Pearlshade Pendant Lamp
Materials: 2 Black painted round metal rings, metal wire frame. Some early (white) folded plastic probably celluloid (Rhodoid). Bakelite socket.
Cord Length: 60 cm / 23.62”
Height: 25 cm / 9.84”
Width: ∅ 33 cm / 12.99”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 60 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, but a white/opaque or frosted one is preferred.
Period: 1960s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: Made after a design by Lars Eiler Schiøler (1913-1982).
Manufacturer: To be appraised.
Other versions: At least also made in orange with white rims.
Although it looks very similar to the Pearlshade lamps of the Danish Hoyrup, it is not. Not only they never produced a complete round one, the two rings are completely different. The top part was always slightly larger and rounder than the bottom part. In the beginning these lamps were also produced with a wire-frame. Later a clear plastic tube was used. It was glued together with the top and bottom ring. The fragile plastic was produced by the German company Dynamit Nobel from Troisdorf.
The Hoyrup company was founded in Christianshavn, Copenhagen, Denmark by Preben Johan Høyrup in the late 1940s. In 1968 Lars Eiler Schiøler became minority shareholder. Lars Schiøler designed almost the complete collection from the 1950s until the 1970s for the company.
Hoyrup created a wide range of stylish modern Danish lights, that were easily-assembled and therefore easy to ship around the world to more than 40 countries. In 1978 the company was split and sold, it became HoyrupLight. It ended business in the mid 1980s. The famous lamps are copied by many companies.
Other designers that worked for Hoyrup: Carsten Erik Schiøler, Uffe Gustav Schiøler.
These pendant lamps are often attributed to the Rispal company from Paris, France. Also Rispal produced similar lamps. They are mostly used to restore the famous “mante-religieuse” praying mantis floor lamp designed and made by Georges Rispal in 1950 and in production since 1952. These shades are very often damaged or lost. As you can see on the left these lamps were produced with several different lampshades.
Georges Léon Rispal (1901 – ?) was a French lamp designer. He is famous for his original creations and biomorphic forms. He founded his company Rispal in 1924. It was located in 172, Rue de Charonne, Paris, France.
Both designer and producer, Georges Léon Rispal is a designer out of category. His creations have entered the history of international design, including its “mante-religieuse” praying mantis floor lamp today considered one of the finest creations of French luminaries from the 1950s.
The original name of the praying mantis lamp is a number: 14. The name was made up by a dealer because of the resemblance with the locust.
Many other companies produced this folded design from around 1955. It was 3 years after the first praying mantis lamp was sold. First editions of lamp number 14 have a “classic” lampshade.
In 2014 the business was reactivated and some of the famous designs are are back in production. The company is located in 69, Passage de Choiseul, 75002 Paris. The president is Douglas Mont. He is a designer and sculptor and designed biomorphic light and lighting furniture, as you can see on his website.
The “manchette” or “cuff” plastic is stretchable thanks to the folds, and therefore fits perfectly on the frame. Almost the same kind of plastic has been used for years to decorate flower pots and it is still available today.
The precursor of this cuff plastic was made of the very flammable celluloid or cellulose acetate (Rhodoïd). It was often used for lamps in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Rhodoïd is a French and English trade name. Other names used for cellulose acetate: Tenite, Zyl, Zylonite, Cellon. Acrylic (1930s) and PVC (1920s) were discovered before World War II, but was only widely used since the late 1950s.
Links (external links open in a new window)
History of the Hoyrup company in their website
Similar pendant lamp in the 1960s catalogue on the Hoyrup website
Similar pendant lamp in the 1970s catalogue on the Hoyrup website
Dynamit Nobel website
Douglas Mont website
Praying Mantis on Wikipedia
Rhodoïd on Wikipedia
Celluloid on Wikipedia
Passage Choiseul on Wikipedia
Les Puces du Design website
Lamps in this style on Vintageinfo
Many thanks to Uffe Schiøler for the enlightening information.