1960s Witch Hat Desk Lamp
Materials: Red painted base with a black plastic bottom and a built-in switch. Red painted perforated metal (iron) lampshade, painted white inside. Chromed iron goose-neck. Bakelite E27 socket.
Height: 35 cm / 13.77” – adjustable
Lampshade: ∅ 17 cm / 6.69”
Base: ∅ 12 cm / 4.72”
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: 1960s, 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: Massive, Mortsel, Kontich and Wommelgem, Belgium.
Other versions: This 1960s witch hat desk lamp was produced in several colours.
In the black plastic bottom is moulded “made in Italy” and “Florence”, written up side down.
The most well known light company from Florence is Targetti Sankey. Some other producers are/were: Masca, Febo Light, Banci, Palma, Patrizia Garganti, AEC Illuminazione and many others.
In Europe these lamps were sold by Massive from Belgium, in the United Kingdom by BHS.
Prova was a house label for British Home Stores (BHS). Not only lamps exist with this label, also clothing. There is no label present on this one.
In all probability these lamps were produced by an anonymous Italian mass producing company, maybe owned by Massive from Belgium. The company was located in Florence, Italy. Sometimes you find them labelled with “Made in Florence, Italy” or “Made in Italy“. They are also often labelled with a Massive label.
British Home Stores was a British department store chain, primarily selling clothing and household items. The company was founded in 1928. The company went bankrupt in 2016. The Qatari Al Mana Group purchased BHS and formed a new business, BHS International (UK) Limited, based in London. It launched a new website: bhs.com.
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 commercialized 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.
Massive sold many lamps made by others. Peill + Putzler from Germany and Yamada Shomei from Japan produced lamps for Massive, to name a few. Many other lighting companies did.
The electric parts of this desk lamp are made by the Italian VLM Components company in the 1960s. VLM Components is located in Buccinasco, near Milan. The company is famous for the switches they produced that are designed by Achille Castigilioni in 1968.