Diamond Cutting Early Retirement Table Lamp
Materials: Round base and rod in red painted wood with a chrome disk. Plastic. Chromed metal (iron) decorated cube, Opal glass globe. Bakelite socket.
Height: 40 cm / 15.74”
Width: ∅ 23 cm / 9.05”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 75 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, but preferably a white, opaque or frosted one.
Period: 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: To be determined.
This diamond cutting early retirement table lamp is in all probability one of a kind and a handmade item. Not only the engraved plate says (in Dutch) “ter gelegenheid van uw brugpensioen 11-3-1982 slijperij”, (at the occasion of your early retirement march 11th, 1982, diamond cutting factory) but the original engravings on the “dice” shows (in all probability) stylized diamond cutting machines on it.
It was acquired in Antwerp, Belgium, one of the biggest centers of the diamond business in the world.
“Brugpensioen” or the Belgian early retirement was originally created to absorb the unemployment that had arisen as a result of the oil crisis in 1973. For each “bridge pensioner”, a young person would be put to work. It is a special case of unemployment benefit in Belgium. It is therefore not a pension (based on accrued pension rights), but a special case of unemployment benefit.
The engraving says 1982, but the electric parts that are used are much older. The socket and switch are from the 1950s or early 1960s and were made by VLM Components from Buccinasco, near Milan in Italy. The company is famous for the switches they produce since 1968 that were designed by Achille Castiglioni.
VLM is part of the Relco Group, founded in 1967. Today they are the owners of the brands Relco, Leuci, Relco Lighting, VLM and Segno.