Rotaflex Triple Pendant Lamp
Materials: Rotaflex (cellulose acetate), iron triangle. Some plastic parts, porcelain sockets.
Cord Length: 80 cm / 31.49’’
Width: 40 cm / 11.02”
Height lamp: 18 cm / 11.02”
Width lamp: ∅ 15 cm / 12.99”
Electricity: 3 bulbs E27, 3 x 60 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1950s, 1960s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: Rotaflex Ltd, Rotaflex House, 241 City Road and Princess Street, London, Great Britain.
Other versions: Table lamps, wall lamps, single pendant lamps…
Rotaflex was founded in 1953 and led by Bernard Stern who brought the company in a few years to one of Britain’s leading lighting makers.
John & Sylvia Reid were two of the most well known consultant designers for the lighting manufacturers Rotaflex. They are famous for their Metallux, Interplay, Honeycombs, Fernland Cylinders, Sphere lamp designs and many more. They also designed many of this type of plastic lamps.
John & Sylvia Reid also designed furniture for Stag between 1952 and 1962. Their S-range furniture is back in production, you can find it on their website.
Rotaflex received several design awards, among others, iF Design awards for cellulose acetate pendant lamps in 1957. The Rotaflex company no longer exists.
In the USA these lamps were sold by Heifetz Manufacturing Company (founded by Yasha Heifetz) from New York. And they were also sold as Rotaflex lamps. Most of Heifetz lights are wood carved lamps. Lightolier and Verplex were two other companies that sold these lamps in the United States.
In Germany it was Sompex Licht und Form, Rolf O. Burghard KG Düsseldorf, who produced and sold them. In Belgium and some other countries in Europe they were sold by Massive. Disderot produced and sold them in France. Philips from The Netherlands had some lamps in their collection.
In Sweden these lamps were named Rotoflex and they were produced by Bergboms. Designers: Alf Svensson, Bertil Roos, Sigvard Bernadotte. In Finland they were sold by Oy Plastex AB and Stockman ORNO. You can find several lamps in the catalogue here on Vintageinfo.
The Rotaflex plastic type was invented together with the French company A.R.P. – L’ Atelier de Recherche Plastique (Plastic Research Workshop), a company founded in 1954 by Pierre Guariche (1926-1995), Michel Mortier (1925-2015) and Joseph-André Motte (1925-2013). The company ended business 3 years later in 1957.
In 1957 Guariche became artistic director for the Meurop furniture maker in Rijmenam, Belgium. Rotaflex lamps were sold in France by Disderot (Atelier Pierre Disderot) and Rotaflex Paris, a subsidiary of Rotaflex UK.
Cellulose acetate is an early acrylic, sold under the trade names Rhodoid in France and Great Britain, Tenite in the USA and Cellon in Germany. It was first prepared in 1865. Cellulose acetate is used as a film base in photography, for eyeglasses, cigarette filters and playing cards.