Porta Romana

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Our icons. The pieces that define Porta Romana

Manhattan Lamp

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The Manahattan Lamp, engineered for us by Francis Russel, has been in our collection since 2000.

It remains one of his favourite and most successful pieces, being so apparently simple and yet so skilfully crafted. At the time it signified a step change in our collections, heralding a move away from the purely decorative to the more ambitious sculptural pieces that have become synonymous with the Porta Romana brand.

It has appeared countless times in the Andrew Martin Year book, and has been used by many of the world’s leading designers in some of the most beautiful interiors.

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Flynn Caged Stairwell Lantern

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Who doesn’t love a good Errol Flynn movie? Like the great movie-star himself, the Flynn family has all the swash-buckling charisma of the eponymous hero. The metal work, rapier-thin, is hand-beaten, scarred and hammered to create the linear lines that form this magnificent, vertical silhouette. Used in multiples, the ceiling light can add great drama to a scheme, subtle in bronze, glamourous in gold and elegant in silver. We finish all the Flynn pieces in our own workshops, where every technician will have honed and crafted the skills required to patinate and decorate the metalwork with the many complex layers and glazes that go in to creating all our finishes.

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Cologne Lamp

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The Cologne had a working title of “precious droplet”, as it was originally inspired by a massive perfume bottle used in an advertising campaign. We developed the idea with our wonderful Bohemian glass-blowers to make the perfect oval lozenge of weighty crystal that would house the encapsulated “liquid” centre. The result is a tour de force of craftsmanship. How they can blow such a weight is one question, but to push them, time and again, to be within our specification tolerance is unanswerable. The skill and strength required is phenomenal.

The ‘perfume’ stopper is carefully sculpted to fit the polished top and we finish it in-house in our own workshop.

The Cologne lamp is one of the most popular glass lamps we have ever created. It is timeless.

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Mushroom Mirror

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Mysterious, playful and not usually the decoration for a mirror frame, Mushrooms have always been associated with fairy tales, folklore and the unexpected. Here the dance of scores of hand cut and gilded metal mushrooms feels more eccentric and wonderful than ever. This fanciful design with its textured and patinated steel frame has a depth and interest that has its roots in the more traditional French Mirror styles of the 1950s. We launched it in the Enchanted Forest collection, where it became an instant favourite, both with the press and designers worldwide.

It takes 15 hours to craft the frame with its scores of steel dancing mushrooms, and that’s only the beginning. Once in our workshop we begin the decorative process of applying the Mayan Gold finish. Over three days the frame will transform into a work of art, with layers of gold leaf and texturing paints applied in a total of 15 different processes using 16 diverse paint brushes to create the precise finish. After three days the final mushroom is complete, and the mirror is ready to leave the workshop, destined for the world’s most beautiful interiors.

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Honeycomb Console Table

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The honeycomb, it’s structure and beauty are a recurring theme in Porta Romana’s preoccupation with the world of natural architecture. It’s strength and it’s delicacy reinforce the unassailable position of mother nature as the greatest creator of all forms. The arrival of the console from our initial concept owes its existence to the perseverance of Tom Harral, one of our most gifted metal workers. We made countless paper models, cutting and folding to get the exact shape, but it was only with his expertise that we were able to turn these in to the strong and dynamic console, hammered and creased to perfection. Each piece is hand finished in our workshops in Hampshire.

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Duck Feet Lamp

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The Queen of lamps, and probably our most identifiable and most coveted piece. The gestation of the Duck was from two sources, a surrealist exhibit showing the Oppenheim crane leg table, followed closely by a sighting of an incredibly rare fur table lamp, chained to a wall. The two gave birth to the Duck, who evolved through drawings, and sculpting from a stumpy waddler to the final, graceful ballerina.

The visit to the Couture show at the V&A and the sight of the unbelievable Dior grey ostrich feather dress was the inspiration for the show-stopper shade.
Duck Feet Lamps are owned by many fabulous people, from super-models to super-stars. How fitting.

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Sputnik Ceiling Light

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The Sputnik chandelier was designed for us by the inspirational Gareth Devonald Smith as part of his capsule collection in 2013. The chandelier’s considered curves have all his hallmarks, being both beautifully tailored and sculptural; designed like a linear doodle. His work always appears cunningly simple, but needs to be ingeniously engineered and precisely fabricated, demanding the most skilful makers to interpret.
The GDS pieces are pure design, original, challenging and timeless.

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Miro Lamp

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The hand forged elements of the Miro Lamp have the same terrific impact as the bold and graphic shapes so often found in the work of the Spanish artist, Miro, from whom the name is derived. Each arc and curve of weighty metal is fused together by our talented maker, Tom Harral, to form the well-known silhouette. Appearing in countless campaigns and gracing numerous wonderful interiors, the Miro lamp has fathered an entire dynasty of pieces of which we are duly proud.

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Man 3 Floor Lamp

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The Man 3 was designed way back in 2006 as part of the Man and Woman series. Like the table lamps, so familiar around the world, the floor lamp has the same minimalist styling of the Moai, the monolithic statues, found throughout Polynesia. Like the statues, our pieces appear chipped away in flat planes, with the face bearing a subtle, proud but enigmatic expression. The sculpting was done by Chris Welch, and their development helped us create our own unique language of cuts and mark-making with him that we have employed over the following years to create such diverse pieces as the Duck and Baobab, the Geode and Danseur.
The Man 3 are often used, to great effect, in repeat, standing like sentinels around a floor space or corridor.

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Baobab Lamp

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This beautiful ceramic piece was inspired by a stroll along a deserted Caribbean beach and the chance discovery of a wonderful seedpod. The seed was then drawn and sculpted into the shape that became the Baobab lamp.

With a certain circular poetry it now lives on as a lamp in many beach houses as well as hotels and homes around the world. Its first incarnation was within the Primitivism collection when we launched it with the complex “Quail” glaze. In 2014 we started to make it in the Chalk finish, a simple white, matt glaze that allows the form to be seen unencumbered.

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Ivy Shadow Mirror

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Our relationship with Tord Boontje began, fittingly enough, in a garden. Our first meeting took place at the Chelsea Flower Show, and we have since been lucky enough to work with him on two collections. His first, within the Enchanted Forest collection, gave rise to the Triwood chairs, which have appeared in every single important magazine world-wide, as well as at the Collect exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, the Sunny Forest side tables, which are being exhibited at the Ghent Design Museum and the incredible Ivy Shadow chandelier, which has been exhibited at the first ever one-man show at Sotheby’s. Our second collection debuted the Ivy Shadow Mirror, which again, has been loved by the international press.

The sprawling, leafy trail that surrounds the mirror glass in a magical fashion is the same festoon earlier seen on the chandelier, and once again, one has the feeling that it’s twines, as in all good fairy-tales, will continue to grow.

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Big Bang Lamp

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Explosive and dramatic, the Big Bang Lamp captures the moment in the glass blowing process when the crushed fragments of Mica are finally fixed in place by the setting glass. Worlds collide, but eventually a stillness prevails creating a unique and mesmerising object of beauty. Such technique can only come from a master, and in this case, it comes from the visionary Anthony Stern. We have worked with Anthony for many years, and his bravura pieces, so technical yet boundary breaking, always add a punch and an injection of excitement into our collection. We top the glass with a faceted, gilded, chunky collar.

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