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Gino Sarfatti Model 540 Style Table Lamp

Materials: Folded clear acrylic base. Chromed metal (iron) perforated slits eyeball globe. Embossed aluminium reflector inside. Some plastic parts. Bakelite E14 socket.

Height: 22 cm / 8.66”

Width: 12 x 10,5 cm / 4.72 x 4.13”

Electricity: 1 bulb E14, 1 x 40 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used. But a silver tipped light bulb gives the most beautiful result with this table lamp.

Period: 1970s, 1980s – Mid-Century Modern.

Designer: To be appraised. After a design by Gino Sarfatti.

Manufacturer: Insta GmbH, Hohe Steinert 10, 58509 Lüdenscheid, Germany.

Other versions: This Gino Sarfatti model 540 style table lamp exists in several sizes and colours. It was also produced as a big floor lamp. Also chandeliers were made. Many different variations in the design. Today’s copies are all made in China. Sometimes the acrylic is made to thin; the globe falls down after a while. Beware when you buy one!

This table lamp was produced in the 1970s -1980s, to see on the wiring.

The design of this lamp is based on lamp model 540 designed by Gino Sarfatti in 1968. It has many similarities, even the size. But it’s different. Below are pictures from the book Gino Sarfatti – Selected Works 1938-1973. As you can see the holes in the lampshade are not around the globe such as with this one. They are on top and go from front to back. The holes are round.


A touch version (switch by touch) was also produced by Insta GmbH for a long time. Exactly the same table lamp. The company was founded in 1970 by Berker, Gira + Jung. The name of the lamp is Sensorette. Several versions were produced.

Gino Sarfatti – Arteluce

Gino Sarfatti was born in Venice, Italy, 16th September 1912 and studied aero naval engineering at the University of Genoa. He founded his company Arteluce in February 1939 and sold it to FLOS in late 1973. Sarfatti retired and decided to live in his house in Griante on Lake Como.

Gino Sarfatti designed nearly 700 lamps for his company and was awarded numerous times for his designs, including the ‘Compasso d’Oro‘ in 1954. His first designs were created before he found his firm, between 1937 and 1939. Sarfatti passed away, 6 March 1985 in Gravedona, Como, Italy.

Today FLOS still produces his famous chandelier model 2097 from 1957 with 18, 30 and 50 light bulbs.

Designers that worked for Arteluce are, among others: Franco Albini, Cini Boeri, Franca Helg, Antonio Macchi Cassia, Carlo Mollino, Vittorio Gregotti, Lodovico Meneghetti, Giotto Stoppino, Ico Parisi, and Massimo Vignelli.

Acrylic: often named by its commercial name: Perspex, Plexiglas, Crylux, Acrylite, Lucite, is a thermoplastic.

Video: Expo about Gino Sarfatti at the Milan Triennale in 2012 – 250 lights