Vintage Mid-century Modern lamps are characterized by simple lines and a playful space-age feel. In general, these lamps are geometric, with globes, hourglasses, and rings being the dominant shapes. The earliest lamps of the period combined the figurative aesthetics of the the 1930s and ’40s with more familiar mid-century looks. These transitional lamps often featured kitschy plaster or chalkware bases shaped like Nubian slaves or cape-flourishing matadors. Above these painted figures were geometric, two-tiered shades in parchment or fiberglass. Shades like these were also used on ceramic, wrought-iron, and brass bases, whether it was for table lamps or floor lamps. Sometimes fiberglass shades were fashioned in the shapes of flying saucers, while other mid-century shades consisted of only a single ring around a lamp’s light source. Metal shades in black, white, or brushed metal saucer shapes directed light down while cones anchored in pairs as a part of a wall sconce could be aimed. Furniture designers saw lamps as a way to unify their work with the rest of a room’s furnishings.

Light sculpture in Plexiglas ,United States, 1970, H 44 cm

Light sculpture in Plexiglas ,United States, 1970, H 44 cm

Plexiglas Lamp , 1970, 50 x 50 cm

Plexiglas Lamp , 1970, 50 x 50 cm

“New Lamp” in Plexiglas by Superstudio, Italy, 1970, Dia 37 H 40 cm

“New Lamp” in Plexiglas by Superstudio, Italy, 1970, Dia 37 H 40 cm

Table Lamp “Dania” designed by Dario Tognon (Born 1936) for Artemide Lacquered aluminium, Italy 1969 Dim: Dia 34 H 40 cm

Table Lamp “Dania” designed by Dario Tognon (Born 1936) for Artemide
Lacquered aluminium, Italy 1969, Dia 34 H 40 cm

A rotating lamp by Michel Soulier , 1970

A rotating lamp by Michel Soulier , 1970

Table lamp in Plexiglas and varnished black shade, 1970, H 73 cm

Table lamp in Plexiglas and varnished black shade, 1970, H 73 cm

Pair of Ceramic lamps by Bitossi, Italy, 1950, H 75 cm

Pair of Ceramic lamps by Bitossi, Italy, 1950, H 75 cm

Ceramic Tube Light manufactured by Chavignac, Quebec, Canada, 1960, H 71 cm

Ceramic Tube Light manufactured by Chavignac, Quebec, Canada, 1960, H 71 cm

“Culbuto” lamp, chromed metal. France , 1970, H 25.5 cm

“Culbuto” lamp, chromed metal. France , 1970, H 25.5 cm

1970 Italian Table Lamp by Franco Fraschini, H 60 cm

1970 Italian Table Lamp by Franco Fraschini, H 60 cm