Potence Lamp (1946)

The swivelling Potence Wall Lamp is a product by French designer Jean Prouvé and manufactured by Vitra. Designed in 1950 it is considered one of Prouvé’s most puristic masterpieces.

Jean Prouvé
Jean Prouvé

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/c75aea51-9168-4ba0-adab-8f54d8afb35d by jeanbaptisteparis

The purity of lines

Reduced to the essentials – a light bulb and a pivoting wall mount – the long swing arm wall light is made of powder-coated tubular steel with a beechwood handle. The lamp is controlled by a cord dimmer and comes equipped with a light bulb.


LED steel wall lamp with fixed arm PETITE POTENCE by Vitra_3
Potence Lamp, by Jean Prouvé for Vitra, 1946. LED steel wall lamp with fixed arm PETITE POTENCE by Vitra

Image source: https://www.archiproducts.com/en/products/vitra/led-steel-wall-lamp-with-fixed-arm-petite-potence_486453

Potence: an Elegant Masterpiece

Designed by Jean Prouvé for his own ground-breaking La Maison Tropicale, the Potence Lamp provides a unique solution for suspension lighting with its ingenious engineering and elegant form.
Conceived as a pivoting structure, the fascination of this luminaire, which is over two metres long and dimmable, stems from the spareness of its materials and forms.

Maison Tropicale Jean Prouvé
Maison Tropicale Jean Prouvé

Image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/ecd26c1b-7430-4b8a-8840-9e67691dcbd4

Which are the Materials of the Potence Lamp?

Consisting of a single metal rod that extends two meters from a wall-mounted vertical bracket, this base-free lamp saves valuable floor space. A simple handle with wood knob moves the entire lamp laterally to illuminate a 180-degree range of space, and an on-cord dimmer witch allows easy light adjustment.

LED steel wall lamp with fixed arm PETITE POTENCE by Vitra
Jean Prouvé- LED steel wall lamp with fixed arm. 1947

Image source:  https://www.archiproducts.com/en/products/vitra/led-steel-wall-lamp-with-fixed-arm-petite-potence_486453

Purist Design to fit into Every Interior

As a child of its time the Potence Wall Lamp displays minimalist materials. Also in its design the wall lamp is distinguished by puristic shapes. Above the sofa or over the dining table, the over two meters long and dimmable Potence Wall Lamp by Vitra fits into many different interiors and with its cord dimmer provides a great atmosphere.

As illuminant the Potence Wall Lamp uses classic light bulbs or energy-saving bulbs with E27 sockets.

LED steel wall lamp with fixed arm PETITE POTENCE by Vitra_4
An example of the Potence Lamp in a modern interior

Image source:https://www.archiproducts.com/en/products/vitra/led-steel-wall-lamp-with-fixed-arm-petite-potence_486453

Data Sheet

  • Designer: Jean Prouvé;
  • Year of design: 1946;
  • Manufacturer: Vitra;
  • Materials: powder-coated tubular steel, beech wood, cord dimmer;
  • Bulb14W/G25/E26 CFL.
Technical drawing and measurements of the Potence Lamp.
Technical drawing and measurements of the Potence Lamp.

Image source: https://www.archiproducts.com/en/products/vitra/wall-lamp-with-fixed-arm-potence_277387


Info sources:
https://www.vitra.com/en-us/living/product/details/potence
https://www.dwr.com/lighting-wall-sconce/prouv%C3%A9-potence-lamp/2172.html?lang=en_US

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