Hamilton Industries Desk Lamp
20th Century Japanese Industrial Table Lamps
People Also Browsed
Mid-20th Century Czech Art Deco Table Lamps
Mid-20th Century Czech Art Deco Table Lamps
Vintage 1950s French Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps
Vintage 1970s American Space Age Table Lamps
Vintage 1920s Austrian Art Deco Table Lamps
Vintage 1920s American Edwardian Table Lamps
Vintage 1960s Art Deco Table Lamps
Mid-20th Century American Industrial Cabinets
Mid-20th Century Czech Art Deco Table Lamps
Early 20th Century German Bauhaus Table Lamps
Metal, Chrome, Iron
Antique Late 18th Century Belgian Rustic Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Antique 19th Century Georgian Center Tables
Antique Mid-18th Century Swiss Renaissance Tables
Vintage 1940s French Art Deco Desks and Writing Tables
Vintage 1920s American Industrial Industrial and Work Tables
Soapstone, Brass, Steel
Antique Late 18th Century Austrian Baroque Tables
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps
Mid-20th Century Japanese Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps
Vintage 1960s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps
Vintage 1970s Hong Kong Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps
A Close Look at mid-century-modern Furniture
Organically shaped, clean-lined and elegantly simple are three terms that well describe vintage mid-century modern furniture. The style, which emerged primarily in the years following World War II, is characterized by pieces that were conceived and made in an energetic, optimistic spirit by creators who believed that good design was an essential part of good living.
ORIGINS OF MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGN
- Emerged during the mid-20th century
- Informed by European modernism, Bauhaus, International style, Scandinavian modernism and Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture
- A heyday of innovation in postwar America
- Experimentation with new ideas, new materials and new forms flourished in Scandinavia, Italy, the former Czechoslovakia and elsewhere in Europe
CHARACTERISTICS OF MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGN
- Simplicity, organic forms, clean lines
- A blend of neutral and bold Pop art colors
- Use of natural and man-made materials — alluring woods such as teak, rosewood and oak; steel, fiberglass and molded plywood
- Light-filled spaces with colorful upholstery
- Glass walls and an emphasis on the outdoors
- Promotion of functionality
MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGNERS TO KNOW
- Charles and Ray Eames
- Eero Saarinen
- Milo Baughman
- Florence Knoll
- Harry Bertoia
- Isamu Noguchi
- George Nelson
- Danish modernists Hans Wegner and Arne Jacobsen, whose emphasis on natural materials and craftsmanship influenced American designers and vice versa
ICONIC MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGNS
- Eames lounge chair
- Nelson daybed
- Florence Knoll sofa
- Egg chair
- Womb chair
- Noguchi coffee table
- Barcelona chair
VINTAGE MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE ON 1STDIBS
The mid-century modern era saw leagues of postwar American architects and designers animated by new ideas and new technology. The lean, functionalist International-style architecture of Le Corbusier and Bauhaus eminences Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius had been promoted in the United States during the 1930s by Philip Johnson and others. New building techniques, such as “post-and-beam” construction, allowed the International-style schemes to be realized on a small scale in open-plan houses with long walls of glass.
Materials developed for wartime use became available for domestic goods and were incorporated into mid-century modern furniture designs. Charles and Ray Eames and Eero Saarinen, who had experimented extensively with molded plywood, eagerly embraced fiberglass for pieces such as the La Chaise and the Womb chair, respectively.
Architect, writer and designer George Nelson created with his team shades for the Bubble lamp using a new translucent polymer skin and, as design director at Herman Miller, recruited the Eameses, Alexander Girard and others for projects at the legendary Michigan furniture manufacturer.
Harry Bertoia and Isamu Noguchi devised chairs and tables built of wire mesh and wire struts. Materials were repurposed too: The Danish-born designer Jens Risom created a line of chairs using surplus parachute straps for webbed seats and backrests. The Risom lounge chair was among the first pieces of furniture commissioned and produced by legendary manufacturer Knoll, a chief influencer in the rise of modern design in the United States, thanks to the work of Florence Knoll, the pioneering architect and designer who made the firm a leader in its field. The seating that Knoll created for office spaces — as well as pieces designed by Florence initially for commercial clients — soon became desirable for the home.
As the demand for casual, uncluttered furnishings grew, more mid-century furniture designers caught the spirit.
Classically oriented creators such as Edward Wormley, house designer for Dunbar Inc., offered such pieces as the sinuous Listen to Me chaise; the British expatriate T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings switched gears, creating items such as the tiered, biomorphic Mesa table. There were Young Turks such as Paul McCobb, who designed holistic groups of sleek, blond wood furniture, and Milo Baughman, who espoused a West Coast aesthetic in minimalist teak dining tables and lushly upholstered chairs and sofas with angular steel frames.
As the collection of vintage mid-century modern chairs, dressers, coffee tables and other furniture for the living room, dining room, bedroom and elsewhere on 1stDibs demonstrates, this period saw one of the most delightful and dramatic flowerings of creativity in design history.
Materials: plastic Furniture
Arguably the world’s most ubiquitous man-made material, plastic has impacted nearly every industry. In contemporary spaces, new and vintage plastic furniture is quite popular and its use pairs well with a range of design styles.
From the Italian lighting artisans at Fontana Arte to venturesome Scandinavian modernists such as Verner Panton, who created groundbreaking interiors as much as he did seating — see his revolutionary Panton chair — to contemporary multidisciplinary artists like Faye Toogood, furniture designers have been pushing the boundaries of plastic forever.
When The Graduate's Mr. McGuire proclaimed, “There’s a great future in plastics,” it was more than a laugh line. The iconic quote is an allusion both to society’s reliance on and its love affair with plastic. Before the material became an integral part of our lives — used in everything from clothing to storage to beauty and beyond — people relied on earthly elements for manufacturing, a process as time-consuming as it was costly.
Soon after American inventor John Wesley Hyatt created celluloid, which could mimic luxury products like tortoiseshell and ivory, production hit fever pitch, and the floodgates opened for others to explore plastic’s full potential. The material altered the history of design — mid-century modern legends Charles and Ray Eames, Joe Colombo and Eero Saarinen regularly experimented with plastics in the development of tables and chairs, and today plastic furnishings and decorative objects are seen as often indoors as they are outside.
Finding the Right table-lamps for You
Perfect for lighting your nightstand or reading nook, table lamps play an integral role in styling an inviting room. A well-crafted antique or vintage table lamp does more than provide light; the right fixture-and-table combination can add a focal point or creative element to any interior.
Proper table lamps have long been used for lighting our most intimate spaces. In the years before electricity, lamps used oil. Today, a rewired 19th-century vintage lamp can still provide a touch of elegance for a study.
After industrial milestones such as mass production took hold in the Victorian era, various design movements sought to bring craftsmanship and innovation back to this indispensable household item. Lighting designers during the Art Deco movement, originating in the glamorous roaring ’20s, sought to celebrate modern life by fusing modern metals with dark woods and dazzling colors in the fixtures of the era. The geometric shapes and gilded details of an Art Deco table lamp provide an air of luxury and sophistication that never goes out of style.
Some mid-century modern table lamps, particularly those created by the likes of Joe Colombo and the legendary lighting artisans at Fontana Arte, bear all the provocative hallmarks associated with Space Age design. Sculptural and versatile, the Louis Poulsen table lamps of that period were revolutionary for their time and still seem innovative today.
If you are looking for something more contemporary, industrial table lamps are demonstrative of a newly chic style that isn’t afraid to pay homage to the past. They look particularly at home in any rustic loft space amid exposed brick and steel beams.
Before you buy a desk lamp or table lamp for your living room, consider your lighting needs. The Snoopy lamp, designed in 1967, or any other “banker’s lamp” (shorthand for the Emeralite desk lamps patented by H.G. McFaddin and Company), provides light at a downward angle that is perfect for writing, while the Fontana table lamp and the beloved Grasshopper lamp by Greta Magnusson-Grossman each yield a soft and even glow. Some table lamps require lampshades to be bought separately.
Whether it’s a classic antique Tiffany table lamp or even a bold avant-garde fixture custom-made by a contemporary design firm, the right table lamp can completely transform a room. Find the right one for you on 1stDibs.
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There are many lessons to be learned from the lofts, apartments and townhouses of architects and decorators in Manhattan and beyond.
Jeff Andrews Captures Old Hollywood Glamour in His Cinematic Spaces
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Desert Modern Designer Arthur Elrod Finally Gets His Day in the Sun
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From the Hamptons to Palm Springs, FormArch’s Homes Embody Both Comfort and Cool
The houses from this New York studio cloak modernist tendencies within what are often more traditional trappings.