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Italian 81 Cubic

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Italian, 81 Cubic Chandelier by Gaetano Sciolari, 1970s
By Gaetano Sciolari
Located in Melbourne, VIC
The "Cubic" light is an icon of Italian Mid-Century Modern design. Gaetano Sciolari designed this light in the 1970s and this large 81 "cubic" pendant is very rare. The frame consist...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Chrome

Italian, 81 Cubic Chandelier by Gaetano Sciolari, 1970s
By Gaetano Sciolari
Located in Melbourne, VIC
The "Cubic" light is an icon of Italian Mid-Century Modern design. Gaetano Sciolari designed this light in the 1970s and this large 81 "cubic" pendant is very rare. The frame consist...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

1970s 81 Cubic Sciolari Chrome Chandelier , Italy
By Gaetano Sciolari
Located in St- Leonard, Quebec
Iconic, rare lighting art piece from Gaetano Sciolari with 81 cubes . Structure is made of chromed brass cubes connected togheter with aluminim bridge . Prime quality material,...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants

Materials

Aluminum, Chrome

A Close Look at mid-century-modern Furniture

Organically-shaped, clean-lined and elegantly simple are three terms that well describe mid-century modern American 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.

Postwar American architects and designers were animated by new ideas and new technology. The lean, functionalist “International Style” architecture of Le Corbusier and Bauhaus eminences such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius had been promoted in the United States during the ’30s 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, respectively, pieces such as the La Chaise and the Womb chair. George Nelson and his design team created Bubble lamp shades using a new translucent polymer skin. Harry Bertoia and Isamu Noguchi devised chairs and tables built of wire mesh and wire struts. Materials were re-purposed: the Danish-born designer Jens Risom created a line of chairs that used surplus parachute straps for webbed seats and backrests.

As the demand for casual, uncluttered furnishings grew, more mid-century 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, blonde-wood furniture — and Milo Baughman, who espoused a West Coast aesthetic in lushly upholstered chairs and sofas with angular steel frames.

As the collection of vintage mid-century modern American furniture on 1stDibs demonstrates, this period saw one of the most delightful and dramatic flowerings of creativity in design history.

Finding the Right Chandeliers and Pendants for You

Chandeliers — simple in form, inspired by candelabras and originally made of wood or iron — first made an appearance in early churches. For those wealthy enough to afford them for their homes in the medieval period, a chandelier's suspended lights likely exuded imminent danger, as lit candles served as the light source for fixtures of the era. Things have thankfully changed since then, and antique and vintage chandeliers and pendant lights are popular in many interiors today.

While gas lighting during the late 18th century represented an upgrade for chandeliers — and gas lamps would long inspire Danish architect and pioneering modernist lighting designer Poul Henningsen — it would eventually be replaced with the familiar electric lighting of today.

The key difference between a pendant light and a chandelier is that a pendant incorporates only a single bulb into its design. Don’t mistake this for simplicity, however. An Art Deco–styled homage to Sputnik from Murano glass artisans Giovanni Dalla Fina (note: there is more than one lighting fixture that shares its name with the iconic mid-century-era satellite — see Gino Sarfatti’s design too), with handcrafted decorative elements supported by a chrome frame, is just one stunning example of the elaborate engineering that can be incorporated into every component of a chandelier.

Chandeliers have evolved over time, but their classic elegance has remained unchanged. Not only will the right chandelier prove impressive in a given room, but it can also offer a certain sense of practicality. These fixtures can easily illuminate an entire space, while their elevated position prevents them from creating glare or straining one’s eyes. Certain materials, like glass, can complement naturally lit settings without stealing the show. Brass, on the other hand, can introduce an alluring, warm glow. While LEDs have earned a bad reputation for their perceived harsh bluish lights and a loss of brightness over their life span, the right design choices can help harness their lighting potential and create the perfect mood. A careful approach to lighting can transform your room into a peaceful and cozy nook, ideal for napping, reading or working.

For midsize spaces, a wall light or sconce can pull the room together and get the lighting job done. Perforated steel rings underneath five bands of handspun aluminum support a rich diffusion of light within Alvar Aalto's Beehive pendant light, but if you’re looking to brighten a more modest room, perhaps a minimalist solution is what you’re after. The mid-century modern furniture designer Charlotte Perriand devised her CP-1 wall lamps in the 1960s, in which a repositioning of sheet-metal plates can redirect light as needed.

The versatility and variability of these lighting staples mean that, when it comes to finding something like the perfect chandelier, you’ll never be left hanging. From the whimsical — like the work of Beau & Bien’s Sylvie Maréchal, frequently inspired by her dreams — to the classic beauty of Paul Ferrante's fixtures, there is a style for every room. With designs for pendant lights and chandeliers across eras, colors and materials, you’ll never run out of options to explore on 1stDibs.