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Gerald Thurston for Lightolier Pull-Down Pendant


Original Lightolier pendant, circa 1958 designed by Gerald Thurston who was clearly influenced by Gino Sarfatti and Gaetano Sciolari. This pendant provides both down and diffused uplighting by Virtue of the three solid brass perforated bowls which on the bottom have a Fresnel glass lens; up light is captured and deflected downward by the 20 inch diameter convex round metal reflector which is white on the underside and painted bronze on top. Takes three 60 watt bulbs with standard size Edison screw cap base. Height is controlled by pulling on the brass ring finial to either raise or lower the pendant via its retractible cable which runs through the thick black spiral cord up to the original brass ceiling canopy inside of which is the self-contained cable retraction unit. Can go from 30 inches drop to 40 inches drop. Ready to install.


  • Period
  • Materials and techniques
  • Condition
    Excellent. Bronze paint on top of large reflector is original and has some slight wear. If requested we can repaint or change color..
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 40 in. x Dm 20 in.

    H 101.6 cm x Dm 50.8 cm

  • Diameter
    20 in. (50.8 cm)
  • Seller location
    Hingham, MA
  • Seller reference number
  • Reference number

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About Lightolier (Manufacturer)

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 lighting fixtures produced from the 1950s and into the Seventies, 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 and 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” table and floor lamps. 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 Seventies 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.

About the Seller

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1stdibs seller since 2010
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Located in Hingham, MA
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