Cabinet de Luxe

The Panton Scale Hand


Often images of furniture, objects and lamps online are set in a nebulous studio-land where human scale is hard to judge. The ability to shoot from any angle with a good digital camera can play havoc with proportion, making small things seem huge and large things tiny.

My wise friend Sybil, nearly 90 years old, sold a miniature garden wheelbarrow on eBay a while ago and was very surprised when a burly bricklayer rocked up to collect it for use in his work. He’d driven 60km into the bargain. Sybil parlayed their mutual embarassment into a good laugh over morning coffee and homemade biscuits. Gracious manners and a sense of humour can come to the rescue but I’m sure most people have felt some disappointment or surprise when items they’ve bought online have not quite measured up.

So we got down to work with gluestick and cardboard and made the ‘Panton Scale Hand’. Modelled on Verner Panton’s hand, which appears in his very rare Anatomie fabric range, we scaled it down to average human hand size. This can sit in any photo and make sense of the scale. You’ll see it in most of our listings from now on. It’s on the small side for a man’s hand and on the large side for a lady’s.

You might be interested in the original image too. Check out this sale of Panton fabrics at Wright20 Auctions in Chicago in 2008. The textile prints were designed in 1968 and released in the late 1970s by Mira of Denmark.

Somewhat menacing to have a grasping hand all over your curtains perhaps? Nonetheless, I love it. There’s an element of Daliesque bizaar at play. Nice one Vern!

Image courtesy of Wright20 Auctions.