Selene Eclipse Table Lamp
Materials: Gold painted metal (iron). White painted metal (iron). Black plastic rotary knob on top. Plastic bottom. White painted Bakelite socket.
Height: 18,5 cm / 7.28”
Base: ∅ 9,5 cm / 3.74”
Electricity: 1 bulb E14, 1 x 40 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: ABM, Italy.
Other versions: Made in several colours over the years. Also a chrome version exists.
Selene: The goddess of the moon who fell in love with Endymion.
Often said that this lamp is a design by Joe Colombo for the American company Lightolier, but it is not. It is very unlikely that he “copied” the 1968 Eclisse design of Vico Magistretti for Artemide.
Colombo designed products for B-LINE, Cappellini, Kartell, Ditre Italia, Boffi, Longhi, Karakter, Bieffe, Olivari, Alessi, Oluce, Zanotta and Flexform.
Furthermore this lamp is made in centimeters. If it was an American Lightolier design it would be in inches. In all probability this lamp was produced in Europe by ABM and also sold by Lightolier. Also on the bottom of the ABM lamps it says: Made in Italy. The Lightolier lamp has no origin mentioned.
No information to be found about the company, unfortunately. There are many companies in Italy with that abbreviation as their name. Lighting companies too, but they were all set up much more recently. The logo of the company is similar with the Josef Brumberg logo from Germany. This company was founded in 1879. In all probability the Brumberg company has nothing to do with the Italian brand. The Selene table lamp does not appear in a 74-76 catalogue of Brumberg. It seems logical that this would be the case.
Sometimes another model lamp appears with the ABM label, but it is rare. The Selene table lamp was without any doubt their biggest success. It was at least produced for more than 10 years, to see on the used wiring made by VLM Components. When the sales success was declining in the early 1980s, the company probably went bankrupt. Also Lightolier sold this lamp from the 70s until the early 1980s.
The Lightolier Inc. company was founded in 1904 by Bernhard Blitzer under the name of New York Gas and Appliance Company. Later the name changed into Lightolier Inc. when electric light became more widely accepted. The name Lightolier is a contraction of the words light and chandelier.
In the 1960s Lightolier introduced the first track lighting system, designed by Anthony Donato. Lightolier also produced a huge amount of lamps designed by Gaetano Sciolari in the 1960s and 1970s. His Cubic chandelier was a big success in the States thanks to it’s presence in the Dallas TV series and in the James Bond film Live and Let Die (1973). The Lytegem series was designed by Michael Lax. The most well known designer of the firm was Gerald Thurston. More information about the designer over here on Vintageinfo.
Lightolier was the first lighting company to introduce digital lighting systems in the early 1990s. In 2007, Koninklijke Philips N.V. from the Netherlands (Philips Royal Electronics) announced that it would acquire the Genlyte Group which would make Lightolier a part of Philips.
All the electric parts were made by VLM Components. The company was founded in 1945 in Buccinasco, a small village near Milan, Italy. The company became famous for the switches they produce since 1968, designed by Achille Castiglioni.
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.
This Selene table lamp is equipped with the Achille Castiglioni VLM switch model 450. They were produced with several other switches over the years, all made by VLM Components.