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Mid Century Modern Lamps

Lamps are undeniably a very notable item to have in the home, and in case you need to have such things at, why not consider one of these?

In Europe, Danish designer Poul Henningsen fabricated a hanging lamp for the manufacturer Louis Poulsen, this being known as the Artichoke lamp, Henningsen’s steel-plate conception was a un-to-date riff to the evergreen crystal chandelier.  Alvar Aalto, a Scandinavian native, went into a more marginal direction with his Handgranate A 111 lamp, whose pair of white metal and brass cylinfers dangled from delicate wire.

Vintage Mid-Century modern lamps are distinguished by plain lines and a fun space-age texture.  A common trait of these lamps are that they are geometric, with globes, hourglasses, and rings being the predominate shape.  The initial lamps of the period shared the metaphoric aesthetics of the 1930s and ‘40s with more traditional mid-century looks. These lamps often featured tacky plaster or chalk ware bases shaped like Nubian slaves or cape matadors.    Abstract expressionist artist Jackson Pollock’s geometric designs and splatters and squiggles were used to decorate the shades, and these shades were used on ceramic, brass bases and wrought-iron.  Sometimes the use of fibreglass shades being fashioned into flying saucer shapes whilst other mid-century shades were designed to only light a single ring around the lamp’s light source.

A very famous lampshade, the Bubble, was produced in 1952 for Howard Miller, shaped roughly like a mushroom cap; the lamp was produced of translucent plastic pulled tightly over a wire frame.  As these early examples tend to colour, collectors should be aware of this face when hunting these down to purchase.

European designer Poul Henningsen created a hanging lamp known as the Artichoke lamp, with its steel-plate creation it was a contemporary riff on the crystal chandelier.  A more minimalistic approach was taken by Alvar Aalto, a Scandinavian who designed the Handgranate A 1 1 1 Lamp, which had a pair of white painted metal and brass cylinders which hung from a delicate wire. 

More exciting designes were to come from the Castoglioni brothers who excelled at floor lamps such as the laminator, which existed of little more than a spotlight atop of a long vertical black metal tube.  Some other Italian floor lamps from 1950s were covered by goosenecks with brass belted hourglasses at then ends and in a range of colours.  Italian lamp designs were also luminescent; one atomic style chandelier (six bulb) from 1950 featured a metal globe at its centre and was surrounded by angled brass tubes, the lights at the end of the tubes suggesting protons and neutron. 

Harrison D McFaddin created Bellova and Emeralite lamps in 1909 and his first patent applications was approved in that year, thus began the fabrication of Emeralite and Bellova lamps that would continue in production for the next fifty years.

To set the mood for any room in your home or to enhance the lighting to make a bedroom or living room stand out, make use of lighting that fulfils your design needs and creates the perfect atmosphere suited to you.  From mid-century to contemporary, embrace the culture of lighting. 

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