Raak Tropic Table Lamp
Materials: Chrome ring wire base. Curved chrome double rod, all welded together. Rectangular black plastic wire holder. Crystal grey-violet or brown smoked glass globe lampshade. Aluminium reflector and socket holder. Bakelite E27 socket.
Height: 57 cm / 22.44”
Width: 25 cm / 9.84”
Base: ∅ 25,5 cm / 10.03”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 75 watt maximum, 110 /220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used. For this setup a silver cup light bulb was used.
Period: 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: Frank Ligtelijn (1933-1996) – attributed.
Manufacturer: Raak, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Other versions: The globe of this Raak Tropic table lamp was used for many other lamps. Floor lamps, pendant lamps, chandeliers and wall lamps. Three types of glass: Grey violet/brown, bright natural and pink. The Tropic table lamp is model number D-2046.
The Globe floor lamp was designed in the late 1950s by Frank Ligtelijn, a jewellery designer. This table lamp appears for the first time in the 1972 catalogue and Ligtelijn is not mentioned as one of the designers that worked for Raak at that time as you can see in the catalogue over here on Vintageinfo.
The name of this table or desk lamp is Tropic. In catalogue 11 from 1978 it was named Keerkring, the Dutch word for Tropic. The glass globes for these table lamps were made by Peill + Putzler from Germany. Raak did not have its own glass furnaces.
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, Ad van Berlo and many others.
Raak also collaborated with other companies. They worked with the German Peill + Putzler for this 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. iittala from Finland produced the glass for the Suomi pendant lamps, and so on…
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.
Raak received 26 iF Design Awards. They only started participating since 1980. Otherwise it would undoubtedly have been many more.
Price of the Tropic table lamp in 1972 (catalogue 9) in Dutch guilder, 224,- = +- 112 euro/dollar.
Raak Tropic table lamp D-2046 in the catalogues of the 70s
Many thanks to Hans from Objeta for the beautiful pictures and the enthusiasm.