The 'gyrofocus' fireplace was designed in 1968 Photo: FOCUS
The black steel design, which can be suspended from the ceiling, took first place in a competition styled as "the first beauty contest devoted exclusively to objects".
Produced by the French contemporary fireplace firm Focus, the "gyrofocus" can rotate through 360 degrees to throw light and heat into all corners of a room.
It is described as "revolutionary both in form and technical innovation" on the company website, and has been featured in several exhibitions of modern art and design - including at New York's Guggenheim Museum.
It was designed in 1968 by Dominique Imbert, the founder of Focus.
The fireplace took first place ahead of more established design classics including a Phillips flat screen television, Illycaffè coffee machine and a Sony Ericsson mobile phone in the Italy-based Pulchra competition.
The 100 objects on the award longlist were compiled by a panel of design experts, with nearly 75,000 members of the public choosing their top ten entries through an online vote.
The Pulchra contest was launched in 2007, with this year's winner receiving 10,000 euros in gold coins.
Fireplace 'most beautiful object in the world' - Telegraph