Fase Tharsis Table Lamp
Materials: Round & flat chromed metal base (iron). 2 cut chrome tubes, painted white inside. The tubular part used for the lampshade has elongated slits. Black round knob on top. Chrome curved or straight rod. Bakelite E14 socket.
Height: 40 cm / 15.74”
Tubes: ∅ 6 cm / 2.36”
Base: ∅ 15 cm / 5.90”
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.
Period: 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: Fase, Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain.
Other versions: This Fase Tharsis table lamp or desk lamp is made in many colours and some varieties. It was also produced as a floor lamp, the Fase Tharsis Pie. A chrome tubular wall lamp with the same perforations was also produced. Below a catalogue picture of the Fase Babilonia table lamp. Designed according to the same idea.
The lamp in the pictures with the straight rod is a lamp made by Grin Luz, also from Madrid. It is very similar to the Tharsis and is often confused. The Grin Luz company was founded in 1972. The company no longer produces lighting. Today they are a metal finishing company.
The Fase company was founded by self-made man Pedro Martin 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 70s 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 1980s 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. 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.
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.