Links (external links open in a new window)
Wokkel on the Dutch Lay’s website (in Dutch)
Lay’s Wokkel on Wikipedia (in Dutch)
Polam Wall Lamp
Materials: Stainless steel, plastic, silver painted Bakelite socket.
Height: 22 cm / 8.66”
Width: 8 cm / 3.14”
Electricity: 1 bulb E14, 1 x 40 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, but preferably a silver bowl/cup bulb.
Period: 1970s – Mid Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: Fabryka Żarówek Polam, Gdansk, Poland.
Other versions: Made in a few variations and also made as a table lamp and a chandelier; several of these lights together as you can see below.
Fabryka Żarówek Polam (the Żarówek Polam factory) company was founded in 1955 in Gdansk, Poland and named after Żarówek Polam, the patriarch of the factory.
From 1976 until 1992 the company was named ZSO Polam Gdańsk, before joining the Remontowa group. ZSO Polam produced mainly for the Russian (USSR) market. In 1989 the Polam group was dissolved, and all the member companies began production under their own brands.
In 2014 the company name changed to Remontowa Lighting Technologies SA.
These lights are always sold as a “Wokkel” lamp from the famous Dutch company Raak Amsterdam, but it’s not true.
Raak never produced these lamps. They are not displayed in any catalogue of Raak and they never have a Raak label.
You could say that this wall lamp has some similarities with the Raak Fuga designed by Maija Liisa Komulainen, but many lamps in this style were made in the 1960s and 1970s by several companies.
Max Sauze, the famous French designer, created many lamps in this style, but they are/were all made in aluminium. In Italy it was Reggiani who produced similar lamps but they are often sold as Sciolari.
Also Simon Henningsen (the son of the legendary Danish lighting designer Poul Henningsen) designed similar lamps like this one and so did many artists.
The Wokkel (Archimedes screw) is a spiral potato chip made from a paste of mainly potato starch and potato powder from Smiths, founded in 1958 in The Netherlands, today sold under the name of Lay’s (Pepsico) and in the Netherlands and Belgium very popular.
Probably because of the similarities with this delicacy a dealer with a big imagination gave these lamps the name Raak Wokkel some years ago.