Gaetano Sciolari Chrome Tubes Flush Mount
Materials: Safety match, Mikado style light in chromed metal (brass and iron). 6 chrome tubes & rods. Some metal parts. 12 Bakelite E14 sockets.
Height: 33 cm / 12.99”
Width: ∅ 60 cm / 23.62”
Electricity: 12 bulbs E14, 12 x 40 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, but preferably a frosted tubular lamp as you can see in this setup. The originals are hard to find these days. Radium and Paulmann where two of those companies who produced these light bulbs.
Period: 1970s, 1980s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: Gaetano Sciolari (1927-1994).
Manufacturer: S.A. Boulanger, Anderlecht, Belgium.
Other versions: This Gaetano Sciolari chrome tubes flush mount was also made with 6 bulbs. Made in brass and several variations.
Angelo Gaetano Sciolari
Angelo Sciolari graduated with a degree in architecture but wanted to be a filmmaker. This course came to an abrupt end when in 1949 his father suddenly died and he took over the Sciolari Lighting company at the age of 22.
His first designs in the 1950s were Sputnik inspired pendants; of course it was the space age.
In the 1960s he created refined, futuristic and sharp classical style chandeliers. Lines were clean and sculptural and materials such as crystal and ice glass sparkled with a voluptuously luxurious coolness and he started combining brass with chrome.
He led the family business with a passionate vision and within years, he expanded the business and started working with other light companies worldwide.
Gaetano Sciolari created lamps for Stilnovo and Stilkronen (Italy), Lightolier and Progress Lighting (USA), S.A. Boulanger (Belgium), Helestra and Leola (West Germany), Lyfa (Denmark) and some other companies and of course for his own Italian family business; the Sciolari company in Rome and Milan; were all the lighting business at that time was present.
Sciolari was the founder and the first president of the trade association of Italian manufacturers of lighting fixtures, the AIDI. The Associazione Italiana di Illuminazione was founded in 1958 and still exists today.
S.A. Boulanger was founded in Anderlecht, Belgium in 1945. The company is famous for the large amount of lights it produced that were designed by Gaetano Sciolari. At some point in the 1980s the company changed their name in Les Ateliers Boulanger NV.
It has long been thought that they were two different companies, but that is because a trader from Liège, Belgium persisted that the lamps came from Herstal, near Liège.
In 1996 the company had 11 employees. The firm moved in 1998 to the Martelarenlaan 155 in 3010 Kessel-Lo, near Leuven. In the period 1995 – 2001 Jean-Philippe Spalart was the CEO. He did a feasibility study for the transfer of the company to China, Eastern Europe and Africa. Relocation of the manufacture in Zimbabwe.
Boulanger was specialised in metal processing and manufacturers high-end lamps and lighting fixtures. Les Ateliers Boulanger ended business in 2006.
Massive & Boulanger
Massive sold several Boulanger models over the years. The only difference is the typical Massive canopy/ceiling cap and some other parts.
Old text from the 1990s
“Boulanger sells mainly in the high-end lighting markets in Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. The growing sales in the US and in South Africa are of growing importance to the company. Due to the highly competitive market, having product with a high added value is very important. The intelligent lamp is an important advantage, compared to our competitors, and will increase our market share in an important way.
The most important local competitors are Massive, a Belgian company, market leader in Europe (turnover of 100 MEUR), Deknudt at Deerlijk (turnover 2.5 MEUR) and some 10 other Belgian competitors of its own size. There is important competition from southern European and Asian competitors. The market share of Boulanger is only a few percent of the share of the Belgian companies. It is a small company with a turnover of about 300 k EURO.”
“Most Boulanger lamps are low voltage and halogen lamps (220V up to 300W or 12V up to 50W).
The products are sold to retail shops. In Belgium, about 300 retail shops sell its products. There are around 40 retail shops abroad: Luxembourg, Germany, France and South Africa.”
All the electric parts were made by VLM Components in the 1960s. 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 Relco, Leuci, Relco Lighting, VLM Components and Segno.