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Erpé Desk Lamp 52

Materials: Black painted rectangular cast iron base. Black painted iron double slat rod. Black Bakelite lampshade, white painted on the inside. Brass E27 socket with a porcelain ring.

Height: 42 cm / 16.53” – adjustable

Width: 22,2 cm / 8.74”

Width base: 19,7 x 9,7 cm / 7.75 x 3.81”

Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 100 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred.

Period: 1920s, 1950s – Bauhaus, Art Deco.

Designer: To be appraised.

Manufacturer: Etablissements Ritzen & Penners, Lehonplein 13, Brussels, Belgium.

Other versions: This Erpé desk lamp 52 was also made with a green lampshade.


Erpé was the brand name of the company Etablissements Ritzen & Penners. The company was founded in January 1914 by Leon Ritzen and Frans Penners, two entrepreneurs from Brussels. In the 1920s and 1930s Ritzen & Penners manufactured office and work lamps and electrical equipment.

They also distributed the German SABA receivers in the 1920s. Under the brand name Erpé, they marketed broadcast receivers on a modest scale in the 1930s.

The company produced many industrial style desk lamps like this one. This table lamp is model 52. At some point the name Erpé on the lamps was changed into Erpe. In the 50s and 60s they made a whole range of diabolo lamps. The company ended business in the 60s.

The layered type of base of this lamp is one of the first designs for desk lamps. They appeared around 1880 in the USA, when the first Edison light bulb was made. 

A similar base for a comparable desk lamp was also used by the French company Niam from Paris and the German company Robert Pfäffle – Erpees. A very similar name… Several companies produced desk lamps like these for many years.

Erpe is a sub-municipality of Erpe-Mere near the city of Aalst in Belgium but it’s got nothing to do with this brand.

Lamps in the movies

An Erpé desk lamp 52 was used as a prop in the 2009 Belgian-French biographical drama film Sœur Sourire (Sister Smile). Starring Cécile de France, Sandrine Blancke and Jan Decleir.

Erpé desk lamp 52 used as a prop in the film Sœur Sourire (2009)

Erpé Desk Lamp 52 cast iron black painted Bakelite lampshade 1920s 1930 1940s Bauhaus Art Deco

Erpé Desk Lamp 52 cast iron black painted Bakelite lampshade 1920s 1930 1940s Bauhaus Art Deco