Val Saint Lambert
Val Saint Lambert is a crystal and glass factory in the Belgian city of Seraing, southwest of Liège, which produces decorative glass, glass and crystal arts and crafts. The factory is located in the abbey of Val Saint Lambert, the former Cistercian abbey of Saint Lambert. In 1826 the founders of the crystal factory settled in the favorable site, due to the large buildings available, the proximity of coal and the possibility of transport across the river Meuse. Today Val-Saint-Lambert is present in more than forty countries. One can visit the factory and see glass blowers at work.
Val Saint Lambert or Val St. Lambert was founded by chemist François Kemlin and polytechnic (Master of Science in Engineering) Auguste Lelièvre in 1826. François Kemlin had previously worked for the Vonêche crystal works in the Ardennes, also in Belgium. Val Saint Lambert is well known for its Art Nouveau and Art Deco glass pieces.
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Many thanks to Marjan from Vintage Drachten for the beautiful pictures and the enthusiasm. And many thanks to Eric of Val Saint Lambert for his enlightening information about these lamps.
Raak Night Club Pendant Lamps
Materials: Painted metal, metal sockets, coloured crystal glass.
Cord Length: 150 cm / 59.05” – adjustable
Width: ø 50 cm / 19.68”
Electricity: 7 bulbs E14, 7 x 40 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, but a white/opaque or frosted one is preferred. Clear bulbs creates stripes on the glass and therefore also on the walls.
Period: 1950s, 1960s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: Nanny Still-Mackinney (1926-2009).
Manufacturer: Raak, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Other versions: Made as single pendant and also produced with 3 and 5 lamps. The Stalactite is a ceiling lamp.
The Raak Night Club chandelier or pendant lamps don’t appear in any catalogue of Raak. Only the Stalactieten (Stalactites) are published. The reason is unclear.
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). The Center for Lighting Architecture was founded by Egbert Keen. The company was declared bankrupt on 19-05-2011.
Nanny Elisabet Still Mc Kinney (31 July 1926 – 7 May 2009), is one of the most important modern Finnish designers of glass and ceramics. During the golden age of the Finnish art industry in the 1950s Still belonged to the great names of design.
Still was born in Helsinki and studied at Finland’s Central School of Arts and Crafts (Aalto University) and graduated in 1950. Before the end of her studdies she started working for Riihimäki Lasi (Riihimäen), Finland’s largest glass-works, and remained there until 1976.
Nanny Still designed these lights in the late 1950s for Raak Amsterdam and they are most likely the only lights she designed for the company. It was a colaboration between Raak, Nanny Still and Val Saint Lambert from Belgium.
Nanny Still married in 1958 with American George Mc Kinney and moved to Brussels in 1959.
In 1972 she won the Pro Finlandia medal and in 1954 she received the Diploma of Honor at the Triennale in Milan, Italy.
She designed for Norrmark, Riihimäki, Iitala, Heinrich Porzellan, Rosenthal Studios, Val Saint Lambert and off course Raak Amsterdam.
Nanny Elisabet Still Mc Kinney died at the age of 82 in Brussels, Belgium in 2009.