1960s East German Desk Lamps
Materials: Chromed brass, chromed metal. Chrome ornamental screws. Geometric iron lampshades painted black with wrinkle paint, white painted on the inside. Cast iron round base, also painted with black wrinkle paint. Bakelite sockets.
Height: 36 cm / 14.17” – adjustable
Width: 36 cm / 14.17” – adjustable
Base: ∅ 16 cm / 6.29”
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 – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: VEB Leuchtenbau, Lengefeld, Germany.
Other versions: Probably not. Always seen exactly the same. The switches of these ones were once replaced by Italian switches made by VLM Components; model 475.
These desk lamps were made in Germany by VEB Leuchtenbau from Lengefeld. On the socket is a label with written on it: je fassg. 60 W = je fassung 60 Watt, German for: Each socket 60 Watt. Together with the logo of the company.
The VEB Leuchtenbau company was founded in 1900 as Wittig und Schwabe Metalldruckwarenfabriken (Metal Printing Factories), Lengefeld. Right after World War II in 1946, the name changed into VEB Leuchtenbau. In 1963 they manufactured some 1.5 million lamps, of which 80% were exported. In 1965 they produced 120 different models of lights.
One of the most famous lights produced by VEB Leuchtenbau is the Kontrast floor lamp, designed by Lutz Rudolf in 1961. The manufacturer himself doubted the success of “this thing” and planned only a small number of pieces.
However, the production was carried through until 1975, in which 11,000 pieces were produced. The GDR citizens at that time were fortunate that the product landed mainly on the domestic East German market, which was not the case with all the design objects. Despite colorfully designed variants, the majority of customers opted for the original, simple-white design of the lampshades of this floor lamp.
Other designers that worked for VEB Leuchtenbau are: Peter Beyer, Klaus Neubert, Theo Schröder, Christian Wagner…
VEB: Volks Eigener Betrieb – Publicly-owned business. VEB was the main legal form of industrial enterprise in East Germany.