Ashoka thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Ashoka

Lamp
1981 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The ‘Ashoka’ table lamp is one of the of several lamp designs produced by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis. In form this is the closest to the ‘cactus’ or ‘totem’ design language of some of his furniture, like the Carlton room divider and the Casablanca sideboard (V&A museum number: W.14:1 to 6-1990). Both pieces use individually coloured and patterned extending elements projecting from a centre plinth.
Sottsass also often chose names which referred to his interest in ancient legend and ritual. He travelled in India in the 1960s which had a crucial influence on his work. This lamp is named for Ashoka, an ancient Indian emperor.



object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted metal, E14 bulbs and halogen uplight
Brief Description
Lamp, painted metal with E14 bulbs, 'Ashoka', by Ettore Sottsass, produced for Memphis, Italy, 1981.
Physical Description
Multi-colour table lamp made from painted, geometric and tubular metal components projecting from a centre plinth; five E14 bulbs. On the top two tubular metal components end in bulbs, other two are on the right and the left side of the lamp, the fifth is in the middle of a tubular component, above the base.
Dimensions
  • Height: 86.5cm
  • Width: 29.5cm
  • Depth: 9cm
Measured from object
Style
Production typeMass produced
Marks and Inscriptions
'Love, Ettore Sottsass' (Designer's signature on bottom rail with gold pen)
Object history
The 'Ashoka' lamp is one of the several lamp designs produced by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis. In form this is the closest to the 'cactus' or 'totem' design language of his furniture, the Casablanca sideboard (W.14:1 to 6-1990) or Carlton room divider. Both use coloured and patterned extending elements projecting from a centre plinth. Memphis object-titles were often taken from the names of luxury hotels and exotic locations. Sottsass also often chose names which referred to his interest in ancient legend and ritual. His travels in India in the 1960s had a crucial influence on his work. The lamp is named for Ashoka, an ancient Indian emperor.
Production
The lamp was produced for Memphis



Attribution note: Original 1981 production
Summary
The ‘Ashoka’ table lamp is one of the of several lamp designs produced by Ettore Sottsass for Memphis. In form this is the closest to the ‘cactus’ or ‘totem’ design language of some of his furniture, like the Carlton room divider and the Casablanca sideboard (V&A museum number: W.14:1 to 6-1990). Both pieces use individually coloured and patterned extending elements projecting from a centre plinth.

Sottsass also often chose names which referred to his interest in ancient legend and ritual. He travelled in India in the 1960s which had a crucial influence on his work. This lamp is named for Ashoka, an ancient Indian emperor.



Collection
Accession Number
W.16-2010

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 createdNovember 8, 2010
Record URL