1970s Fase Spiral Table Lamp
Materials: Chromed metal (iron) spring. White opal oval glass globe. Bakelite socket.
Height: 60 cm / 11.81”
Width: ∅ 30 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: 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: After a design by Ingo Maurer.
Manufacturer: Fase, Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain.
Many companies produced spiral lamps. The first one and at least one of the most famous lamps is the lamp designed by Ingo Maurer and produced by his company M-Design. Often said that it is a lamp from the 1970s, but it was designed and produced for the first time in the late 1960s. His spiral lamp is copied many times, also many variations were made, beware!
This Fase spring lamp is one of the best made copies, it is almost similar; it has the same dimensions and the chrome mount for the globe is the same. Other spring table lamps have a clumsy/plum mount and often a round opal globe.
The Fase spiral table lamp appears for the first time in the 1974-1975 catalogue, as you can see below.
In 1971 Heinz Brenker (pseudonym used by Studio Tecnico Interno Harvey Guzzini from 1958 until 1974) designed a spiral table lamp named Jo-Jo for Harvey Guzzini. It was in production from 1972 until 1974.
Angelo Mangiarotti designed several spiral spring lamps for the Italian Candle in the 1970s. Candle is part of Fontana Arte.
Other producers that made this type of lamps in the 1970s are, amongst others:
Elco Lite, Woja, Luciano Frigerio, Sciolari Illuminazione, Lumi, Targetti, Laurel, Sonneman, Bonomi Form, Inter Néo, Massive, AV Mazzega and so on.
Of course also Massive from Belgium produced a spiral table lamp, you can find it over here on Vintageinfo.
The Fase company was founded by self-made man Pedro Martin and designer Luis Pérez de la Oliva in 1964, some sources say 1966. The Boomerang lamp was one of their first designs. Initially they sold their self-produced lamps to the markets in and around the capital Madrid before successfully opening a factory in Torrejón de Ardoz on the outskirts of the city.
They produced mainly lamps, but also ashtrays and other products such as office bins and coat racks.
Fase supplied many lamps to the offices of General Franco‘s dictatorial government and the Guardia Civil, some sort of military police. From 1975 on, after the death of Franco and the end of the regime, Fase started with Italian Modern and Bauhaus-inspired designs. The Spaniards were unfamiliar with this design because of the Franco regime that ruled the country with an iron fist and allowed few foreign influences.
During the 70s Fase exported lamps to Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Great Britain, Norway, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Hong Kong, Morocco, the United States and Canada. In total in more than 32 countries.
In the 1980s Fase jumped on the bandwagon of the halogen lighting. The break with tradition proved unsuccessful and ultimately contributed to the end of the business. A large fine of the Treasury in the early nineties for tax irregularities was the end for Fase. The company was officially dissolved in 1996.
Drowned, the company sold its manufacturing license to a German brand, Ma-Of, which slightly modified the original design by adding more chrome. Before these final death rattles, the partners had already separated. Luis Pérez de la Oliva had created his own brand Lupela, another flagship of Spanish design. GEI (Gabinete Estudios Industriales – Cabinet Industrial Studies) was another company that sold similar lamps. Also Massive from Belgium produced a few lamps in this style.
When the company stopped producing them abruptly, there was a lot of ‘stock’ available in the warehouses. That’s why you find relatively many lamps with a label attached. Many lamps are sold new and never used in the box (NOS – New Old Stock).
Designers that worked for the company are amongst others: Gabriel Teixidó. He designed the Iberia and Meca series and Tomás Díaz Magro, responsible for the Apolo, Minifase and Impala lamps. The most productive was Luis Pérez de la Oliva, who designed the majority of the Fase lamps.
Fase also sold lamps made by others such as the Yamada Shomei ‘Manon’ table lamp from Japan. You can find it over here on Vintageinfo. The Prisma table lamp was produced in Italy by F.A.A.I. Arredo. Also the Sinus stacking ashtray made by Helit from Germany. A design by Walter Zeischegg from 1967. You can find it here in the MoMA, New York. The also sold lamps from other companies.
Links (external links open in a new window)
Fase, the book, the mystery solved – website and history
Torrejón de Ardoz – Wikipedia
Francisco Franco – Wikipedia
Guardia Civil – Civil Guard – Wikipedia
Ingo Maurer website
Harvey Guzzini Jo-Jo – Google images
La Piscine (1969) on Wikipedia
Paris N’Existe Pas (1969) on Wikipedia
Massive Belgium spiral table lamp on Vintageinfo
Other Fase lamps on Vintageinfo
Other lamps in the movies on Vintageinfo
The 1970s Fase spiral table lamp in the 1974-1975 catalogue
As you can see, the globe was also used for another table lamp.