Gino Sarfatti for Lightolier Astral Sputnik For Sale
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Gino Sarfatti for Lightolier Astral Sputnik

About

In 1939 Gino Sarfatti first designed his 'Fuoco d'artificio' chandelier but it wasn't until 1957 that it became commonly known as the Sputnik. It was the inspiration behind his 1954 Astral collection for Lightolier. The collection included the Skyrocket, the Mobile, the Sparkler and this one, which is called the Astral. This ceiling mounted chandelier is very well constructed and uses solid brass throughout. No plated elements. It takes 16 E12 base candelabra size bulbs up to 60 watts each. Sarfatti's designs launched countless imitators but this is truly one of the originals and even predates the Soviet's launch of Sputnik satellite.   

Details

  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 12 in. x Dm 36 in.H 30.48 cm x Dm 91.44 cm
  • Diameter
    36 in. (91.44 cm)
  • Seller Location
    Hingham, MA
  • Reference Number
    LU886615757772
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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

4.9 / 5
Vetted
1stdibs seller since 2010
Typical response time: <1 hour
Located in Hingham, MA
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