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Desk lamp - Dell-Lampe Type K
  • Dell-Lampe Type K
    Dell, Christian, born 1893 - died 1974
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Dell-Lampe Type K

  • Object:

    Desk lamp

  • Place of origin:

    Frankfurt (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1929 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dell, Christian, born 1893 - died 1974 (designer)
    Zimmermann GmbH (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Brass and nickel, lacquered and part chromium plated

  • Museum number:

    M.27-1992

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Christian Dell joined the Bauhaus Metal Workshop in 1922 and was appointed Werkmeister der Metallwerkstaatt Bauhauses (Head of craft education in the bauhaus Metal Workshop) at the end of 1925. A distinguished silversmith in his own right, he also designed a number of light fittings which were put into production towards the end of the 1920s. A similar British design, the Bestlite, by R.D. Best of the Birmingham firm of Best & Lloyd was introduced ca.1930 and bears a close relationship with Dell's original version. Best "anglicised" the design by making the spun aluminium shade and the base of the lamp slightly curved in section. While he retained the pillar clip joint, a new universal ball joint above the lamp holder was introduced, giving adjustability through 360 degrees.

The relationship of these two designs is of particular interest to the Museum's collections since we have previously purchased a pair of wall lamps (M.21&a-1985), a variant of the Bestlite lamp design. These wall lamps had previously been selected by the interior designer, Betty Joel, for a refurbishment of one of the bedroom suites of the Savoy Hotel, London, in the early 1930s. The Rondella lamp is not only an interesting example of Bauhaus industrial design but also serves to the direct influence of the Bauhaus philosophy on comtemporary, British design.

Physical description

Desk lamp, the loaded base is circular with a curved rim. The lamp is supported on a chromed tube which is held at its lower end in a hemispherical, chromed clamp by a cylindrical nut and bolt passing through the middle. The clamp is attached to a vertical tubular post by two grips at each corner. The post, secured to the centre of the base, is surmounted by a plain, black, plastic finial. The tube supporting the lamp is a straight section, curved at the top through 90 degrees and terminates with a circular, swivel joint composed of two hemispherical sections. The shade consists of a narrow, circular sleeve which houses the screw socket for the lamp, at the base of which is a hemispherical shade with a rolled over rim cut at a diagonal. The exterior of the shade is lacquered black; the interior a matt white. The flex protrudes from a hole, drilled in the side and near the base near the central supporting post and is covered in a sleeve of knitted cotton.

Place of Origin

Frankfurt (made)

Date

ca. 1929 (made)

Artist/maker

Dell, Christian, born 1893 - died 1974 (designer)
Zimmermann GmbH (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Brass and nickel, lacquered and part chromium plated

Marks and inscriptions

No marks

Dimensions

Height: 24 cm, Width: 58 cm, Depth: 29 cm

Object history note

Modernism Exhbition RF.2005/362

Historical context note

Christian Dell joined the Bauhaus Metal Workshop in 1922 and was appointed Werkmeister der Metallwerkstaatt Bauhauses (Head of craft education in the bauhaus Metal Workshop) at the end of 1925. A distinguished silversmith in his own right, he also designed a number of light fittings which were put into production towards the end of the 1920s. A similar British design, the Bestlite, by R.D. Best of the Birmingham firm of Best & Lloyd was introduced ca.1930 and bears a close relationship with Dell's original version. Best "anglicised" the design by making the spun aluminium shade and the base of the lamp slightly curved in section. While he retained the pillar clip joint, a new universal ball joint above the lamp holder was introduced, giving adjustability through 360 degrees.

The relationship of these two designs is of particular interest to the Museum's collections since we have previously purchased a pair of wall lamps (M.21&a-1985), a variant of the Bestlite lamp design. These wall lamps had previously been selected by the interior designer, Betty Joel, for a refurbishment of one of the bedroom suites of the Savoy Hotel, London, in the early 1930s. The Rondella lamp is not only an interesting example of Bauhaus industrial design but also serves to the direct influence of the Bauhaus philosophy on comtemporary, British design.

Descriptive line

Dell-Lampe Type K, Brass, nickel, lacquer and chrome, Germany, Frankfurt, ca.1930, made by Chr. Zimmermann GmbH, designed by Christain Dell.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Wilk, Christopher (ed.) Modernism : designing a new world 1914-1939. London: V&A Publications, 2006 Number: 1851774777 (pbk.)
Weber, Klaus, Die Metallwerkstatt am Bauhaus, Berlin: Bauhaus-Archiv - Museum für Gestaltung, 1998.

Materials

Brass; Nickel; Lacquer; Chromium plated metal

Techniques

Lacquering; Electroplating

Categories

Lighting; Metalwork

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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