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Cast Iron Circle Desk Lamp

Materials: Round cast iron ring base. Silver-painted thin rod and parts. Chrome parts and ornamental screws. Adjustable black conical aluminium lampshade. Small handle-rod on top. Porcelain socket.

Max Height: 56 cm / 22.04”

Lampshade: ∅ 8,7 cm / 3.42”

Base: ∅ 14 cm / 5.51”

Electricity: 1 bulb GU10, 1 x 50 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb with a GU10 bi-pin lamp base can be used. Not a specific one preferred. 

Period: 2000s.

Designer: To be appraised.

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

Other versions: This cast iron circle desk lamp was made in several colours. This lamp is model 1234/21.

The base of this lamp is a redesign of the base designed by Rico Baltensweiler in the 60s, as you can see below on the left. The chrome pin on top to handle the lampshade appears for the first time in a design by Gino Sarfatti in 1951 for the model 538 desk lamp.

This desk lamp is made in the 2000s and not in the 1990s as often said to make it more “vintage”. The GU10 lamp socket was invented somewhere in the mid 2000s.

Also Habitat used a similar base for the Tangola desk lamp from the 2000s, as you can see below on the right.


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.

Massive became the leading brand in Europe in the 1980s. In 2000, 2500 people worked for the company. The brothers left the company in 2002 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 MassiveTRIO and Lirio. The group had about 5.000 employees worldwide and was active in 70 countries.

Rico Baltensweiler

Together with Rosmarie Schwarz (born 1927), Rico Baltensweiler (1920-1987) founded the company Baltensweiler in 1951 in Lucerne, SwitzerlandRico worked as an electrical engineer at the Swiss Federal Railways (Schweizerischen Bundesbahnen) in Lucerne. Rosmarie worked as an interior designer and assistant to Max Bill in Zurich.

In 1959 they designed a series of desk lamps with a cast iron counterweight for Knoll International. The two desk lamps below were designed in the 1960s. They exist in different varieties.


Rico Baltensweiler cast iron circle desk lamp 1960s 1970 Swisterland Rosmarie Schwarz MCM

Habitat Tangola Desk Lamp - 2000s, United Kingdom