It all started with Christiansborg.
The craft tradition behind TONI Copenhagen can be traced all the way back to 1884, when Christiansborg Castle burned down. It was Germangttler, I.H. Auchenberg, who came to Copenhagen around 1870, who laid the foundation for the company that later came to be called TONI Copenhagen. Auchenberg first settled in Pilestræde, and then Gothersgade and later ended up developing the Christiansborg fixture for Christiansborg Castle. When the founder died in 1919, foreman Edgar took over the company after marrying founder Auchenberg's daughter Emma. And under his leadership, the company developed so much that in 1934, they moved to Korsgade 68. Edgar and Emma's eldest son was named Fritz Johannes Toxborg, and the first two letters of his last name became the first half of the name TONI Copenhagen. The last two represent the surname Nielsen, who belonged to a friend of Fritz from the resistance movement. Fritz was educated as a farmer with his father and later became an engineer. In 1950, he bought the fixture company, NH Martens Armaturfabrik which had existed since 1918. Therefore, the history of TONI Copenhagen can be traced back to 1918. The company excelled at acquiring patents and thus, Fritz took over both the manufacturing and bargaining rights to the Christianborg, SP and Cross-handle fixtures, among others. In 1960, the company changed its name from N.H Martens Armaturfabrik to TONI Armatur. The Christiansborg series quickly gained a foothold in the Danish market. It became legendary because it was designed in a market that was otherwise primarily oriented towards functionality. I.H. Auchenberg was behind the original production for Christiansborg Castle. Later, when the series was re-designed in the 1930s by architect and engineering firm Crone & Koch, TONI Armatur acquired the rights to produce and sell it. The oldest Christiansborg fixtures can still be found in Copenhagen City Hall and Parliament building in Slotsholmen. The series have since been used in subsequent modernisations of Christiansborg Castle and in several of the country's most distinguished castles. In the Danish Design Book by Thomas Dickson, it appears that the Christiansborg fixture is the longest standing fixture still in production in Denmark today.
Another legendary design is the SP series, which was designed in 1935 and named after the creator and engineer at Gentofte County Hospital, Sparre-Petersen. The luminaire was originally designed for hospitals to ensure optimal function, durability and hygiene. Later, architectural circles introduced the fixtures into popular interior design. Most notably, the SP fixture was represented in the Danish Embassy in Saudi Arabia. Today, it continues to be used in many leading restaurants, hotels and design-oriented homes across Denmark. The third design is known as the 'Cross handle' – a popular design shape widely used by various Danish manufacturers. At TONI Copenhagen, we seek to preserve the original form of 'Cross handle' and continue to manufacture the first edition of the fixture without any alternations or adjustments. The 'Cross handle' fixture can be seen at Marienlyst Castle, Churchill College in Cambridge and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh. At TONI Copenhagen, we are proud of our heritage as Denmark's oldest fixture company and as a bearer of part of Danish design history. We are also proud that our design is so widely recognized by leading architects and designers to this day.