Tripod Hairpin Rocket Floor Lamp
Materials: Black painted iron. Some pleated “cuff” orange/yellow plastic. Black Bakelite socket.
Height: 106 cm / 41.73”
Width: 24 cm / 9.44”
Lampshade: 60 cm / 23.62”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 60 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used. Not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1960s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: To be appraised.
Other versions: Probably made in several variations.
Unfortunately, no information to be found about this rocket floor lamp. It has all the looks of a 1950s lamp, but the electric parts were made in the 1960s.
The “manchette” or “cuff” plastic is stretchable thanks to the folds, and therefore fits perfectly on the frame. This 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.
Most rocket floor lamps from that period have a fibreglass lampshade. Hairpin legs were used by many companies in the 1950s and 1960s. Paul Mayen (1918 – 2000), an American/Spanish designer, was one of those designers that used hairpin legs for several lamps. Companies that used hairpin legs for furniture were amongst others: Pilastro, String, Knoll, Børge Mogensen, Pastoe…
Lamps with these type of lampshades are often attributed to the famous French designer Georges Léon Rispal. Rispal is famous for his original creations and biomorphic forms. For some lampshades he used similar materials.
This tripod hairpin rocket floor lamp was acquired in Germany, maybe it is a German lamp.
All the electric parts were made by VLM Components. VLM Components was founded in 1945 in Buccinasco, a small village near Milan, Italy. VLM Components is part of the Relco Group, founded in 1967. Today they are the owners of the brands Relco, Leuci, Relco Lighting, VLM Components and Segno. VLM Components became famous for the switches they produce which were designed by Achille Castiglioni in 1968.
Links (external links open in a new window)
Lamps with VLM-switches on Vintageinfo
Switches in the Relco webstore
The Relco Group website
Manchettes flower pot – Google images
Clayrton’s – a producer of flower pot covers
Celluloid – Wikipedia
Cellulose Acetate (Rhodoïd) – Wikipedia
PVC/Polyvinyl chloride – Wikipedia
Other lamps with this type of plastic on Vintageinfo
Fibreglass rocket floor lamp
Many Thanks to Ger for the beautiful pictures and enthusiasm.