Celluloid Floor Lamp
Materials: Black painted metal base with aluminium decoration, chromed rods, black and white Bakelite sockets, celluloid lampshades (Rhodoid).
Height (lamp 1): 122 cm / 48.03”
Height (lamp 2): 147 cm / 57.87”
Lampshade (lamp 1): ∅ 28,5 cm / 11.22”
Lampshade (lamp 2): ∅ 30,5 cm / 12”
Base: 26 x 30 cm / 10.23” x 11.81”
Electricity: 2 bulbs E27, 2 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: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: To be determined.
The only clue that this beautiful lamp gives is that it got 2 old sockets produced by the VLM Components company from Buccinasco, Italy in the 1950s and early 1960s. The floor switch and plug were replaced during time, unfortunately. Most likely, the original parts were also made by VLM.
VLM Components was founded in 1945 in Buccinasco, a small village near Milan, Italy, today part of the Relco group.
In 1968 VLM Components started with the production of the famous VLM-switches designed by Achille Castiglioni.
The lampshades are made of iron wire, paper and celluloid wrapped around them. Exactly the same material as the stretchable folded celluloid flower pot decoration that is for sale since the 1930s and it is still available today. The “manchette” or “cuff” plastic is stretchable thanks to the folds, and therefore fits perfectly.
Lamps with these type of lampshades are often attributed to the famous French designer Georges Léon Rispal. Rispal is famous for his original creations and biomorphic forms. For some lampshades he used similar materials.
The precursor of this cuff plastic was made of the very flammable celluloid or cellulose acetate (Rhodoïd). It was often used for lamps in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Rhodoïd is a French and English trade name. Other names used for cellulose acetate: Tenite, Zyl, Zylonite, Cellon. Acrylic (1930s) and PVC (1920s) were discovered before World War II, but was only widely used since the late 1950s.
Links (external links open in a new window)
VLM switches on the Relco website
Celluloid on Wikipedia
Cellulose acetate on Wikipedia
Rhodoïd on Wikipedia
Manchettes flower pot – Google images
Clayrton’s – a producer of flower pot covers
Celluloid – Wikipedia
Other lamps with this type of folded lampshades on Vintageinfo
VLM switches on Vintageinfo
Other lamps in the folded/pleated cuff style on Vintageinfo: