1950s Italian Celluloid Floor Lamp
Materials: 4 long black painted iron rods, tubes, folded below. 8 conical white plastic tubes. 2 curved black painted iron rods. Brass parts, gold coloured plastic. 4 salmon pink folded conical cellulose acetate lampshades. Bakelite E27 sockets.
Height: 165 cm / 64.96”
Width: ∅ 45 cm / 17.71”
Base: 34 x 34 cm / 13.38” x 13.38”
Electricity: 4 bulbs E27, 4 x 60 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1950s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: To be determined.
Other versions: This 1950s Italian celluloid floor lamp was probably made in some variations.
The only clue that this beautiful lamp gives is that it got a very old switch made by the VLM Components company from Buccinasco, Italy. Also the sockets were made by the same company.
In 1968 VLM started with the production of the famous VLM-switches designed by Achille Castiglioni. More info about these switches on Vintageinfo: Achille Castiglioni VLM Switches. VLM Components was founded in 1945 in Buccinasco, a small village near Milan, Italy, today part of the Relco group.
The “manchette” or “cuff” plastic is stretchable thanks to the folds, and therefore fits perfectly on the metal frame. This kind of plastic has been used for years to decorate flower pots and it is still available today.
Lamps with these type of lampshades are often attributed to the famous French designer Georges Léon Rispal. Rispal is famous for his original creations and biomorphic forms. For some lampshades he used similar materials. These lampshades are made from cellulose acetate (Rhodoid). Later in time acrylic was used to make these lampshades.
Celluloid is cellulose nitrate. This lamp is made of cellulose acetate. The names are often mixed.
Cellulose acetate is an early plastic, sold under the trade names Rhodoid in France and Great Britain, Tenite in the USA and Cellon in Germany. It was first prepared in 1865. Cellulose acetate is used as a film base in photography, for eyeglasses, cigarette filters and playing cards.
1950s VLM Components switch