I love these Dansk candle holders! And the research finding out about them has made me love them even more. This pair of candle holders is one style of three that were designed by Borje Rajalin rather than Jens Quistgaard for the black iron “Design with Light” series of Dansk candle holders. This pair is comprised of a circle made up of a series of eight round cups with a spike in the middle of the bottom of each cup to form legs and a spike in the middle of the top of each to accept a slim taper candle with a hole in the bottom made just for these candle holders. This style is named Circlet item 1762. They are marked with Dansk and the IBR indicating Borje Rajalin. When Quistgaard was designing the first candle holders in this series he found he also had to design and have Dansk make the very specific candles. This shows how complete the detail of these iconic Dansk designs.
Borje Bernhard Rajalin was born in Helsinki in 1933. He is a Finnish artist, industrial designer, and silversmith. He is a graduate of the School of Art and Design and worked many years as the head of its metal art department. He also worked many years as the Chief Designer of Kalevala Koru Jewelry. He won many awards over the years for his designs. But his most significant design was a collaboration with Antti Nurmesnieme on the Helsinki Metro. It has been said the metro is as beautiful as a jewel. Three candle holders for the Dansk “Design with Light” series are among his list of successful and beautiful designs.
Contrary to popular belief, Dansk Designs is an American company not Danish. Founded in 1954 by Martha and Ted Nierenberg who traveled to Europe in search of new products to bring to the U.S. post war audience who were ready for a change from the formal lives they had been living and ready to embrace a more modern and simple way. The Scandinavian Modern Designs fit that bill perfectly. And the Nierenbergs engaged Jens Harald Quistgaard to help them accomplish this task. And that they did. It’s been said that Ted and Jens made one good industrial designer. Jens with his beautiful designs and Ted with knowing how they had to be made to be affordable. Dansk Designs was purchased in 1985 by Dansk Acquisition Corp initiated by Goldman Sachs. Then in 1991 it was purchased by Brown-Forman Corporation’s Lenox division. 2009 brought the most recent change when it was all purchased and renamed Lenox Corporation. Currently Dansk operates as a brand of Lenox and still makes beautiful wares. But it is its vintage pieces which are most sought after today.
Obviously, this set of Circlet candle holders will look fabulous on your table filled with those awesome skinny candles, but being the small sculpture they are, they even look exceptional empty. You know you love them. Make them yours.