Lamps in the movies
A 1970s Sompex pendant lamp was used as a prop in the 2007 American biographical crime film American Gangster. Starring Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe and Cuba Gooding Jr.
Many thanks to Lluís from Eclectique Vintage for the photos and the enthusiasm.
1970s Sompex Pendant Lamp
Materials: Round lampshade made of clear acrylic slats wound with nylon thread. Chrome canopy, chrome tube on top. Some chrome parts. Chrome ornamental tubes around the Bakelite E27 sockets.
Cord Length: 60 cm / 23.62’’
Height: 38 cm / 14.96”
Width: ∅ 50 cm / 19.68”
Electricity: 3 bulbs E27, 3 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: Paul Secon.
Manufacturer: Sompex GmbH & Co. KG, Werftstraße 20-22, 40549 Düsseldorf, Germany. Before: Sompex Licht und Form, Rolf O. Burghard KG.
Other versions: This 1970s Sompex pendant lamp exists in many variations. All made of acrylic, sometimes coloured or smoked acrylic, together with nylon fishing wire. Made since the sixties, this pendant lamp was made in the seventies, to see on the used electric wiring.
Sompex was founded in 1948 by Rolf O. Burghard as the Soest Import en Export Company in Soest, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. In 1950 they moved to Düsseldorf. Sompex was the exclusive importer of Scandinavian design and expanded rapidly. Since the 1970s Sompex is focused on interior lighting. The company is a family business and it still exists.
Sompex also sold lamps produced by Rotaflex. More info over here.
No information can be found about a (lamp) designer. A Paul Secon exists (July 13, 1916 – February 24, 2007), but it was an American entrepreneur and song-writer who co-founded Pottery Barn with his brother, Morris, in 1950.
But is it really Paul Secon who designed these lamps? Naum Gabo, born Naum Neemia Pevsner, a Russian sculptor created the Plexima. His kinetic sculptures are a study of the movement of available light within a network of translucent webbing. These lamps are all made in this style. The Sompex company never answered several requests.
In a 1972 American Koch + Lowy catalogue is said: Plexima installation, designer: Joan Hilliers & Co. Next to a photo of 8 lamps hanging in cascade in a stairwell.
These lamps were also sold as a kit to make them yourself by some companies, but they look different, as you can see in this America advertisement.
Acrylic: often named by its commercial name: Perspex, Plexiglas, Crylux, Acrylite, Lucite, is a (mostly) transparent thermoplastic.
Links (external links open in a new window)
Naum Gabo works – Wikiart website
Paul Secon and Pottery Barn – Wikipedia
American Gangster (2007) film – Wikipedia
American Gangster (2007) film – IMDb