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1970s Pen Tray Desk Lamp

Materials: Brown plastic pen tray. Chromed rod. Cream/beige painted lampshade. Porcelain socket.

Total Height: 43 cm / 31.49”

Height Pen Tray: 13,8 cm / 10.43”

Width Pen Tray: 14,5 cm / 4.72”

Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 75 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred.

Period: 1970s, 1980s – Mid-Century Modern.

Designer: To be appraised.

Manufacturer: Massive, Mortsel, Kontich and Wommelgem, Belgium. 

Other versions: This 1970s pen tray desk lamp exists in several colours. The lampshade was also used for desk lamps and floor lamps.

In The Netherlands these desk lamps were also sold by Vrieland Design, a company active in the 1970s and 1980s. In Spain it was Fase who sold floor lamps and desk lamps with this lampshade. And in Germany the Graewe company sold them. 

The pen tray exists in many colours and a few variations and was also sold without a lamp. 


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 MassiveTRIO 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.

For this setup pens were used made by Parker from the 1950s and 1960s and a mechanical pencil made by Caran d’Ache from the 1970s, more info on their websites.

VLM Components

The electric parts (plug, switch, wire, socket) are Italian and made by VLM Components from Buccanisco, near Milan. The company is famous for the switches they produced designed by Achille Castiglioni.