Massive 1960s Desk Lamp
Materials: Round & rounded mint green, blue-green iron base. Brass gooseneck. Mint green, blue-green painted round aluminium mushroom style lampshade. Some brass and iron parts. White Bakelite E27 socket.
Height: 31 cm / 12.20” – adjustable
Lampshade: ∅ 30 cm / 11.81”
Base: ∅ 15 cm / 5.90”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 60 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: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: Massive, Mortsel, Kontich and Wommelgem, Belgium.
Other versions: This Massive 1960s desk lamp exists in several colours.
Often said that this is a lamp made by Philips and designed by Louis Kalff, but it is not. It has many similarities, but that was the intention. The Massive lighting company is notorious for the copies of lamps that they produced.
Massive 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.
Massive sold many lamps made by others. Peill + Putzler from Germany and Yamada Shomei from Japan produced lamps for Massive, to name a few. Many other lighting companies did.
All the electric parts were produced by VLM Components in the 60s. 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 Components is part of the Relco Group, founded in 1967. Today they are the owners of the brands Relco, Leuci, Relco Lighting, VLM and Segno.
Lamps in the movies
A Massive 1960s desk lamp was used as a prop in the 2018 romantic comedy film Juliet, Naked. Starring Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke and Chris O’Dowd.