VEB Mid-Century Modern Desk Lamp
Materials: Round brass coloured chromed base with a super big red painted switch in the middle. Cast iron counterweight inside. Red painted aluminium mushroom style lampshade, brass cover on top. Some metal parts. Bakelite socket.
Height: 37 cm / 14.56”
Width: ∅ 36.5 cm /14.37”
Base: 19 cm / 7.48”
Switch Button: 11,7 cm / 4.60”
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: 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: VEB NARVA Leuchtenbau, Lengefeld, Germany – attributed.
Other versions: This VEB Mid-Century modern desk lamp was made in several colours.
There were many lighting companies in the former East Germany. It is always difficult to say who produced the lamps. Not much information to be found. Some say this lamp was produced by VEB Leuchtenbau Leipzig.
This desk lamp has many similarities with desk lamps produced by Helo Leuchten and Hillebrand-Leuchten, both German companies. It is the combination/fusion of both. The brass and painted design of Helo Leuchten and the big switch in the middle of the base by many lamps produced by Hillebrand-Leuchten. No label present.
The electric parts were made by a company named ERK, no information to be found, except for the fact that someone in Germany sold a few switches on Ebay produced by the firm. In all probability it is an East German desk lamp. Also because of the metal connector in between the socket and the lampshade. It is exactly the same as a well known lamp made by the VEB Leuchtenbau NARVA company. You can find it over here on Vintageinfo.
The VEB Leuchtenbau company was founded in 1900 as Wittig und Schwabe Metalldruckwarenfabriken (Metal Printing Factories), Lengefeld. Right after World War II in 1946, the name changed into VEB Leuchtenbau, as every light company in the GDR did. In 1963 they manufactured some 1.5 million lamps, of which 80% were exported. In 1965 they produced 120 different models of lights.
One of the most famous lamps produced by VEB Leuchtenbau is the Kontrast floor lamp, designed by Lutz Rudolf in 1961. The manufacturer himself doubted the success of “this thing” and planned only a small number of pieces.
However, the production was carried through until 1975, in which 11,000 pieces were produced. The GDR citizens at that time were fortunate that the product landed mainly on the domestic East German market, which was not the case with all the design objects. Despite colorfully designed variants, the majority of customers opted for the original, simple-white design of the lampshades of this floor lamp.
Designers that worked for the VEB Leuchtenbau companies were, among others: Peter Beyer, Udo Domröse, Klaus Neubert, Andreas Kuhnhardt, Theo Schröder, Hans-Jürgen Weiß, Christian Wagner…