Vintageinfo – All About Vintage Lighting

Last Viewed

Vintageinfo Google Search

Philips Opal Glass Globe Pendant Lamp

Materials: White opal ribbed or threaded glass globe. Conical wood top and canopy. Wood to determine. Probably some exotic wood such as teak. White painted metal socket holder (aluminium). Porcelain socket.

Cord Length: 60 cm / 23.62’’

Height: 34 cm / 13.38”

Width: ∅ 24 cm / 9.44”

Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 100 watt maximum – 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred, but an opaque or frosted one gives the best result.

Period: 1950s, 1960s – Mid-Century Modern.

Designer: To be appraised.

Manufacturer: Koninklijke Philips N.V., Eindhoven, The Netherlands. 

Other versions: This Philips opal glass globe pendant lamp exists in a few variations. This lamp is model NG 59. It was sold with or without conical wooden top.

Often said that it is a design by Louis Christiaan Kalff (1897 – 1976). It was designed and produced in the period Kalff worked for the company, but many designs were made by the Philips design-team. All designs were approved by Kalff. He was the head of the design-team.

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 Mai 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 Kalff

Philips white opal ribbed glass globe pendant lamp 1950s 1960s conical wood top and canopy MCM

Philips white opal ribbed glass globe pendant lamp 1950s 1960s conical wood top and canopy MCM

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. He 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.