Vintage Info – All About Vintage Lighting

Shell Desk Lamp

Materials: Shell made of orange glass, white painted inside. Brass/gold painted metal (iron). Rectangular base. curved brass rod. Green felt. Bakelite socket.

Height: 24 cm / 9.44”

Length: 47 cm / 18.50”

Lampshade: 13 x 18 cm / 5.11 x 7.08”

Base: 11,45 x 17,8 cm / 4.5 x 7”

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, 1980s – Hollywood Regency.

Designer: To be appraised.

Manufacturer: Massive, Mortsel, Kontich, Mortsel and Wommelgem, Belgium – attributed. 

Other versions: It is possible that the glass of this shell desk lamp was made in several colours.

This shell desk lamp is based on an antique lamp, as you can see below in the Blake Edwards movie A Shot In The Dark. Many of these lamps were made of brass, also the shell.


Massive was in origin a bronze foundry and they produced mainly candlesticks, crucifixes and chandeliers in Wilrijk near Antwerp, Belgium. The company was founded in 1926 by Pieter-Jozef De Jaeck. His son Eddy De Jaeck was responsible for the huge expansion of the company in the 1970s. But it were his sons, Piet and Jan De Jaeck who made Massive a true multinational. Thus, they moved production to Eastern Europe and China.

In the 1980s Massive became the leading brand in Europe. In 2002, the brothers left the company to the investment fund CVC Capital Partners, for allegedly more than 250 million euros. Since 2008 the company is owned by Philips and the name of the shops is changed into Light Gallery.

When the takeover by Philips was announced in November 2006 Massive commercialized more than 10.000 lighting products under brand names such as MassiveTRIO and Lirio. The group had about 5.000 employees worldwide and was active in 70 countries.

Massive sold many lamps made by others. Peill + Putzler from Germany and Yamada Shomei from Japan produced lamps for Massive, to name a few. Many other lighting companies did.

Lamps in the movies!

An antique or old metal/chrome shell desk lamp was used as a prop in the comedy film A Shot in the Dark from 1964. Starring Peter Sellers, Elke Sommer, George Sanders and Herbert Lom.

Shell desk lamp used as a prop in the comedy film A Shot in the Dark (1964)