Skip to main content

Walter Von Nessen

Walter von Nessen (Germany and USA, 1889–1943)
Walter von Nessen (Germany and USA, 1889–1943)

Art Deco industrial designer Walter von Nessen is best known for his glamorous Machine Age lighting designs and for his invention of the swing-arm lamp. Von Nessen was born in Germany, where he studied under Bruno Paul at Berlin’s Kunstgewerbeschule. After World War I, he worked for the architect Peter Behrens, in Berlin. He left in 1919 for Stockholm, where he designed furniture until emigrating with his wife, Margaretta, to the United States in 1923. In 1927, the couple opened Nessen Studios in Manhattan, designing and selling sleek, modern architectural lighting.

Art Deco was both novel and exciting in the late 1920s — as, indeed, was electricity itself — and Nessen Studios was at the forefront of the movement. Electric lighting designers at the time had no direct models to follow. The shapes and silhouettes of gas lamps, lanterns and chandeliers had been influenced by those of the kerosene-, oil- and candle-lit fixtures that preceded them, which in turn were informed by the fuels they used. Electric lighting required designs that accommodated essentials of the new technology, like cords and sockets. Von Nessen and his contemporaries thus had to create fixtures that addressed these challenges and looked modern without appearing overly mechanical.

Along with industrial-design visionaries of the period like Raymond Loewy, Gilbert Rohde and Donald Deskey, von Nessen crafted a style that was emblematic of the Machine Age. He produced lamps and home accessories from spun aluminum, with smooth surfaces that evoked the polished gleam of streamlined automobiles and airplanes. And he experimented with other popular materials of the era, such as Bakelite, chrome and fiberglass. His ingenious design for the now-ubiquitous swing-arm lamp earned him a reputation as an innovator.

Von Nessen’s work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Museum, among other institutions. Designed to complement the luxurious interiors of the 1920s and ‘30s, still look fresh nearly a century later.

Applied Filters7 results
Creator:Walter Von Nessen
Dealer:The Lush Life Antiques
7
to
2
Item Location
7
7
7
7
7
4
3
2
2
1
7
7
7
7
7
45
22
10
9
8
Machine Age Art Deco Walter Von Nessen for Chase Tulip Candlestick Holders
By Walter Von Nessen, Chase Brass and Copper Company
Located in Dallas, TX
Machine age Art Deco Walter Von Nessen for chase tulip candlestick holders candle stick candlesticks Rare pair early Nessen designs for Chase, #NS639 (first Catalog only-1933) "Tu...
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Chrome

Machine Age Art Deco Mixed Metal Lighting Designs by Walter Von Nessen
By Walter Von Nessen, Chase Brass and Copper Company, Miller Lamp Company
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Aluminum, Brass, Copper, Enamel, Steel

Pair of Machine Age Art Deco Efcolite Skyscraper Sconces by Walter Von Nessen
By Walter Von Nessen, Efco Lite 1
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Ceramic, Chrome

Machine Age Art Deco Walter Von Nessen for Chase Cube Cigarette Servers, Pair
By Walter Von Nessen, Chase Brass and Copper Company
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Copper, Enamel, Chrome

Walter Von Nessen Single Bathroom Fixture for Efco Lite
By Efco Lite 1, Walter Von Nessen
Located in Dallas, TX
Classic Nessen early fluted design on both shade and body. Original unrestored example, with original phenolic switch. Very good condition.
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Unmatched Pair of Chase Planet, Art Deco Table Lamps by Von Nessen
By Walter Von Nessen
Located in Dallas, TX
Two Nessen-design lamps for Chase in patinated copper and catalin. Chase mark on both bases. Cat. # 01015. Introduced in 1938. Lamp on left has darker patination to copper and d...
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Rare Heisey Walter Von Nessen Stanhope Serving Tray with Blue Phenolic Handles
By Walter Von Nessen
Located in Dallas, TX
Extremely difficult to source large relish / condiment tray, with the rare cylindrical patented handles instead of the typical round discs. Impossible to find in blue. Handles ...
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Related Items
Machine Age Art Deco Walter Von Nessen for Chase Moderne Bookends
By Walter Von Nessen, Chase Brass and Copper Company
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Brass, Copper

Machine Age Art Deco Mixed Metal Lighting Designs by Walter Von Nessen
By Walter Von Nessen, Chase Brass and Copper Company, Miller Lamp Company
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Aluminum, Brass, Copper, Enamel, Steel

Machine Age Art Deco Walter Von Nessen for Chase Cube Cigarette Servers, Pair
By Walter Von Nessen, Chase Brass and Copper Company
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Copper, Enamel, Chrome

Machine Age Art Deco Albert Reimann Candlepiece for Chase in Satin Copper, 1933
By Chase Brass and Copper Company, albert reimann
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Copper

Pair of Machine Age Art Deco Efcolite Skyscraper Sconces by Walter Von Nessen
By Walter Von Nessen, Efco Lite 1
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Ceramic, Chrome

Machine Age Art Deco Dole Valve "U" Shaped Streamline Candlestick Holders
By Dole Valve Company 1
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Chrome, Bakelite

Rare Configuration Walter Von Nessen Attributed Machine Age Cocktail Serving Set
By Walter Von Nessen
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Machine Age Art Deco Norman Bel Geddes Revere Tuxedo Candlestick Holders, Set 4
By Norman Bel Geddes, Revere Copper and Brass, Inc.
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Chrome

Machine Age Art Deco Norman Bel Geddes Pair Revere Crescent Candlestick Holders
By Norman Bel Geddes, Revere Copper and Brass, Inc.
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Chrome, Nickel

Machine Age Art Deco Skyscraper Candlestick Holders Merle Faber Silver Plate
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Silver Plate

Machine Age Art Deco Walter Dorwin Teague Crystal Console Set for Steuben
By Walter Dorwin Teague
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Crystal, Glass

Machine Age Art Deco Silver Candlesticks, Lurelle Guild for International Silver
By Lurelle Guild, International Silver
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Silver Plate

Previously Available Items
Iconic pair original Walter von Nessen Horse bookends for Chase
By Walter Von Nessen
Located in Dallas, TX
Stylized original "plumbing-elbow" horse caricature for Chase Copper Brass and Chrome by Nessen. Excellent structural condition. Good original copper finish. Chase cat #17044, 193...
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Pair of Walter Von Nessen Ring Bookends for Chase
By Walter Von Nessen
Located in Dallas, TX
Desirable example of the early satin and black nickel finish. 1933 Cat # 17019. Very good condition, classic Nessen design. Signed with Chase centaur.
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Machine Age Art Deco Walter von Nessen Horse Bookends for Chase, Nickel Plate
By Walter Von Nessen, Chase Brass and Copper Company
Located in Dallas, TX
Machine Age Art Deco Walter von Nessen horse bookends for Chase, rare satin nickel / black nickel plate Stylized original "plumbing-elbow" horse caricature for Chase copper brass ...
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Nickel

Iconic Walter Von Nessen Machine Age Art Deco Floor Lamp
By Walter Von Nessen, Eliel Saarinen, Nessen Studio
Located in Dallas, TX
This is the real one. Featured in multiple museum collections, books and traveling shows. The cranbrook art museum attributes a design collaboration with Eliel Saarinen as well. ...
Category

1920s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Walter Von Nessen Chase Art Deco Diplomat Coffee Set, Complete, Original Tray
By Walter Von Nessen, Chase Brass and Copper Company
Located in Dallas, TX
One of Nessen's Iconic fluted light and shadow-capturing machine age designs. Complete original set, with phenolic handles and difficult to source tray. 1933 catalog #17029, produc...
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Machine Age Art Deco Walter Von Nessen Octaball Bookends for Chase, Pair
By Walter Von Nessen, Chase Brass and Copper Company
Located in Dallas, TX
Machine Age Art Deco Walter Von Nessen octaball bookends for Chase, pair A rare early limited-production Nessen design for Chase, produced only in 1933. Appealing polished copper / ...
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Brass, Copper

Nessen Studio Art Deco Machine Age Floor Lamp, Early Walter Von Nessen Des
By Walter Von Nessen, Nessen Studio
Located in Dallas, TX
Adjustable Nessen 1930's original art deco brushed chrome version, with original catalin twist knob and shade pull, which are often missing and important to the design. Enameled alu...
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Materials

Aluminum, Chrome

Machine Age Walter Von Nessen Bookends For Chase
By Walter Von Nessen
Located in Dallas, TX
Collection of 3 pairs early Nessen art deco designs for Chase, ca 1933. Patinated antique brass and English bronze. Original condition, unpolished . SOLD Rare Octaball OCTABALL...
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Walter Von Nessen

Creators Similar to Walter Von Nessen