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Pair of Wall Lights - Bestlite

Bestlite

  • Object:

    Pair of Wall Lights

  • Place of origin:

    Birmingham (Designed and made)

  • Date:

    ca.1930 (designed)
    1933-1935 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Robert Dudley Best, born 1892 - died 1984 (designer)
    Best & Lloyd Ltd. (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Chromium plated steel and aluminium

  • Museum number:

    M.21-1985

  • Gallery location:

    20th Century, Room 74, case CA1, box 2 []

Robert Dudley Best (1896-1984) succeeded his father as chairman of the family firm in 1925. He exerted a strong influence on the firm and the design of its products from the mid 1920s until the mid 1970s. Educated at Bedales, he spent the year of 1911 at the Düsseldorf School of Industrial Art when it was under the directorship of Wilhelm Kreis, a member of the Deutsche Wekbund. This was followed by a period in Paris at the atelier of M. Boisselier, a furniture and interior designer who had previously supplied new designs to Best & Lloyd. His training was completed by a period in the drawing office of the family firm before he assumed his managerial responsibilities.

Physical description

Pair of wall lights, the arm is a straight chromed tube and is curved at the top where it terminates with a ball and socket joint securing the shade. The shade is a plain aluminum cone with a concave surface. The light bulb is secured internally by a bayonet fitting which passes through the apex of the cone and is secured, externally, by a chrome ring with the upper and lower edges milled. A cone arises to a cylindrical fitting which holds the ball of a swivel joint, connecting it to the arm.

The lower end of the supporting arm is held in a hemispherical chromed clamp by a cylindrical retaining bolt through the middle. This allows the arm to be moved both vertically and horizontally through 180°. The clamp is attached to a short, chromed, upright post by two grips at each corner which entirely encircle the post which in turn is surmounted by a moulded chrome washer. The wall bracket is steel, painted black and backed by a circular plate which is secured to the wall by four symmetrically placed screws. The bracket supports the lamp by a horizontal bar, protruding at right angles to the circular back plate and is shaped to follow the circumference of the chrome, upright post.

Place of Origin

Birmingham (Designed and made)

Date

ca.1930 (designed)
1933-1935 (made)

Artist/maker

Robert Dudley Best, born 1892 - died 1984 (designer)
Best & Lloyd Ltd. (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Chromium plated steel and aluminium

Marks and inscriptions

BRITISH / 102006 / BEST and the company logo.

Dimensions

Length: 52 cm, Width: 38 cm, Diameter: 15 cm of shade

Object history note

This pair of lamps was installed in a suite of the Savoy Hotel, London, ca.1933-35 when it was renovated by the interior designer, Betty Joel.

A table version was also produced in conjunction with this wall lamp.

Designs took about 18 months to develop and the `Bestlite' was launched in May 1931 with features in Journals such as Design for Today (DIA Quarterly, no.15, May 1931, p.2). It can be seen as an early manifestation of Bauhaus influence in England and in fact bears a close relationship to the `Rondella' adjustable table lamp designed at the Bauhaus by Christian Dell in the early 1920s and put into production by Richard Franke in Frankfurt am Main in 1928.

Descriptive line

Pair of wall lights, Bestlite, chromium plated steel and aluminium, Birmingham, made by Best & Lloyd Ltd., 1933-35, designed by R.D. Best, ca.1930.

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

Kate Child, `Best & Lloyd Ltd., 1868-1989' in Barbara Tilson ed. Made in Birmingham, Design and Industry 1889-1989, Studley, Brewin Books, 1989, pp. 125-138. ISBN; 0947731563

Materials

Steel; Chromium; Aluminium

Techniques

Spinning; Forging

Categories

Lighting; Metalwork

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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