Val Saint Lambert Sputnik Chandelier
Materials: Gilded brass rods and ornamental nuts. Gilded metal globe in the middle. Floral cut crystal discs. Metal rod, chain and canopy. 12 Bakelite E14 sockets.
Chain Length: 60 cm / 23.62”
Height: ∅ 45 cm / 17.71”
Width: ∅ 45 m / 17.71”
Electricity: 12 bulbs E14, 12 x 40 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1950s – 1970s – Mid-Century modern.
Designer: To be appraised. Designed in the style of the chandeliers Emil Stejnar designed for Beleuchtungskörperfabrik und Beleuchtungsglashütten (lighting equipment factory and lighting glassworks) Rupert Nikoll from Austria. But he got nothing to do with these Val Saint Lambert chandeliers.
Manufacturer: Massive, Mortsel, Kontich and Wommelgem, Belgium. Val Saint Lambert produced the glass parts for these lamps, as confirmed by the company.
Other versions: The Val Saint Lambert sputnik chandelier was also made with a chromed metal (iron) frame. Made in different sizes. Two types of discs: round or flat discs. Hanging on a rod or chain. Wall lamps and flush mounts also exists. Also made in brass plated iron.
Also the other Belgian company S.A. Boulanger sold these lamps. But with slightly different parts. What is most striking is a completely different canopy, as you can see on the left. The Massive label hung on a string, the S.A. Boulanger label is glued inside the canopy, but is often gone (see below).
Unfortunately, not much is known about the company. S.A. Boulanger is famous for the large amount of lamps the company produced that are designed by Gaetano Sciolari. S.A. Boulanger ended business somewhere in the early 1980s. There is nothing to be found in the Belgian Official Journal about the company/factory. The journal goes back to 1983. The company is not to be confused by the other Boulanger company from Belgium: Les Ateliers Boulanger NV from Brussels. More info about Les Ateliers Boulanger NV over here.
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 commercialised more than 10.000 lighting products under brand names such as Massive, TRIO and Lirio. The group had about 5.000 employees worldwide and was active in 70 countries.
Val Saint Lambert
Val Saint Lambert is a crystal and glass factory in the Belgian city of Seraing, southwest of Liège, which produces decorative glass, glass and crystal arts and crafts. The factory is located in the abbey of Val Saint Lambert, the former Cistercian abbey of Saint Lambert. In 1826 the founders of the crystal factory settled in the favorable site, due to the large buildings available, the proximity of coal and the possibility of transport across the river Meuse. Today Val-Saint-Lambert is present in more than forty countries. One can visit the factory and see glass blowers at work.
Val Saint Lambert or Val St. Lambert was founded by chemist François Kemlin and polytechnic (Master of Science in Engineering) Auguste Lelièvre in 1826. François Kemlin had previously worked for the Vonêche crystal works in the Ardennes, also in Belgium. Val Saint Lambert is well known for its Art Nouveau and Art Deco glass pieces.
The earliest design of this chandelier dates back from the 1950s, when the Soviets launched their Sputnik 1 satellite into orbit (1957): the space age has begun.
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (9 March 1934 – 27 March 1968) was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961.
Links (external links open in a new window)
Cristal Discovery – website of the Val Saint Lambert museum – Discover the museum with Google Street View!
Personal website about Val Saint Lambert (in French) – research about old pieces.