for friends and family alike. It did take the rest of the world 40 years to discover the lampshade though.
More Than Just a Lampshade

More Than Just a Lampshade

P.V. Jensen-Klint finished his education as an engineer in 1877, and he studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts until 1885. He made a living by working as a maths and drawing teacher from 1892 – 1916, and then he started working as an architect. There was nothing he didn’t draw as an architect – houses, waiting rooms, churchyard walls, churches, towers, memorials, gravestones, statues, milestones, magazine covers, posters, furniture, and so on, and so forth. Furthermore, he was a talented landscape painter, sculptor, ceramicist, and author.

His artistic imagination, religious sentiment, and desire to create was given loose reins in 1913, when he became the project manager for Grundtvig’s Church. It was erected between 1921 and 1940, and alongside the Bethlehem Church in Copenhagen, this is one of his largest works that has since influenced innumerable Danish architects. P.V. Jensen-Klint died in 1930, and both churches were completed by his sons, Tage Klint and Kaare Klint.

The Origins of LE KLINT

Tage Klint was the one who decided to turn his father’s folded lampshades into a business. In 1943, he opened a shop in Copenhagen where the range consisted of the LE KLINT pendant, wall lamp, and plafond or table lamp. Before the lampshade was put into production, a defining detail was added – the unique grip on the edge. This allowed users to make use of the elasticity of the lampshade and to hold the lampshade on a stand in connection with a standing lamp and, later on, the popular LE KLINT SAX.

A lot has happened since P.V. Jensen-Klint folded the first pleated lampshades with his family. These days, they are folded in Odense by the so-called “folding girls” who are considered to be something special. It takes a full year to learn the folding technique and up to three years to master all the different models. Many engineers have tried to make machines to fold the lampshades, but all attempts have been in vain. The nimble folding girls cannot be replaced by machines without compromising on the artisan quality that has become the LE KLINT trademark.

Although the company has more than 75 years to its name and has passed through two generations to now be run by the LE KLINT organisation, you can still feel Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint’s visionary imagination, the excellent craftsmanship, and the high ambition in each of LE KLINT’s lamps.

Find our entire selection of LE KLINT lamps here.