Vintage Info – All About Vintage Lighting

Fernando Cassetta Penguin Table Lamp

Materials: White opal glass with a black decoration. Black plastic feet. yellow plastic head. White and black plastic eyes. Bakelite socket.

Height: 20 cm / 7.87”

Base: 12 x 7  cm / 4.72 x 2.75”

Electricity: 1 bulb E14, 1 x 40 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, but a small bulb is preferred.

Period: 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.

Designer: Fernando Cassetta.

Manufacturer: Tacman Manara, Pastrengo, Verona, Italy.

Other versions: This penguin lamp was made in several colours.

Fernando Cassetta

Fernando Cassetta was born in 1946. He studied at the international business school in Rome. During his career Cassetta has held various positions, both in the industrial field and in communication, particularly in Africa

Passionate about design, he decided in May 1970, to create a pet for his dog. This is how the famous Rufus dog lamp was born. He quickly turned to a collection by creating variations with 5 other animals; a basset dog, a mouse, a toucan, a penguin and a bear.

In Empoli, famous for their glass production, he went to a factory where they made 1220 pieces of opal glass body parts. In Pastrengo near Verona he met the Manara brothers of Tacman Manara, who produced plastic heels and soles for the Bussolengo footwear manufacturers, also from Verona.

The Manara brothers wanted to expand their activities and this was their chance. They suggested to create, promote and market these lamps, and with success.

In 2017, Fernando Cassetta decided to bring out a limited series of only 50 pieces of the Rufus dog lamp. Printed in 3D by Camtecs Engenering, and distributed by Nedgis. Also the French company ADDDITIVE reissues the Rufus dog lamp and all the others.

VLM Components

All the electric parts were made by VLM Components. The company was founded in 1945 in Buccinasco, a small village near Milan, Italy. The company became famous for the switches they produce since 1968, designed by Achille Castiglioni.
VLM is part of the Relco Group, founded in 1967. Today they are the owners of the brands RelcoLeuciRelco LightingVLM and Segno. Some of these table lamps are equipped with the Achille Castiglioni VLM switch model 450.

Thirza the toucan

rnando Cassetta Thirza the toucan table lamp 1970 Tacman Manara Italy Empoli opal glass vintage MCM

Honi the mouse

rnando Cassetta Honi the mouse table lamp 1970 Tacman Manara Italy Empoli opal glass vintage MCM

Rufus the dog

rnando Cassetta Rufus the dog table lamp 1970 Tacman Manara Italy Empoli opal glass vintage MCM

Abir the bear

rnando Cassetta Abir the bear table lamp 1970 Tacman Manara Italy Empoli opal glass vintage MCM

Zohra the basset

rnando Cassetta Zohra the basset/dog table lamp 1970 Tacman Manara Italy Empoli opal glass vintage MCM

Simcha the penguin

rnando Cassetta Simcha the penguin table lamp 1970 Tacman Manara Italy Empoli opal glass vintage MCM