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Fontana Table Lamp
Iconic Designs

Fontana Table Lamp

About the Design

In his first year as artistic director at the Milanese design house Fontana Arte (founded by Giò Ponti and Luigi Fontana) in 1954, French glass artist Max Ingrand (1908–69), who had made a mark in his native country creating detailed stained-glass windows for cathedrals including Notre-Dame de Paris, devised a stunningly minimal table lamp. The Fontana light would go on to be one of both Ingrand and Fontana Arte’s most recognizable creations — and indeed one of the most influential lamps in design history.

The Fontana lamp’s delightfully simple silhouette belies its technical complexities. Both the shade and body of the fixture are crafted in frosted, handblown glass, a process that required achieving an identical finish for two entirely different shapes. These parts are set atop a base of metal that is powder-coated to match the glass. Ingrand’s original lamp design was white; Fontana Arte soon reissued a version in black and now offers light gray and purple, as well as a brass variation on Ingrand’s form that’s available in several sizes.

While a monochrome table lamp bears seemingly little in common with a kaleidoscopic, figurative stained-glass panel, to Ingrand, the creative concept behind the two wasn’t so different. If he harnessed light in a certain way, Ingrand believed, a designer could define shape and give a sense of movement with no color at all. “Light was no longer just a means to breathe life into color but became a means to breathe life into an entire architecture,” the artist once said. Indeed, the original Fontana, with its charismatic shape and romantic glow, seems to come alive when powered up, Ingrand’s careful calibrations of light and form giving it an impressive depth without the need for any additional decorative details.

In-the-know aesthetes may refer to the lamp as “the 1853,” a reference to the piece’s original name and one that often appears on listings for early models. The name was later changed in order to pay tribute to its manufacturer, a certain indication of the lamp’s importance to Fontana Arte’s legacy.

Max Ingrand Fontana Table Lamp

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Fontana Glass Table Lamp Designed by Max Ingrand in 1954 for Fontana Arte
By Fontana Arte, Max Ingrand
Located in Brooklyn, NY
An evergreen, timeless design icon, this is the lampshade par excellence. A fabulous lamp in frosted white blown glass, an example of the art of master glassmakers, it pays tribute ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

Large Max Ingrand Model #1853 'Fontana' Glass Table Lamp for Fontana Arte
By Max Ingrand, Fontana Arte
Located in Glendale, CA
Large Max Ingrand Model #1853 'Fontana' glass table lamp for Fontana Arte. Designed in 1954 by the incomparable Max Ingrand, the Fontana table lamp features Minimalist styling with i...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

Max Ingrand Fontana Arte Fontana Total Black Table Lamp in Glass, 2014 Edition
By Fontana Arte, Max Ingrand
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Designed by Max Ingrand and manufactured by Fontana Arte, the Fontana total black table lamp, 2014 Edition, is an unusual Total Black produced in 2014 to mark the 60th anniversary of...
Category

2010s Italian Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

Table or Floor Lamp Fontana Large by Max Ingrand
By Max Ingrand
Located in Praha, CZ
Designed in 1954 by the famous French Master glassmaker and decorator Max Ingrand, this lamp was originally named 1853 and, at a later time, Fontana, in homage to the company of whic...
Category

2010s Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

Large Max Ingrand Black Glass 1954 Lamp for Fontana Table
By Max Ingrand, Fontana Arte
Located in Glendale, CA
Large Max Ingrand Black Glass 1954 Lamp for Fontana Table. An unusual total black edition produced in 2014 to mark the 60th anniversary of Fontana Arte. The glass-working technique u...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

Italian 1960s Fontana Arte White Glass Lamp by Max Ingrand
By Max Ingrand
Located in Buchanan, NY
Italian 1960s Fontana Arte white glass lamp by Max Ingrand. Very good vintage condition. Not sold with shade. Ref #: LT0914-01 Dimensions: 21.5”H x 12”Diameter
Category

Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Glass

Original Large Fontana Arte Lamp by Max Ingrand circa 1960 Opaline Glass
By Max Ingrand
Located in Lyon, FR
Italian desk lamp, large model, from the 1960s. Designed by Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte. Structure and shade in white opaline. Opaline shows signs of wear and tear.
Category

Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Opaline Glass

Large Table or Floor Lamp by Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte
By Fontana Arte, Max Ingrand
Located in Vlimmeren, BE
This large table or floor lamp, model 1853/1, was designed by Max Ingrand in 1954 for Fontana Arte. This fabulous lamp is made of frosted white blown glass. The lamp has a triple sw...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Floor Lamps

Materials

Glass

Large Max Ingrand Glass Fontana Table Lamp
By Max Ingrand, Fontana Arte
Located in Glendale, CA
Large Max Ingrand glass Fontana table lamp. Designed in 1954 by the incomparable Max Ingrand, the Fontana table lamp features Minimalist styling with illumination from both the base ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

20th Century Italian Design Table Lamp by Max Ingrad for Fontana Arte, 1954
By Fontana Arte, Max Ingrand
Located in Naples, IT
Authentic Italian blown glass table lamp. The lamp has an original mark on the ignition mechanism. The medium of three available sizes The "Fontana" by Max Ingrand Both shade and b...
Category

Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Glass

Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte Withe Art Glass Italian Table Lamp, 1970
By Max Ingrand
Located in Rome, IT
Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte glass table lamp. The designer hit the mark when he designed this lamp. Created in 1954 by the designer Max Ingrand, the Fontana Arte table lamp feature...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

20th Century Italian Design Table Lamp by Max Ingrad for Fontana Arte, 1954
By Max Ingrand, Fontana Arte
Located in Casale Monferrato, IT
Authentic Italian blown glass table lamp. The lamp has an original label at the base and a mark on the ignition mechanism. Note that many of the other lamps on sale do not have the o...
Category

Vintage 1950s Italian Table Lamps

Materials

Metal

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Combat operations during World War II destroyed the stained-glass windows of churches around France. Max Ingrand (1908–69), a French designer who spent time as a POW, would become a leader in their restoration and, in turn, bring his expressive vision to some of the most inventive postwar glass objects, including the striking 1962 Glass Drop Pendant model 2259. Born in Bressuire, Ingrand spent some of his childhood in Chartres, where he was drawn to the medieval stained glass in the city’s fa...
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