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Massive – Wikipedia (in Dutch)
Achille Castiglioni’s VLM switches
Purple Brown Italian Desk Lamp
Materials: Oval lampshade and oval base. Purple-brown, maroon-eggplant painted aluminium lampshade, painted white inside. The middle part of the base and the rod are painted in the same colour. Chromed metal parts, chrome gooseneck. Bakelite E14 socket.
Height: 31 cm / 10.23” – adjustable
Lampshade: 14 x 10,1 cm / 5.51 x 3.97”
Base: 14 x 10,1 cm / 5.51 x 3.97”
Electricity: 1 bulb E14, 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: To be appraised.
Other versions: This purple brown Italian desk lamp exists in many models and colours. Some of them are on display here on Vintageinfo.
These desk lamps are often attributed to Gepo, Anvia or Herda, 3 light producers from the Netherlands. However, these lamps were never made or sold by these companies.
In Europe these lamps were sold by Massive from Belgium, in the United Kingdom by BHS.
Prova was a house label for British Home Stores (BHS). Not only lamps exist with this label, also clothing.
There is no label present on this one. Below is the label from the company, it was glued on another lamp that has many similar parts.
In all probability these lamps were produced by an anonymous Italian mass producing company, maybe owned by Massive from Belgium. The company was located in Florence, Italy. Sometimes you find them labelled with “Made in Florence, Italy” or “Made in Italy”.
The most well known light company from Florence is Targetti Sankey. Some other producers are/were: Masca, Febo Light, Banci, Palma, Patrizia Garganti, AEC Illuminazione and many others.
British Home Stores was a British department store chain, primarily selling clothing and household items. The company was founded in 1928 and went bankrupt in 2016. The Qatari Al Mana Group purchased BHS and formed a new business, BHS International (UK) Limited, based in London. It launched a new website: bhs.com.
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 1970’s. 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.
The switch is made by the Italian company Acciarri. A small company that is long gone. However Acciarri also produced lamps. Sometimes you find one for sale on the internet. Most of the time it is an industrial architect desk lamp from the 1970’s. Something completely different than these lamps.
Acciarri produced switches for companies such as the Italian Reggiani. Acciarri is an Italian family name, mostly found on the east coast of the country. No information can be found about this company. Also Massive from Belgium used Acciarri parts, and many other companies did.
The socket and wire were produced by VLM Components, also from Italy. VLM Components was founded in 1945 in Buccinasco, a small village near Milan, Italy. VLM is part of the Relco Group, founded in 1967. Today they are the owners of the brands Relco, Leuci, Relco Lighting, VLM and Segno. The company is famous for the switches they produced that were designed by Achille Castiglioni.