Olaf Stæhr-Nielsen graduated as a ciseleur in 1917 and subsequently worked for Kay Bojesen and Alfred Dragsted in Copenhagen. The following year, he was admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where he became one of Professor and sculptor Einar Utzon-Frank’s first batch of students, something that would be crucial to Stæhr-Nielsen’s personal decorative expression. He was widely regarded by his colleagues as a natural talent who worked freely, without the use of models.
In collaboration with renowned architects such as Kaj Gottlob, Tyge Hvass, Frits Schlegel and Aage Rafn, he carried out numerous decorative tasks for buildings and exhibitions in cities such as Paris, Geneva, Copenhagen, Brussels and New York. Another interesting collaboration was with his wife, the well-known designer Eva Stæhr-Nielsen, who was associated with Saxbo as the artistic profile of the renowned Danish ceramic workshop.
The present chandelier from 1946 is an unparalleled piece of work by Olaf Stæhr-Nielsen and is a culmination of his – at the time – 30 years experience in unique decorations. The chandelier was specially made for Restaurant Wivex in Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens which was rebuilt and refurbished following an extensive German sabotage during World War II. Architect Ernst Kühn (1890-1948) was in charge of the rebuild and hired the experienced Stæhr-Nielsen to create the lighting for the restaurant.
The chandelier is made of browned brass and decorated with delicately painted porcelain flowers and two centered large porcelain bowls. Stæhr-Nielsen’s mother, Augusta Olsen, was a porcelain painter, which most likely was a great source of inspiration for the chandelier. The elegant porcelain flowers are beautifully decorated in yellow, purple, blue, green and pink hues. See more here.