Artiforte Magneto Floor Lamp
Materials: Black painted iron tripod. Chromed iron rod and ball with a strong magnet inside. Black painted iron counterweight. Black painted aluminium lampshade, white painted inside. Bakelite socket.
Height (max): 168 cm – 66.14” – adjustable
Lampshade: ∅ 23 cm / 9.05”
Height base: 66,5 cm / 26.18”
Width base: ∅ 52 cm / 20.47”
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: 1950s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: Made after the design by Gilbert Allen ‘Gil’ Watrous in 1950.
Manufacturer: Artiforte, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Other versions: The lampshade was made in several colours. Other magnetic floor lamps were also produced by Artiforte.
This floor lamp was produced for the first time by the American company Heifetz, when Gilbert Watrous (1918-1991) won the 1951 design competition organised by the MOMA, the Museum Of Modern Art in New York. Heifetz produced this lamp in many variations and also as a table lamp.
Artiforte, not to be confused with Artifort, also a Dutch company that still exists and is best known for the seats it produces designed by the famous French designer Pierre Paulin.
The firm Artiforte was a small company based in Rotterdam and active from the 1950s until the end of the 1960s. Little is known about the company, only the beautiful lamps remain. The company also produced the St46 floor lamp and the Libra floor lamp designed by Kho Liang Ie (1927-1975), a Dutch designer with a Chinese background. He is best known for designing some of the interior of the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
The Magneto floor lamp was produced approximately from the mid 1950s until 1960. The round chromed metal ball contains a strong magnet and is almost glued on the tripod when placed on top of it. It smoothly turns in every direction due to the lampshade and the counterweight which are in perfect balance. It can turn in every direction and always stays stable in position.
Often attributed to H. Fillekes, but that’s not true, of course. However, he designed several lamps lamps for Artiforte, as published in several catalogues. He also was the owner of the company.
Links (external links open in a new window)
Gilbert Allen Watrous floor lamp on the MOMA website
Gilbert Allen Watrous biography on the Modern San Diego website
Table lamp and floor lamp in 1000 Lights: 1878-1959 (Taschen & Google books – Charlotte Fiell, Peter Fiell)
Kho Liang Ie on Wikipedia (only in Dutch)
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on Wikipdia
Google search for the Kho Liang Ie ST46 floor lamp
Google search for the Kho Liang Ie Libra floor lamp
Artiforte lamps on Vintageinfo