Hans Due’s Optima was white at launch
Bengt Rooke’s Tidsfasetter, a collation of vintage Scandinavian art and design news, includes an item that appeared in Denmark’s Ekstra Bladet newspaper on 19 October 1972, reporting on the launch at Fog & Mørup’s Copenhagen showroom of Hans Due’s Optima series of lights:
Industrial designer Hans Due’s new lamp series Optima was launched yesterday at Fog & Mørup on Amagertorv. It consists of seven models: three pendant lamps with diameters of 20, 50 and 60cm, two floor lamps with one and two spots respectively, a table lamp, and a wall lamp. The shades on the wall, table and floor lamps can be adjusted in all directions, and all models are painted white, with metal parts in matte chrome. An inner reflective screen on the pendant versions means the lamps provide even, glare-free lighting in both high-hanging and low-hanging situations. The lamps have aroused considerable international interest at several fairs, so that production is only now available to be presented to the Danish market.
Two interesting points arise from this report. One is the fact that the Optima range was initially presented in white versions only. This is confirmed by a Fog & Mørup advertisement published the same month, October 1972, which begins, “Optima is a new lamp series in matte white, with matte-chromed metal parts.” Tracking the series via the price lists that F&M issued on a regular basis to retailers reveals that it was extended to include the yellow and brown versions in late 1973, thus completing the range around a year after its launch.
The second point of interest is that the series included a now little-known wall light. This elusive member of the Optima family is nowhere to be seen in the images accompanying F&M’s launch advert (reproduced below), but eventually made a rare appearance, in yellow, in a November 1974 F&M advert (final image below, bottom left corner).