Fase Apolo Desk Lamp
Materials: Round white painted flat metal base (iron). Chrome rod and parts. Wood handle: adjustable. White painted aluminium round lampshade with a slot, white painted on the inside. White Bakelite E27 socket. Pull cord switch.
Height: 65 cm / 25.59”
Lampshade: ∅ 22 cm / 8.66”
Base: ∅ 21 cm / 8.26”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 60 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1960s, 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: Fase, Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain.
Other versions: The Fase Apolo desk lamp. exist in a few colours: white, black, orange and maroon. Made in several variations, but these lamps have a different name, as you can see in the catalogue pictures. On this page also the Flash desk lamp and the Sauce desk lamp with a curved rod.
The Fase Apolo desk lamp is reminiscent to the Joe Colombo Coupé lamp designed for Oluce in the 60s. It is almost a copy.
The Fase company was founded by self-made man Pedro Martín García and designer Luis Pérez de la Oliva in 1964, some sources say 1966. The Boomerang lamp was one of their first designs. Initially they sold their self-produced lamps to the markets in and around the capital Madrid before successfully opening a factory in Torrejón de Ardoz on the outskirts of the city.
They produced mainly lamps, but also ashtrays and other products such as office bins and coat racks.
Fase supplied many lamps to the offices of General Franco‘s dictatorial government and the Guardia Civil, some sort of military police. From 1975 on, after the death of Franco and the end of the regime, Fase started with Italian Modern and Bauhaus-inspired designs. The Spaniards were unfamiliar with this design because of the Franco regime that ruled the country with an iron fist and allowed few foreign influences.
During the 70’s Fase exported lamps to Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Great Britain, Norway, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Hong Kong, Morocco, the United States and Canada. In total in more than 32 countries.
In the 1980’s Fase jumped on the bandwagon of the halogen lighting. The break with tradition proved unsuccessful and ultimately contributed to the end of the business. A large fine of the Treasury in the early nineties for tax irregularities was the end for Fase. The company was officially dissolved in 1996.
Drowned, the company sold its manufacturing license to a German brand, Ma-Of, which slightly modified the original design by adding more chrome. Before these final death rattles, the partners had already separated. Luis Pérez de la Oliva had created his own brand Lupela, another flagship of Spanish design. GEI (Gabinete Estudios Industriales – Cabinet Industrial Studies) was another company that sold similar lamps. Also Massive from Belgium produced a few lamps in this style.
When the company stopped producing them abruptly, there was a lot of ‘stock’ available in the warehouses. That’s why you find relatively many lamps with a label attached. Many lamps are sold new and never used in the box (NOS – New Old Stock).
Designers who have worked for the company include: Gabriel Teixidó Sabater. He designed the Iberia and Meca series and Tomás Díaz Magro, responsible for the Apolo, Minifase and Impala lamps. The most productive was Luis Pérez de la Oliva, who designed the majority of the Fase lamps. Other designers are: Iosu Rada Martínez, Carlos Lalastra de la Fuente and José Luis Gugel Sancha.
Fase also sold lamps made by others such as the Yamada Shomei ‘Manon’ table lamp from Japan. You can find it over here on Vintageinfo. The Prisma table lamp was produced in Italy by F.A.A.I. Arredo. Also the Sinus stacking ashtray made by Helit from Germany. A design by Walter Zeischegg from 1967. You can find it here in the MoMA, New York. The also sold lamps from other companies.