VEB Leuchtenbau Red Mushroom Desk Lamp
Materials: Red painted metal (iron) base with a built-in switch. Cast iron counterweight inside the base. Conical red painted metal rod. Red painted aluminium mushroom lampshade with a round brass top. Some metal parts. Two white Bakelite E27 sockets.
Height: 47 cm / 18.50”
Width: 35 cm / 13.77”
Base: ∅ 14,5 cm / 5.70”
Electricity: 2 bulbs E27, 2 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: Lutz Rudolf (1936 – 2011) – attributed.
Manufacturer: VEB Leuchtenbau, Lengefeld, Germany.
Other versions: This VEB Leuchtenbau red mushroom desk lamp was made in several colours.
Often attributed to Louis Kalff and Philips but it is not, of course.
The VEB Leuchtenbau company was founded in 1900 as Wittig und Schwabe Metalldruckwarenfabriken (Metal Printing Factories), Lengefeld. Right after World War II in 1946, the name changed into VEB Leuchtenbau. In 1963 they manufactured some 1.5 million lamps, of which 80% were exported. In 1965 they produced 120 different models of lamps.
One of the most famous lamps produced by VEB Leuchtenbau is the Kontrast floor lamp, designed by Lutz Rudolf in 1961, when he was 25. The manufacturer himself doubted the success of “this thing” and planned only a small number of pieces.
However, the production was carried through until 1975, in which 11,000 pieces were produced. The GDR citizens at that time were fortunate that the product landed mainly on the domestic East German market, which was not the case with all the design objects. Despite colorfully designed variants, the majority of customers opted for the original, simple-white design of the lampshades of this floor lamp.
Other designers that worked for VEB Leuchtenbau are: Peter Beyer, Klaus Neubert, Theo Schröder, Christian Wagner…
VEB: Volks Eigener Betrieb – Publicly-owned business. VEB was the main legal form of industrial enterprise in the communist East Germany.
Many thanks to Frank from Flowermountain.be for the photos and the enthusiasm.