The predecessor to the unusual SIRLIG chandelier from 1987 was created for a party in the mid-1980s, organised by architect and designer Gunver Hansen and her designer colleagues Niels Gammelgaard and Lars Mathiesen. To spread festive light, Gunver made a huge chandelier out of galvanised fencing wire that held 20 candles. She took her inspiration from the splendid chandeliers of the Baroque period and old-fashioned Christmas tree candle holders made out of steel wire.
Gunver thought that the idea should be adaptable for regular homes, and after a bit of experimenting she produced a model with ten arms made of steel wire, which could be packed in a flat pack. The idea was perfect for IKEA, which bought the rights to the innovative chandelier and put it in the range as SIRLIG.
To begin with, SIRLIG was only sold in a range known as IKEA Tomorrow, a selection of products that were only sold at a few stores. IKEA Tomorrow was a way for IKEA to offer slightly more trendy products in limited edition at good prices. They were sold at special departments in the stores, and were advertised in interior design magazines.
SIRLIG was often seen in the interior photos in the catalogue from 1987 onward, but not until the 2001 edition would the chandelier be presented with a name and price. In the 2008 edition of the catalogue, it finally had its own full page under the heading Democratic Design.