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Lightolier

Founded in 1904 in New York and family-operated through most of its history, Lightolier was one of the pioneering American electric lighting companies, best known for its embrace of stylistic and technical innovations.

Collectors focus on vintage Lightolier lighting fixtures produced from the 1950s and into the 1970s, when an in-house design team led by Gerald Thurston — and a stellar cast of international design contributors — created an array of practical yet aesthetically lively table lamps, floor lamps, sconces and chandeliers.

Amidst the post-World War II building boom, Lightolier — the name combines “light” and “chandelier” — aggressively boosted its residential lighting division. Thurston, who was strongly influenced by the sleek designs of Gino Sarfatti and his Italian lighting firm Arteluce, towards simpler lamp designs that offered flexibility of function. His best-known designs include the Cricket task light — a lamp with an adjustable enameled metal hood that toggles on a slender bent-metal base — and the three-legged Tripod floor lamp. At the same time, Thurston had a wonderful eye for talent and sought work from some of the lesser-known greats of the era, such as Paavo Tynell, the Finnish lighting designer, who designed several brass chandeliers for Lightolier with his trademark elegant flamboyance.

And more, Thurston recognized abilities in designers not known for their work in lighting.

Edward Wormley, head of furniture design for Dunbar, produced several noteworthy chandeliers employing canisters and reflective hoods. Alvin Lustig was famed as a graphic designer. His ca. 1953 Ring ceiling fixture for Lightolier had a minimalist techno look some 30 years ahead of its time. But this was par. Designed by Michael Lax in 1964, the Lytegem high-intensity lamp — included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art — features a ball-shaped shade attached with a chromed armature to a cubic base, a form that would be widely copied in the following decade. Chandeliers designed in the early 1970s by Gaetano Sciolari, with details such as acrylic diffusers and vertical, two-bulb arms, would define the look of lighting in their day.

A look through these pages reveals just how astonishingly wide a range of lighting pieces Lightolier produced. The company never flicked off its stylistic switch.

Find a collection of vintage Lightolier lamps and other lighting fixtures on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$1,651
Styles
Materials
Related Creators
Elegant Table Lamp or Desk Light by Gerald Thurston for Lightolier USA 1950s
By Gerald Thurston, Lightolier
Located in Munich, DE
Elegant Mid-Century Modern table lamp or desk light. Designed by Gerald Thurston for Lightolier, USA, 1950s. Executed in brass, aluminium, lucite and metal, the table lamp comes wit...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Lightolier

Materials

Metal, Aluminum, Brass

Lightolier Atomic Sputnik Ball Table Lamp
By Lightolier
Located in Palm Springs, CA
A great table lamp with its original globe shades out of a nice Palm Springs Estate. This 1970’s Lightolier fixture still has a few of its labels. I only had one bulb to light it up...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Lightolier

Materials

Metal

MCM to Modern Aluminum Dome Pendant Hanging Light Fixture Selling Separately
By Lightolier
Located in Topeka, KS
Handsome vintage Mid-Century Modern to Modern aluminum dome pendant hanging light fixtures 5 available, selling separately & priced per hanging light fixture. Beautiful condition, ke...
Category

Late 20th Century American Modern Lightolier

Materials

Metal, Wire

Sculptural 36-Bulb Chandelier by Gaetano Sciolari for Lightolier ca. 1970s
By Gaetano Sciolari, Lightolier
Located in Peabody, MA
Large modernist thirty-six bulb chandelier by Gaetano Sciolari for Lightolier, ca. early 1970s. A classic architectural design that offers both upward and downward facing light, crea...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Lightolier

Materials

Aluminum

Paavo Tynell Ballerina chandelier by Lightolier
By Lightolier
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Paavo Tynell Ballerina chandelier made by Lightolier in 1960s. Has six branches with lights and one light in the middle inside the perforated meta...
Category

1960s Canadian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Lightolier

Materials

Aluminum, Brass, Steel

Gerald Thurston Ribbed Ceramic Table Lamps
By Lightolier, Gerald Thurston
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Pair of ceramic table lamps, designed by Gerald Thurston for Lightolier. Executed in a minimal black and white, this fresh design has a ribbed motif that adds texture to these large ...
Category

Late 20th Century American Post-Modern Lightolier

Materials

Ceramic

Mid Century Gooseneck Floor Lamp by Thurston for Lightolier
By Gerald Thurston, Lightolier
Located in New York, NY
Iconic Mid Century two light gooseneck floor lamp, having flex arms with conical shades, on round plinth base. Designed by Gerald Thurston, for Lightolier, circa 1950's. Often imita...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Lightolier

Materials

Brass, Steel

1940s Pair Bronze 2 Arm Nautical Sconces Sailing Ship Galleons
By Lightolier
Located in New York, NY
1940s nautical style two arm sconces with a sailing ship galleon motif at the top. Made of bronze in an antique finish. Sold as a pair. These will be cleaned and rewired before shipp...
Category

1940s American Vintage Lightolier

Materials

Bronze

Browse all Furniture from Lightolier
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Creators Similar to Lightolier

Lightolier furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Lightolier furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of metal and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Lightolier furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original furniture by Lightolier were created in the mid-century modern style in north america during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Gordon & Jane Martz, Laurel Lamp Company, and Marshall Studios. Prices for Lightolier furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $175 and can go as high as $20,000, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $2,000.
Questions About Lightolier
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Lightolier was founded in 1904 by Bernhard Blitzer and the name is a combination of the words “light” and “chandelier.” Lightolier specializes in elaborate and decorative chandeliers, but they also produce a style of lamps that combine functionality with a lively aesthetic. Browse a collection of Lightolier lamps on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Yes, Lightolier is still in business. Founded in 1904 and made popular by its electric lighting designs, Lightolier, a contraction of the words light and chandelier, can still be found in stores today. You can also shop Lightolier goods from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.

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