Dell-Lampe Type K

Desk Lamp
ca. 1929 (made)
Dell-Lampe Type K thumbnail 1
Dell-Lampe Type K thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.
alt tag here
read What was Modernism? The built environment that we live in today was largely shaped by Modernism. The buildings we inhabit, the chairs we sit on, the graphic design that surrounds us have all been influenced by the aesthetics and the ideology of Modernist design. But what was Modernism?
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Brass and nickel, lacquered and part chromium plated
Brief Description
Dell-Lampe Type K, Brass, nickel, lacquer and chrome, Germany, Frankfurt, ca.1930, made by Chr. Zimmermann GmbH, designed by Christain Dell.
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.
Dimensions
  • Height: 24cm
  • Width: 58cm
  • Depth: 29cm
Style
Production typeMass produced
Copy Number
211
Marks and Inscriptions
No marks
Object history
Modernism Exhbition RF.2005/362
Historical context
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.
Summary
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.
Bibliographic References
  • 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.
Collection
Accession Number
M.27-1992

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdFebruary 8, 2006
Record URL