Links (external links open in a new window)
HEMA – Our story, our history on the HEMA website
Wikipedia about HEMA
De Bijenkorf – Wikipedia
Memphis style lamps on Vintageinfo
Ettore Sottsass on Wikipedia
The Memphis Group on Wikipedia
New Memphis items for sale
Ettore Sottsass bio on the Artemide website
1980s Memphis Style Floor Lamp
Materials: Black pained aluminium lampshade, not painted inside. Black painted metal and plastic. Red coloured details. Some brass and chrome parts, porcelain G5 socket.
Total Height: 172 cm / 67.71” – adjustable
Lampshade: ∅ 12 cm / 4.72”
Base: ∅ 17 cm / 6.69”
Electricity: 1 bulb G5 halogen, 1 x 50 watt maximum, 12 volt. 220 volt to 12 volt transformer built-in the base. Any type of G5 lamp can be used. Not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1980s – Memphis Milan Style.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: HEMA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Other versions: Probably also made in white.
HEMA is a discount retail chain that started business as a dimestore. H.E.M.A. is an acronym for “Hollandsche Eenheidsprijzen Maatschappij Amsterdam” (Hollandic Standard Prices Company Amsterdam).
The company was founded in 1926 by Leo Meyer and Arthur Isaac. They already owned the luxury department store De Bijenkorf. Products were priced at 10, 25 or 50 cents (guilder).
In the 1950s, it was the first franchise organisation in the Netherlands and it still is the largest franchise operator in the country. In 1984, HEMA opened its first store abroad, in Belgium.
The company is characterized by relatively low pricing of generic housewares, mostly made by and for HEMA, often with original design.
Today (2018) HEMA is active in a big part of Europe: more than 750 stores in nine countries with 19.000 employees. Since 2007 it is a property of an investment fund.
This HEMA floor lamp is made in the famous Memphis style. The Italian Memphis Group was a design and architecture group founded by Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) in 1981 in Milan which designed Postmodern furniture, lights, fabrics, ceramics, glass and metal objects from 1981 to 1987.
The name was taken after the Bob Dylan song “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again“. The song was played constantly during the first meeting of the designers on the 11th December 1980.
The group’s members included Andrea Branzi, Aldo Cibic, Alessandro Mendini,Arata Isozaki, Barbara Radice, Beppe Caturegli, Ettore Sottsass, George Sowden, Gerard Taylor, Giovanni Levanti, Hans Hollein, Javier Mariscal, Laura Agnoletto, Lawrence Laske, Luciano Paccagnella, Marco Susani, Marco Zanini, Marco Zanuso, Maria Sanshez, Martine Bedin, Marzio Rusconi, Massimo Iosa Ghini, Masanori Umeda, Matteo Thun, Michael Graves, Michele de Lucchi, Nathalie du Pasquier, Peter Shire, Shiro Kuramata and Thomas Bley. Ettore Sottsass left the movement in 1985, the Memphis Group disbanded in 1991.
Bob Dylan – Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again