1970s East German Desk Lamps
Materials: Black and orange painted iron conical base. Chromed brass gooseneck. Black and orange conical lampshades. Bakelite and porcelain sockets.
Height: 29 cm / 11.41” – adjustable
Lampshade: ∅ 10,5 cm / 4.13”
Base: ∅ 10,7 cm / 4.21”
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, but a small one gives the best result.
Period: 1960s, 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: VEB Leuchtenbau, Lengefeld, Germany.
Other versions: Made in several colours, at least in orange and black.
On the socket is written: je fassg. 60 W = je fassung 60 Watt, German for: Each socket 60 Watt. On the bottom is a date stamp. On the orange lamp it says 28 07 70 and on the black one 17 08 70. In all probability, these lights were all ready in production in the 1960s.
Two other stamps on the bottom, one presumably the model number: 12800-01-32 on the orange lamp and 12800-001-30 on the black lamp. The third stamp is hard to read, but the same one on both lights and is probably the last check stamp; to say that it all works as it should be.
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 lamps 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…