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Diabolo Desk Lamp

Materials: Vanilla/cream painted aluminium “diabolo” lampshade, white painted on the inside. Curved brass rod and brass knee-joint. Black painted aluminium base, brass socket. Some iron and brass parts.

Height: 29 cm / 11.41”

Lampshade: ∅ 12,5 cm / 4.92”

Base: ∅ 14,5 cm / 5.70”

Electricity: 1 bulb B22, 1 x 75 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred.

Period: 1950s, 1960s –  Mid-Century Modern.

Designer: To be appraised.

Manufacturer: To be appraised.

Other versions: The lampshade of this diabolo desk lamp was made in several colours. The base is always black. The lampshade was used for several other lamps.

On the switch of this table lamp is the logo APR visible and written below “Made in France”. APR is the company that made the switch. It does not exists anymore.

This lamp got everything to be a French lamp. The diabolo lampshade, the B22 socket (bajonet) and the switch. Similar lamps are always presented as French table lamps and for sale in France. This one is also acquired in France some years ago. The French have named these lamps “cocotte table lamps” (casserole).

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The diabolo lampshades were very popular in the 1950s. You can find several examples here on Vintageinfo.


The diabolo, some yo-yo, has it’s origin in China. It’s a double-coned bobbin that can be twirled, tossed, and caught on a string secured by two sticks, one held in each hand. The first diabolo’s were made of bamboo and they made some whistling sound.

In the eighteenth century, the diabolo became known in England and France. The term “diabolo” was made up by French engineer Gustave Phillippart, who developed the modern diabolo in the early twentieth century and he was re-released. Since then, he has been widespread.

Diabolo desk lamp round aluminium base curved brass gooseneck cream diabolo lampshade 1950s 1960s MCM

Diabolo desk lamp round aluminium base curved brass gooseneck orange diabolo lampshade 1950s 1960s MCM