East German Desk Lamp
Materials: White painted round metal (iron) base with a built-in switch. Iron counterweight inside the base. Chromed iron goose-neck. White painted aluminium lampshade. Some metal and plastic parts. Bakelite E14 socket.
Height: 32 cm / 12.59” – adjustable
Lampshade: ∅ 10,5 cm / 4.13”
Base: ∅ 10,5 cm / 4.13”
Electricity: 1 bulb E14, 1 x 60 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred. However a small round bulb gives the most beautiful result.
Period: 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: Produced in East Germany by Massive from Mortsel, Wommelgem and Kontich, Belgium.
Other versions: This East German desk lamp exists in several colours.
The plug is of this desk lamp is made by Krania. Krania is a former East German plug and socket company from Kranichfeld. The Krania company still exists.
The switch is made by SBR, a screw terminal inside is made by ERU, all East German companies.
This lamp is in a much better quality made than we’re used to from the Massive lighting company. Generally, Massive tried to be as cheap as possible. Workforce and materials were inexpensive at that time in East Germany.
Massive already produced similar lamps, but they were made in Italy. You can find one over here.
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.
In the 1980s Massive became the leading brand in Europe. In 2002, the brothers sold the company 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 Massive, TRIO and Lirio. The group had about 5.000 employees worldwide and was active in 70 countries.
Massive sold many lamps made by others. Peill + Putzler from Germany and Yamada Shomei from Japan produced lamps for Massive, to name a few. Many other lighting companies did.