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Robert Sonneman

American, b. 1943

Though Robert Sonneman was quite literally born into the lighting business, it took working for another celebrated lighting maker for him to land upon the kind of boundary-pushing modernism for which the New York–based designer is known today.

At the age of 19, fresh off a stint in the U.S. Navy, Sonneman responded to an ad for a position working in the studio of George Kovacs on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where he became the sole employee. “Although my parents were in the lighting business, they came from a traditional perspective, and Kovacs introduced me to modernism,” Sonneman once said. “It was 1961, and I was immediately captured by the movement.”

While working for Kovacs, Sonneman became captivated by the work of the Bauhaus, and he began experimenting with the influential art and design school’s ideas of functional simplicity in lighting. In 1967, he opened his own studio.

Though Sonneman Design Group produced furniture for a brief time, the designer eventually elected to focus on the one category that had always fascinated him; the brand became known for its floor lamps, sconces, pendants and chandeliers that feature unconventional treatments toward shape and balance, often inspired by modern architecture. Sonneman once said of his work: “I saw the lamps that I built as lighting machines that glorified the industrial aesthetic.”

Indeed, in the spirit of Bauhaus functionality — Sonneman has also cited Mies van der Rohe as being an inspiration — the designer’s work takes function-centric forms and motifs and elevates them while prioritizing technology. This spirit of forward thinking continues today, as Sonneman’s brand, renamed SONNEMAN – A Way of Light in 2003, works with LED bulbs to continue to push the boundaries of what functional lighting can achieve aesthetically.

Current-day releases by SONNEMAN – A Way of Light (still overseen by Sonneman himself) feature 95 percent LED lights and include interior and exterior lighting as well as modular suspended lights as an alternative to track lighting. Sonneman’s vintage pieces, however, are still widely collected on the secondary market.

Find vintage Robert Sonneman lighting on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Robert Sonneman
Pair of Mid Century Modern Stainless Table Lamps Robert Sonneman for Kovacs
By George Kovacs, Robert Sonneman
Located in Port Jervis, NY
Simple yet elegant pair of chrome barrel shaped table lamps by Robert Sonneman for George Kovacs. In excellent vintage condition with minimal wear. Wiring is sound, shades included b...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Steel, Chrome

Black and Chrome Triennale Floor Lamp by Sonneman
By Robert Sonneman
Located in New York, NY
This is the American answer to the classic Italian "Triennale" floor lamp for Arredoluce. The arms (each 36" L) pivot and tilt to adjust the direction of the light. Each arm has a ch...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome, Steel

Robert Sonneman Chrome Tube Cathedral Chandelier
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Jacksonville, FL
Iconic tubular chandelier features folded chrome tubes and bold mid century modern style. Four sockets. Good vintage condition with minor imperfections consistent with age.  
Category

1970s Hollywood Regency Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Metal

Chrome Five Light Ring Fixture
By Robert Sonneman
Located in New York, NY
Circular chrome rings surround the large exposed bulbs, five lights make this chandelier capable of illuminating a large space. Bright chrome finish, fine original condition.
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome, Stainless Steel

Mid-Century Modern Lucite with Chrome Desk Table Lamp Robert Sonneman
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Port Jervis, NY
Simple and elegant table desk lamp fully adjustable. Lamp pivots on a Lucite 7 x 7 base, tightens with the use of a chrome thumbscrew. Chrome eyeball shade does the same, totally adj...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome

Mid Century Modern Vintage Chrome Floor Lamp by Robert Sonneman, 1960s, USA
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Vienna, AT
Mid century modern vintage chromed floor lamp by Robert Sonneman, which shows six turnable globes. Also the vintage floor lamp has six E 14 sockets and on/off button. The vintage co...
Category

1960s American Space Age Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Metal, Chrome

Sonneman Tubular Chrome Lamp
By Sonneman Lighting, Robert Sonneman
Located in Bastrop, TX
Award winning and acclaimed for clean lines and innovative approaches, many of Sonneman's sleek, functiionalist lighting designs have become classics of the modern era. Sonneman has ...
Category

1960s American Space Age Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome, Iron

Classic Black and White Art Deco Revival Torchiere
By Robert Sonneman
Located in New York, NY
Elegant and simple Art Deco style uplight floor lamp. The on/off switch is on the cord, consistent with the style of the period (1970/1980's) Probably manufactured in Italy for Rober...
Category

20th Century Italian Robert Sonneman

Materials

Metal

Adjustable Table Light by Robert Sonneman
By Robert Sonneman
Located in NYC, NY
A pair of lamps with a rectangular black base with pivoting arms ending in a lacquered black globe head with a black counter balance at the other end-well suited for as desk or bedsi...
Category

1970s American Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Metal

Robert Sonneman, "Safari" Table Lamp, Bamboo, Stone, Fabric, United States 1990s
By Robert Sonneman
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A table lamp designed by Robert Sonneman for his "Safari" series. Executed in Bamboo, Stone, Fabric, United States, 1990s. With original lampshade.  
Category

1970s American Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Stone

Robert Sonneman Marble Base Table Lamp
By Robert Sonneman
Located in East Hampton, NY
Adjustable metal and marble table lamp by Robert Sonneman for Kovacs.
Category

1960s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Pair of Midcentury Brass and Chrome Table Lamps by Robert Sonneman
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Chicago, IL
A pair of Mid-Century Modern brass and chrome table lamps by Robert Sonneman. Wired for USA. Does not include harp or shade.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Robert Sonneman

Materials

Brass, Chrome

Robert Sonneman Floor Lamp
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Palm Springs, CA
Sonneman chrome plated steel floor lamp. Lamp measures 18" wide, 18" deep and 65" high. Base is 10" diameter. We had the shade professionally relined. Shade measures 12" wide, 12" de...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Steel

Robert Sonneman for George Kovacs Reading Floor Lamp, 1990
By Robert Sonneman, George Kovacs
Located in Port Jervis, NY
Fully adjustable reading lamp in bronze enamel by Robert Sonneman for Kovacs. In excellent vintage condition with minimal wear. Lamp extends from 45 inches to 58 in height. This item...
Category

1990s American Modern Robert Sonneman

Materials

Steel

International Style Reading Lamp by Robert Sonneman
By Robert Sonneman
Located in San Mateo, CA
Robert Sonneman designed Minimalist reading lamp. This has a black anodized aluminium shade and a black enameled cast iron base with a simple chrome tube connecting the two. By loose...
Category

Mid-20th Century American International Style Robert Sonneman

Materials

Aluminum, Iron, Chrome

Pair of Mid Century Modern Nickel and Copper Table Lamps by Robert Sonneman
By Robert Sonneman, George Kovacs
Located in Bedford Hills, NY
Striking pair of burnished copper and nickel postmodern table lamps by Robert Sonneman for George Kovacs. Lamps have been rewired with brass fitting. Shades not included.
Category

20th Century American Modern Robert Sonneman

Materials

Copper, Nickel

Robert Sonneman, "Safari" Floor Lamp, Bamboo, Stone, Fabric, United States 1990s
By Robert Sonneman
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A floor lamp, designed by Robert Sonneman for his "Safari" series. Executed in Bamboo, Stone, Fabric, United States, 1990s. With original lampshade.  
Category

1970s American Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Stone

Robert Sonneman for George Kovacs Marble and Chrome Task Lamp
By George Kovacs, Robert Sonneman
Located in Chicago, IL
A sculptural table lamp by Robert Sonneman for George Kovacs featuring a nero marquina triangular base.  
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Robert Sonneman

Materials

Marble, Chrome

Bankers Lamp in Black, Brass and Glass by Robert Sonneman, Halogen
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Kansas City, MO
Bankers style table lamp designed by Robert Sonneman, 1980s. Functions perfectly, halogen bulb included. Very few if any signs of use.
Category

1980s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Brass, Steel

Robert Sonneman Seven-Light Chrome Tiered Chandelier
By Robert Sonneman
Located in East Hampton, NY
Robert Sonneman seven-light chrome tiered chandelier. There is movement and illumination in this beautiful chandelier.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome

Robert Sonneman Curvy Chrome Orbiter Wall Sconce Walnut Wall Mount, 1960s
By Robert Sonneman
Located in National City, CA
For your pleasure: Cool curvy chrome orbiter white wall sconce walnut wall mount 1960s Fabulous Mid-Century Modern chrome wall sconce by Robert Sonneman. Sleek curved sconce attach...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome

Post Modern Memphis Sonneman Table Lamps for Kovacs
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Cincinnati, OH
A pair of pewter toned metal table lamps with coned shades topped with patinaed brass finals matching the ball to the base and middle detail piece. Inside the shade is a frosted glas...
Category

Late 20th Century American Post-Modern Robert Sonneman

Materials

Metal

Chrome Metal Ball Lamp by Robert Sonneman. 1970s
By Robert Sonneman
Located in SAINT-OUEN, FR
Tall table lamp chrome ball black wood lacquered base by Robert Sonneman. Wired for US. famous design like Sciolari, Reggiani, Luci, Lumi.
Category

1970s American Space Age Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Metal, Chrome

Pair of Chrome and White Glass Pendant Lamps by Sonneman
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Palm Springs, CA
A glamorous pair of 1970s polish chrome and white glass pendant lamps by Sonneman. The lamps are chrome on the outside and black lacquer in the inside. A white glass cylinder covers ...
Category

1970s American Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome

Robert Sonneman NOS Ventilator Series Postmodern Pendant Light, 10 Available
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Chesterfield, NJ
Very cool Industrial style ventilator pendant lamp originally designed by Robert Sonneman for George Kovacs in 1990 and manufactured in 2005 by Robert Sonneman Contemporary Visions. ...
Category

Early 2000s Chinese Post-Modern Robert Sonneman

Materials

Aluminum, Steel

1970s Robert Sonneman Chrome Pendant Chandelier
By Robert Sonneman
Located in New York City, NY
1970s chrome pendant chandelier with 5 adjustable chrome pipes. In vintage original condition.
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome

1970s Robert Sonneman Pendant Chandelier
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Roma, IT
Wonderful Robert Sonneman Mother Pearl tube Cathedral chandelier Total height cm 100 Perfectly working Every item of our Gallery, upon request, is accompanied by a certificate ...
Category

1970s American Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Metal

Robert Sonneman Atomic Table Lamp, 1950s, USA
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Miami, FL
Fun chrome atomic multi bulb table lamp from 1950s USA by Robert Sonneman.
Category

1950s Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome

Mid-Century Modern Robert Sonneman Wind Chime Hanging Light
By Robert Sonneman
Located in San Antonio, TX
Robert Sonneman wind chime hanging light features 5 chrome chime lights measuring at a 2" diameter and 13" in height. The light fixture drops to a total of 76". Below are the measure...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome

Robert Sonneman for Kovacs Marble Cube Floor Lamp, 1960s
By Kovacs, Robert Sonneman
Located in Southampton, NJ
Vintage floor lamp having pivoting aluminum cylindrical shade with cubes marble base designed by Robert Sonneman for Kovacs circa 1960. 2 tiny chips on marble and some horizontal r...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Robert Sonneman

Materials

Carrara Marble, Aluminum

Pair of Mid-century Modern Robert Sonneman Molecule Lamps
By Robert Sonneman
Located in San Antonio, TX
Pair of vintage Robert Sonneman “molecule” table lamps feature four chrome stacked spherical lights to create the molecule look. These lamps have some wear such as light scratches an...
Category

Mid-20th Century North American Mid-Century Modern Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome

Postmodern Sonneman for Kovacs Two Light Anglepoise Halogen Floor Lamp
By Kovacs, Robert Sonneman
Located in New York, NY
Voguish 1980's chic architectural two arm angle poise floor lamp in graphic black finish. The lamp features two adjustable arms, ( each 34 in. W ) with cone form head ( 4 in. Dia. ),...
Category

Late 20th Century American Post-Modern Robert Sonneman

Materials

Metal

Robert Sonneman Memphis Lamp for George Kovacs
By Robert Sonneman, George Kovacs
Located in Miami, FL
Memphis inspired desk or table lamp by Robert Sonneman for George Kovacs, 1980s.
Category

1980s American Post-Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Metal

Robert Sonneman Post Modern Floor Lamp
By George Kovacs, Robert Sonneman
Located in Miami, FL
Post-Modern torchiere uplighter floor lamp rendered in powder coated and painted steel with geometric forms reminiscent of Ettore Sottsass Memphis Milano designs, by Robert Sonneman.
Category

Late 20th Century American Post-Modern Robert Sonneman

Materials

Steel

Robert Sonnemen Brass and Chrome Chandelier
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Houston, TX
1970s Robert Sonnemen brass and chrome chandelier, signed.
Category

20th Century American Modern Robert Sonneman

Materials

Brass, Chrome

Vintage Double-Fixture Adjustable Chrome Table Lamp by Robert Sonneman
By Koch & Lowy, Robert Sonneman
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Chrome table lamp by Robert Sonneman for Koch & Lowy (ca. 1970s). Composed of two pivoting, cylindrical shades supported by tubular-chrome stems and a round base with a single on / o...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome

Set of Palle Suenson Side Table in Solid Teak with Edward Wormley Armchairs
By Edward Wormley, Robert Sonneman
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Palle Suenson, side table, teak, Denmark, c. 1940 Striking Scandinavian Modern side table by Danish architect and designer Palle Suenson (1904-1987). This particular table is spec...
Category

1950s European Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Metal

'80s Black Minimalist Desk Lamp by Designer Robert Sonneman
By George Kovacs, Robert Sonneman
Located in New York, NY
A chic designer black Minimalist desk, task, or nightstand light, 1988. Lamp is by designer Robert Sonneman for Robert Kovacs maker. With designer and maker's mark on bottom as show ...
Category

1980s American Minimalist Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Metal

Robert Sonneman Articulating Chrome Floor Lamp with Black Shade, 1970s
By George Kovacs, Robert Sonneman
Located in Bainbridge, NY
Modern Robert Sonneman for George Kovacs reading floor lamp. Featuring a tubular chromed steel stem, arm, knob, and ball socket. With adjustable black enameled aluminum 8D shade and ...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome, Iron, Aluminum, Steel

Robert Sonneman Chrome Floor Lamp
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Mexico City, CDMX
Circa 1970, we offer this large Mid-Century Modern chrome floor lamp designed by Robert Sonneman for Lightolier.   
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Steel

Robert Sonneman for Luci Cinisello Table Lamp Model 395 in Chrome and Red Metal
By Robert Sonneman, Luci Cinisello
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Robert Sonneman for Luci Cinisello, table lamp model 395, metal, chrome, Italy, 1970s Adjustable desk lamp model 395 by Robert Sonneman for Italian manufacturer Luci Cinisello. Th...
Category

1970s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Metal, Chrome

Robert Sonneman Black & White "Lollipop" Table Lamp with White Shade, 1970s
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Bainbridge, NY
Modern Robert Sonneman "Lollipop" Black and White Lamp. Featuring a weighted rectangular Black metal base, Black tubular stem and newly replaced White Frosted globe shade. With Rober...
Category

1970s American Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Metal

Robert Sonneman Designed "Cityscape" Brutalist Chandelier
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Van Nuys, CA
Modernist sheet steel and brass "Cityscape" fixture by Robert Sonneman. The chandelier is made of flat copper panels connection but steel rods. Finished and replated to like new c...
Category

1970s American Brutalist Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Copper, Steel

Triennale Floor Lamp by Robert Sonneman, 1960s
By Sonneman Lighting, Robert Sonneman
Located in Hamburg, PA
An amazing Triennale chrome floor lamp by Robert Sonneman, 1960s. This floor lamp has three adjustable arms, there is a shade on each arm that can be turned individually. Chrome stee...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome

Robert Sonneman "Cityscape" Brutalist Chandelier
By Robert Sonneman
Located in New York, NY
Modernist sheet steel and brass fixture, by Robert Sonneman. Large and impressive.
Category

1970s American Brutalist Vintage Robert Sonneman

Robert Sonneman Steel and Brass Lamp, circa 1980s
By George Kovacs, Robert Sonneman
Located in Houston, TX
Handsome late 20th century steel and brass table lamp or desk lamp by Robert Sonneman. This unusual lamp is geometric in design with a cone shaped shade and a glass light diffuser.
Category

1980s North American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Brass, Steel

Postmodern Memphis Era Table/Desk Lamp by Robert Sonneman
By Robert Sonneman, George Kovacs
Located in San Diego, CA
1987 Designed by Robert Sonneman for George Kovacs table desk lamp, with dimmer switch freshly rewired, with brass poles and glass diffuser, beautiful simple and elegant.
Category

Late 20th Century American Post-Modern Robert Sonneman

Materials

Brass, Chrome

Robert Sonneman "High Style" Brass Chandelier
By Robert Sonneman
Located in New York, NY
A rare Robert Sonneman brass sculptural pendant chandelier.
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Brass

Chrome and White Metal Minimalist Desk Lamp by Designer Robert Sonneman, 1970s
By Robert Sonneman
Located in San Francisco, CA
A beautiful Mid-Century Modern / Minimalist articulating chrome & white metal desk lamp designed by Robert Sonneman. The counter balanced light, controlled by a dimmer switch at the ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Minimalist Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome, Metal

Robert Sonneman Midcentury Chrome Bubble Lamp, 1960s
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Lambertville, NJ
A wonderful tall atomic chrome lamp with nine large white globe 25 watt light bulbs as part of the design Very good condition. One very tiny dent on the chrome base please refer to p...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome

Robert Sonneman Modernist Orbital Floor Lamp
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Gorgeous modern Robert Sonneman chrome orbital floor lamp. In original condition with wonderful patina. Normal wear. Adjustable pivoting arm and eyeball socket.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Robert Sonneman

Robert Sonneman Pop Art Chrome Cylinder Lamps
By Robert Sonneman
Located in New York, NY
Pair of Robert Sonneman Pop Art chrome cylinder lamps have eight lights each, with maximum 25 watts per socket, up to 200w. per lamp. Lamp body without bulbs measures 3.5" diameter.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome

Robert Sonneman, "Safari" Table Lamp, Bamboo, Stone, Fabric, United States 1970s
By Robert Sonneman
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A table lamp, designed by Robert Sonneman for his "Safari" series. Executed in Bamboo, Stone, Fabric, USA, c. 1970s. With original lampshade. Other designers of the period include...
Category

1970s American Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Stone

Chrome and Black Lacquered Reading Floor Lamp by Robert Sonneman for Kovacs
By Kovacs, Robert Sonneman
Located in Palm Springs, CA
1960s polish chrome and black lacquered reading floor lamp design by Robert Sonneman for Kovacs. On/Off rotating switch on shade. It takes a regular 75w Max Edison lightbulb. Meas...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Aluminum, Steel, Chrome

Robert Sonneman Large Mixed Metal Cityscape Chandelier
By Robert Sonneman
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
Large scale mixed metal cityscape chandelier by Robert Sonneman. Rare example consisting of alternating brass and polished aluminum plates bound by brass rods and screw in ends. 3 bu...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Brass, Chrome

Triennale Mid Century Modern Orbiter Chrome Floor Lamp by Robert Sonneman
By Robert Sonneman
Located in San Jose, CA
Vintage Triennale floor lamp designed by Robert Sonneman circa 1970's. This versatile piece features three adjustable chrome orb light heads that pivot on balancing lever arms. Globe...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Metal, Chrome

Matched Pair of Robert Sonneman Triennale Eyegball Orbiter Floor Lamps
By Arredoluce, Robert Sonneman
Located in Buffalo, NY
Matching pair of Space Age Robert Sonneman Triennale Atomic Orbiter floor lamp. Classic modernist lighting, great original condition, in the style of Arredoluce, Hand delivery avail...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman

Materials

Steel, Chrome

Robert Sonneman Globe Floor Lamps
By Robert Sonneman, George Kovacs
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Set of three chrome globe floor lamps, designed by Robert Sonneman for George Kovacs. In graduated heights, the minimal yet sculptural form has a strong presence when grouped togethe...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Robert Sonneman

Materials

Chrome

Robert Sonneman furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Robert Sonneman's furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of Robert Sonneman furniture, there are many options to choose from, although black editions of this piece are particularly popular. There are currently 132 vintage editions of these items in stock, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many of the original furniture by Robert Sonneman were created in North America during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Stiffel, Russel Wright and Koch & Lowy. Prices for Robert Sonneman furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $275 and tops out at $9,500, while pieces like these can sell for $1,575 on average.

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