Rispal Orange Pendant Lamp
Materials: Metal rings and an early (orange) folded/pleated plastic (Rhodoid/celluloid).
Cord Length: 60 cm / 23.62”
Height: 25 cm / 9.84”
Width: ∅ 33 cm / 12.99”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 60 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, but a white/opaque or frosted one is preferred.
Period: 1950s, 1960s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: Georges Léon Rispal.
Manufacturer: These lamps are always attributed to the Rispal company from Paris, France. But there were several manufacturers of this type of lamps in the 1950s and 1960s.
Other versions: Many sizes and forms. Made in celluloid, plastic, paper or fabric.
These fragile pendant lamps are mostly used to restore the famous “mante-religieuse” praying mantis floor lamp designed and made by Georges Rispal in 1950 and in production since 1952. These shades are very often damaged or lost. As you can see on the left these lamps were produced with several different lampshades.
Georges Léon Rispal (1901 – ?) was a French lamp designer. He is famous for his original creations and biomorphic forms. He founded his company Rispal in 1924. It was located in 172, Rue de Charonne, Paris, France.
Both designer and producer, Georges Léon Rispal is a designer out of category. His creations have entered the history of international design, including its “mante-religieuse” praying mantis floor lamp today considered one of the finest creations of French luminaries from the 1950s.
The original name of the praying mantis lamp is a number: 14. The name was made up by a dealer because of the resemblance with the locust.
Many other companies copied this folded design from 1955. It was 3 years after the first praying mantis lamp was sold. First editions of lamp number 14 have a “classic” lampshade.
In 2014 the business was reactivated and some of the famous designs are are back in production. The company is located in 69, Passage de Choiseul, 75002 Paris. The president is Douglas Mont. He is a designer and sculptor and designed biomorphic light and lighting furniture, as you can see on his website.
The “manchette” or “cuff” plastic is stretchable thanks to the folds, and therefore fits perfectly on the frame. Almost the same kind of plastic has been used for years to decorate flower pots and it is still available today.
The precursor of this cuff plastic was made of the very flammable celluloid or cellulose acetate (Rhodoïd). It was often used for lamps in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Rhodoïd is a French and English trade name. Other names used for cellulose acetate: Tenite, Zyl, Zylonite, Cellon. Acrylic (1930s) and PVC (1920s) were discovered before World War II, but was only widely used since the late 1950s.
Taschen 1000 lights, 1879-1959, page 418-419.
The Complete Designers Lights II, page 60.
Links (external links open in a new window)
Lamps in this style on Vintageinfo
Floor lamps the company produced before the 1950s
Floor lamps designed and made by Rispal in the 1950s.