Links (external links open in a new window)
Ettore Sottsass on Wikipedia
The Memphis Group on Wikipedia
New Memphis items for sale
Ettore Sottsass bio on the Artemide website
Massive Lighting on Wikipedia (in Dutch)
The complete history of the Philips company
Philips on Wikipedia
Other Massive Lighting lights on Vintageinfo
Philips lights on Vintageinfo
Other lights in this style on Vintageinfo
Pyramid Table Lamp
Materials: White glazed ceramic, white painted glass globe. Bakelite socket.
Height: 33 cm / 12.99”
Width: 18 cm / 7.08”
Electricity: 1 bulb E14, 1 x 40 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, a white, but an opaque or frosted one is preferred.
Period: 1980s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: Massive Lighting, Kontich and Wommelgem, Belgium (attributed).
Other versions: Made in several colours and also produced in a round edition as you can see below.
Massive Lighting was in origin a bronze foundry and they produced mainly candlesticks, crucifixes and chandeliers in Wilrijk near Antwerp, Belgium. The company was founded in 1926 by Pieter-Jozef De Jaeck. His son Eddy De Jaeck was responsible for the huge expansion of the company in the 1970s. But it were his sons, Piet and Jan De Jaeck who made Massive a true multinational. Thus, they moved production to Eastern Europe and China.
In the 1980s Massive Lighting became the leading brand in Europe. In 2002, the brothers left the company to the investment fund CVC Capital Partners, for allegedly more than 250 million euros.
Since 2008 the company is owned by Philips and the name of the shops is changed into Light Gallery.
When the takeover by Philips was announced in November 2006 Massive commercialized more than 10.000 lighting products under brand names such as Massive, TRIO and Lirio. The group had about 5.000 employees worldwide and was active in 70 countries.
This light is made in the famous Memphis style. The Italian Memphis Group was a design and architecture group founded by Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) in 1981 in Milan. The Memphis Group members designed Postmodern furniture, lights, fabrics, ceramics, glass and metal objects from 1981 to 1987.
The Memphis name was taken from the Bob Dylan song “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again“. The song was played constantly during the first meeting of the designers on the 11th December 1980.
The group’s members included Andrea Branzi, Aldo Cibic, Alessandro Mendini, Arata Isozaki. Barbara Radice, Beppe Caturegli, Ettore Sottsass. George Sowden, Gerard Taylor, Giovanni Levanti, Hans Hollein. Javier Mariscal, Laura Agnoletto, Lawrence Laske, Luciano Paccagnella, Marco Susani. Marco Zanini, Marco Zanuso, Maria Sanshez, Martine Bedin, Marzio Rusconi. Massimo Iosa Ghini, Masanori Umeda, Matteo Thun. Michael Graves, Michele de Lucchi, Nathalie du Pasquier. Peter Shire, Shiro Kuramata and Thomas Bley. Ettore Sottsass left the movement in 1985, the Memphis Group disbanded in 1991.