Willem van Oyen Sr. at work in his factory “BEVO glasindustrie”.
The Raak Chartres Wall Lamp was used as a prop in the French film Le Corps De Mon Ennemi (Body of my enemy) from 1976 with Jean-Paul Belmondo. Many Raak lamps together with Stilnovo and Harvey Guzzini lamps appear in this movie.
Raak Chartres Wall Lamp
Materials: Metal frame, broken glass on reinforced glass. Metal socket.
Height: 37 cm / 14.56”
Depth: 14 cm / 5.51”
Width: 24 cm / 9.44”
Electricity: 2 bulbs E27, 2 x 60 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb with an E27 screw base can be used, not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1960s and 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: Willem van Oyen Sr. (1921-2004).
Manufacturer: Raak Amsterdam, Holland.
Other versions: Made in a few sizes and also made in red with 2 E14 bulbs.
Willem van Oyen Senior
Willem van Oyen Senior had a small factory that produced these lamps for Raak Amsterdam, known as “BEVO glasindustrie“. They are all handmade and therefore slightly different. The Bevo company still exist today and is now owned by his son, Willem van Oyen Junior.
The Dutch company “Raak Amsterdam” was founded in 1954 by Carel O. Lockhorn (18 June 1923 – 6 October 2004), a previous employee of Philips Lighting Eindhoven. Raak, which means “to hit” in Dutch, implies design which precisely “hits the nail on the head”.
Raak is best known for their organic modern design of the 1960s and 1970s which combined glass & metals for a sophisticated futuristic style.
The light company collaborated with several international designers and architects, including Bertrand Balas, Evert Jelle Jelles, Frank Ligtelijn, Ger Vos, Jan Jasper Fayer, Li Helo, Maija-Liisa Komulainen, Nan Platvoet, Nanny Still-Mackinney, Nico Kooi, Sergio Asti, Tapio Wirkala, Willem van Oyen and many others.
Raak Amsterdam also collaborated with other companies. They worked with the German Peill & Putzler for the Raak Globe lamps. Peill & Putzler produced the glass. They also sold lamps made by Peill & Putzler, such as a pendant light designed by Aloys Ferdinand Gangkofner. For the Raak Discus the glass was made by Bega, also a German company. For the Night Club and Stalactites lamps a cooperation with the Belgian Val Saint Lambert was undertaken in the late 1950s.
Carel Lockhorn sold the company in 1974 to ITT but remained a director until 1977. In 1980 Raak merged with BIS Lighting from Aalsmeer, also in The Netherlands and was renamed into BisRaak. In 1986 the Raak company became independent again. The company got a business appearance and only the colors white, black and gray were still processed.
In 1999, Raak merged with Artilite B.V. and Indoor B.V. and became CLA: Centrum voor Lichtarchitectuur B.V. in Drachten (Center for Light Architecture). Lichtarchitectuur (light architecture) was the Raak tagline from the beginning in the 1950s. The Center for Lighting Architecture was founded by Egbert Keen. The company was declared bankrupt on 19-05-2011.
These large brutalist wall lights were inspired by the stained glass windows of the famous Chartres Cathedral in France, also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) south-west of Paris.
The handmade glass art on these lights is the work of glass artist Willem van Oyen Sr. although there are several references on the internet attributing them to A. Lankhorst.
Lankhorst was an architect who used these lamps to decorate restaurant “Dijkstra” in Zwolle, The Netherlands, mentioned in the Raak Catalogue 7 from 1970 as you can see on the picture below.
Original Dutch text in the catalogues
Chartres: zoals kerkramen gebrandschilderd zijn, zo zijn deze glasplastieken ‘gesmeltschilderd’. Op een basis van gewapend glas is een compositie kleurglas gesmolten. Geen twee plastieken zijn hetzelfde, maar ze zijn stuk voor stuk vitaal als een schilderij uit de Cobra-school…
C-1649 hoogte 37 cm, breedte 20 cm. sprong 12 cm, 2 lampen elk tot 75W, bij voorkeur helder.
Chartres: as church windows stained, so are these glass sculptures melt painted. On a base of reinforced glass is a composite colour glass melted. No two sculptures are the same, but they are all vital like a painting from the Cobra art school …
In the price list of January 1973 these lights were sold for 159 gulden, +- 80 euro.
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