Lamps in the movies
Au Service De La France (2015 – 2018) TV Series
A Philips Major desk lamp (or Timor 69) was used as a prop in the 2015 – 2018 French parody spy TV series Au Service De La France (A Very Secret Service). Starring Hugo Becker, Wilfred Benaïche and Christophe Kourotchkine. Many lamps were used, mostly French lamps. Here in episode 1, season 2 and in the opening credits of the whole second season… The series is situated in 1960. This lamp is a time traveller, as several other lamps and items in this series…
De Collega’s Maken De Brug (1988)
Several Philips Major desk lamps (or Timor 69) were used as a prop in the 1988 Belgian (Flemish) comedy film De Collega’s Maken De Brug (A Three-Day Weekend). Starring Bob Van Der Veken, Jaak Van Assche and Tuur De Weert.
Sœur Sourire (2019)
A Philips Major desk lamp (or Timor 69) was used as a prop in the 2009 Belgian-French biographical drama film Sœur Sourire (Sister Smile). Starring Cécile de France, Sandrine Blancke and Jan Decleir. It appears on the reception desk of the Philips office in Brussels, Belgium and in the office of the music director in the same building. Also, a Jules Wabbes wall lamp was used to decorate his office, as you can see. Many other beautiful lamps appear in this movie.
Links (external links open in a new window)
The complete history of the company on the Philips website
The Evoluon building – Wikipedia
Website of the Philips Museum in Eindhoven
Louis Kalff – Wikipedia (only in Dutch)
L’Instinct De Mort – Mesrine (2008) film – Wikipedia
L’instinct De mort (2008) film – IMDb
Zone Blanche (2016) TV series – Wikipedia
Zone Blanche (2016) TV series – IMDb
La Fôret (2017) TV series – Wikipedia
La Fôret (2017) TV series – IMDB
Au Service De La France (2015 – 2018) TV series – Wikipedia
Au Service De La France (2015- 2018) TV series – IMDb
Doubleplusungood (2018) film – IMDb
Sœur Sourire (2009) film – Wikipedia
Sœur Sourire (2009) film – IMDb
Paniekzaaiers (1986) film – Wikipedia – only in Dutch and French
Paniekzaaiers (1986) film – IMDb
De Collega’s Maken De Brug (1988) film – Wikipedia – Dutch
De Collega’s Maken De Brug (1988) film – IMDb
Supercondriaque (2014) film – Wikipedia
Supercondriaque (2014) film – IMDb
Pandore (2021) TV series – IMDb
Overdose (2022) Film – Wikipedia
The original 1950s Louis Kalff desk lamp
Other lamps in the Zone Blanche TV series
Many thanks to Hans from Objeta for the additional photos and the enthusiasm.
Philips Major Desk Lamp
Materials: Dark green painted round flat iron base with a built-in switch. Cast iron counterweight inside the base. Felt on the bottom of the base. Brass plated conical iron rod. Dark green painted aluminium round UFO, mushroom lampshade with a hole in the middle. The lampshade is painted white inside. Some metal parts. Bakelite E27 socket.
Height: 54,0 cm / 21.25”
Width: ∅ 40 cm / 15.74”
Base: ∅ 11,5 cm /4.52”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 100 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used. But a big silver tipped bulb is preferred. There is a difference in sizes between 60 and 100 watt incandescent light bulbs. The 100 watt bulb is preferred.
Period: 1960s, 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: After a design by Louis Christiaan Kalff.
Manufacturer: Philips, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Other versions: The Philips Major desk lamp was made in several colours and heights. The lowest version is 36 cm / 14.17”. Also made with a chrome rod.
Major/Timor: This lamp has several names. The first name in the late 60’s early 70’s was Major. In the late seventies it became Timor (69). This desk lamp was produced until the 1980’s. It is based on a design by Louis Kalff as you can see on the left.
The difference between the two desk lamps is that the Timor is earthed, the Major is not.
The third name is Consul. The Consul is 57 cm / 22.44” high. It is made for a silver tipped light bulb of 200 watt.
In all probability this lamp was re-designed by the internal design-team of Philips. It is possible that it was approved by mister Kalff, since he has an advisory function for the company after his retirement. Louis Kalff started to work for Philips in 1925.
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
Louis Kalff (Amsterdam, 14 November 1897 – Waalre, 16 September 1976) 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 and others. 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 forty years at the Philips group.
Often said that Louis Kalff designed lamps for Cosack Leuchten (Gecos) from Germany, but that is the umpteenth concoction on the internet. Some of their lamps have similarities with lamps he designed, that’s all.
Philips Major and Timor 69 desk lamps before a restoration
Lamps in the movies
La Fôret (2017) TV Series
A Philips Major desk lamp (or Timor 69) appears in the 2017 TV-series La Fôret (The Forrest). La Forêt is a French/Belgium crime series aired on La Une and Canvas (Belgium) and France 3 (France). Starring Samuel Labarthe, Suzanne Clément and Alexia Barlier.
L’Instinct de Mort – Public Enemy Number One (Part 1) (2008)
A Philips Major desk lamp (or Timor 69) appears in the 2008 film L’Instinct de Mort – Public Enemy Number One (Part 1). The story of french gangster Jacques Mesrine, before he was called Public Enemy N°1.
Zone Blanche (2016) TV Series
A Philips Major desk lamp (or Timor 69) appears in the 2016 French-Belgian television thriller series Zone Blanche (White zone but named Black spot). Starring Suliane Brahim, Hubert Delattre and Laurent Capelluto. Many other lamps were used as a prop. You can find several of them over here.
An orange Philips Major desk lamp (or Timor 69) was used as a prop in the Belgian crime film Doubleplusungood from 2018. Starring Delfine Bafort, Georges Beguin and Jonathan Borms.
A Philips Major desk lamp (or Timor 69) was used as a prop in the 2014 French comedy film Supercondriaque. Starring: Kad Merad, Dany Boon and Alice Pol. On the right a desk lamp made by the Belgian Massive company. You can find it over here.
A Philips Major desk lamp (or Timor 69) was used as a prop in the 1986 Belgian comedy film Paniekzaaiers (alarmist/scaremongers). It appears with a double lampshade. Probably meant as a joke. Starring Flemish comedy duo Gaston Bergmans and Leo Martin. Below the fragment with the lamp. It appears after 1:30.
Pandore (2021) TV Series
A pair of Philips Major desk lamps (or Timor 69) were used as a prop in the 2021 Belgian crime TV series Pandore, season 1, episode 1. Starring Yoann Blanc, Anne Coesens and Peter Van den Begin.
A Philips Major desk lamp (or Timor 69) was used as a prop in the 2022 French crime action thriller Overdose. Starring Sofia Essaïdi, Assaad Bouab and Alberto Ammann.