1950s Caged Pendant Lamp
Materials: Blackened curved brass rods pleated in a crown shape. Striped light yellow and clear conical glass tubular diffuser. Metal chain and canopy. Bakelite E27 socket.
Chain Length: 60 cm / 23.62”
Height: 50 cm / 19.68”
Width: ∅ 60 cm / 23.62”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 60 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used. Not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1950s, 1960s.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: Massive, Mortsel, Kontich and Wommelgem, Belgium – attributed.
Other versions: It is unknown if this 1950s caged pendant lamp was made in several versions. But in all probability it is.
The brass of this lamp is made black in the factory with a chemical process, it is not painted. The easiest and probably the cheapest way to do that is with ammonia.
Caged pendant lamps like this one are often attributed to famous Italian companies from that period. However, caged lamps have been made for a long time around the world, as you can see in the 1955 catalogue picture from Lightolier. They even existed with candles long before there was electricity.
In all probability this 1950s caged pendant lamp is a Belgian light produced by Massive.
Massive 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 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 commercialised 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.
All the electric parts were made by VLM Components in the 1950s. The company was founded in 1945 in Buccinasco, a small village near Milan, Italy. The company became famous for the switches they produce since 1968, designed by Achille Castiglioni. You can find them over here.
VLM is part of the Relco Group, founded in 1967. Today they are the owners of the brands Relco, Leuci, Relco Lighting, VLM and Segno.
1955 Lightolier Catalogue