Raak Opal Glass Pendant Lamp
Materials: White opal & clear glass conical tubular lampshade made of two layers (incamiciato). Some metal parts. White Bakelite canopy. Bakelite E27 socket.
Cord Length: 80 cm / 31.49”
Height: 28 cm / 11.02”
Width: ∅ 10 cm / 3.93”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 75 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb with an E27 screw base can be used.
Period: 1950s, 1960s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: Raak, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Other versions: The glass of this Raak opal glass pendant lamp was also used for a table lamp, wall lamp and chandelier.
Incamiciato: overlay lattimo glass (= milky looking glass) with a layer of transparent coloured glass.
The socket was made by the Belgian company Niko N.V. from Sint-Niklaas.
The Dutch company Raak was founded in 1954 by Carel O. Lockhorn (18 June 1923 – 6 October 2004), a previous employee of Philips Lighting Eindhoven. Raak, which means “to hit” in Dutch, implies design which precisely “hits the nail on the head”.
Raak is best known for their organic modern design of the 1960s and 1970s which combined glass & metals for a sophisticated futuristic style.
The light company collaborated with several international designers and architects, including Bertrand Balas, Evert Jelle Jelles, Frank Ligtelijn, Ger Vos, Jan Jasper Fayer, Li Helo, Maija-Liisa Komulainen, Nan Platvoet, Nanny Still-Mackinney, Nico Kooi, Sergio Asti, Tapio Wirkala, Willem van Oyen and many others.
Raak also collaborated with other companies. They worked with the German Peill + Putzler for the Raak Globe lamps. Peill + Putzler produced the glass. They also sold lamps made by Peill + Putzler, such as a pendant lamp designed by Aloys Ferdinand Gangkofner. For the Raak Discus the glass was made by Bega, also a German company. For the Stalactites flush mounts a cooperation with the Belgian Val Saint Lambert was undertaken in the late 1950s. Raak also sold some lamps that were produced by Staff Leuchten (Staff & Schwarz Leuchtenwerke GMBH) from Germany, and several other companies.
Carel Lockhorn sold the company in 1974 to ITT but remained a director until 1977. In 1980 Raak merged with BIS Lighting from Aalsmeer, also in The Netherlands and was renamed into BisRaak. In 1986 the Raak company became independent again. The company got a business appearance and only the colours white, black and grey were still processed.
In 1999, Raak merged with Artilite B.V. and Indoor B.V. and became CLA: Centrum voor Lichtarchitectuur B.V. in Drachten (Centre for Light Architecture). Lichtarchitectuur (light architecture) was the Raak tagline from the beginning in the 1950s. The Centre for Lighting Architecture was founded by Egbert Keen. The company was declared bankrupt on 19-05-2011.
Niko is the biggest electric components company from Belgium since decades. The firm was established shortly after World War 1 in 1919 by the two brothers Alphonse and Werner De Backer in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. More info about the company, here on Vintageinfo.
Links (external links open in a new window)
History of the company on the Niko website
1958 Raak Additional Catalogue 4
The mechanism inside the lamp