Henri Mathieu Spiral Kinetics Style Pendant Lamp
Materials: Curved aluminium slats lampshade, painted dark orange inside. Chrome rod. Some metal and plastic parts. Black plastic canopy. Bakelite E27 socket.
Cord Length: 45 cm / 17.71”
Height: 25 cm / 9.84”
Width: ∅ 40 cm / 15.74”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 100 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: Made after a design by Henri Mathieu.
Manufacturer: Massive, Mortsel, Kontich and Wommelgem, Belgium.
Other versions: This Henri Mathieu Spiral Kinetics style pendant lamp exists in several variations.
This pendant lamp has many similarities with the lamps designed by Henri Mathieu, but it is not. The lamps he designed never were orange on the inside, only white, as confirmed by his company. The Henri Mathieu lamps never have plastic parts on top or on the bottom. Many companies produced similar lamps.
The Massive lighting company was in origin a bronze foundry and they produced mainly candlesticks, crucifixes and chandeliers in Wilrijk near Antwerp, Belgium. The company was founded in 1926 by Pieter-Jozef De Jaeck. His son Eddy De Jaeck was responsible for the huge expansion of the company in the 1970s. But it were his sons, Piet and Jan De Jaeck who made Massive a true multinational. Thus, they moved production to Eastern Europe and China.
In the 1980s Massive became the leading brand in Europe. In 2002, the brothers left the company to the investment fund CVC Capital Partners, for allegedly more than 250 million euros.
Since 2008 the company is owned by Philips and the name of the shops is changed into Light Gallery.
When the takeover by Philips was announced in November 2006 Massive commercialised more than 10.000 lighting products under brand names such as Massive, TRIO and Lirio. The group had about 5.000 employees worldwide and was active in 70 countries.
Henri Mathieu founded his company Mathieu Lustrerie in 1962. He designed a line of lights whose poetic source is a galvanised steel chimney cap, as you can see on the left. He was probably inspired by the Moon lamps, designed by Verner Panton in 1960. The company still exists and is now led by his son Regis.
Since 2010 the factory is also a museum: Musee des Ateliers Mathieu Lustrerie of 1000 m² (10764 ft²) with more than 200 lamps. It is only open on weekdays. It is some 60 km (37 mi) from Avignon, not so far from the Côtes d’Azur, the French Riviera.
Both Mathieu Lustrerie and Verpan, the Verner Panton company still produce these lamps.
The “Spirales cinétiques” lamps (spiral kinetics) by Henri Mathieu are available in several versions, all in aluminium. In 2018 the Moon pendant lamp was available in 5 versions. The biggest lamp is 150 cm / 59” wide.
Olaf Von Bohr designed the Medusa table or floor lamp for Valenti, Italy.
In 2002 Nico Heilmann made his version of the Henri Mathieu lamps for the German company Tecnolumen, also in plastic. It is named La Perle, French for the pearl.
Louis Weisdorf designed similar lamps in the late 1960s for the Lyfa company from Denmark. His Konkylie lamp model P483 is probably the most well known.
The Lakro company from The Netherlands produced many lamps in the Henri Mathieu style. Most of the time they are sold as Henri Mathieu lamps.