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Philips 1950s Scandinavian Table Lamp

Materials: Round brass base bottom. Round wood (teak) “dish” on top. Brass arrow. 2 curved brass rods. 2 white ribbed frosted opal glass tubular lampshades. Metal E14 sockets.

Height: 41,5 cm / 16.33”

Width: 19,5 cm / 7.67”

Electricity: 2 E14 light bulbs, 2 x 60 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used. But preferable a white/opaque one.

Period: 1950s – Mid-Century Modern.

Designer: The Philips design team led by Louis Christiaan Kalff (1897 – 1976).

Manufacturer: Koninklijke Philips N.V., Eindhoven, The Netherlands and Turnhout, Belgium.

Other versions: The glass of this Philips 1950s Scandinavian table lamp was used for many lamps. Wall lights (the Jungfrau wall lamp is one of them), chandeliers, floor lamps and other table lamps such as the Samos table lamp. Rounded and rectangular versions of the glass were made, as you can see in the add of the lamps below.

Designed by the Philips design team or by Louis Kalff himself, put probably not.

Koninklijke Philips N.V.

Inspired by the fast-growing electricity industry and the promising results of Gerard Philips own experiments to make reliable carbon filaments, Frederik Philips (his father) financed the purchase of a modest factory in Eindhoven, The Netherlands in 1891.  Frederik Philips was a Jewish banker based in Zaltbommel.

In 1895, after difficult first four years and near bankruptcy, Anton Philips joined the company. He was Gerard’s younger brother. With Anton’s arrival, the family business began to expand rapidly. The brothers changed their family business by founding the Philips corporation. They laid the foundations for the later electronics multinational.

In 1930 the first shaver of the Philips company was introduced and was simply called “The Philishave”.

A day before the German invasion in the Netherlands on 9 May 1940, the Philips family fled to the United States of America, taking a large amount of the company capital with them.

Operating from the US as the North American Philips Company, they managed to run the company throughout the war. After World War II the company was moved back to the Netherlands, with their headquarters in Eindhoven.


Louis Christiaan Kalff (Amsterdam, November 14th 1897 – Waalre, September 16th, 1976)

Louis Kalff was a pioneering industrial designer in the Netherlands during the first half of the 20th century. With a solid background including studies in sculpture, ceramics, furniture design and architecture, he began to work for the Philips company in 1924, department consumer electronics company marketing.

In 1929 he started a department for design of lighting products (LIBU – Lichtadviesbureau (Dutch for light consultancy). Louis Kalff was responsible for the lighting sections of the World Exhibitions in Barcelona, Antwerp and Paris.

 As freelancer he also designed posters and advertising for the Holland America Line, Calvé, Zeebad Scheveningen, Holland Radio. Louis Kalff also designed book covers.

After World War II Kalff kept himself active in industrial design for Philips. After his retirement in 1960, Louis Kalff stayed with Philips as a consultant and architect. In 1961 he was given the direction and execution of the Evoluon building in Eindhoven. It was the last work of the light architect who almost worked for 40 years at the Philips group.

Video: Heritage of Philips founded in 1891