Links (external links open in a new window)
The Memphis Group on Wikipedia
Ettore Sottsass bio on the Artemide website
Massive – Wikipedia (in Dutch)
The complete history of the Philips company
1980s Pyramid Globe Table Lamp
Materials: White glazed ceramics or porcelain base. White painted glass globe, painted on the inside. Some metal and plastic parts. Bakelite E14 socket.
Height: 33 cm / 12.99”
Width: 18 cm / 7.08”
Electricity: 1 bulb E14, 1 x 40 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, a white, but an opaque or frosted one is preferred.
Period: 1980s – Memphis style.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: Massive, Mortsel, Kontich and Wommelgem, Belgium.
Other versions: This 1980s pyramid globe table lamp exists in several colours and was also produced in a round version, as you can see below. For some, probably cheaper, reason the globe was painted white on the inside. It is not an opal glass globe. Something you can see more at Massive lamps.
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 commercialised more than 10.000 lighting products under brand names such as Massive, TRIO 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.
This 1980s pyramid globe table 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. The Memphis Group members designed Postmodern furniture, lights, fabrics, ceramics, glass and metal objects from 1981 to 1987.
The Memphis name was taken from 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.