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Mid-Century Modern Chrome Desk Lamp with Swing Arm by Walter Von Nessen, 1960s



Mid-Century Modern Walter Von Nessen for Nessen Studio desk lamp. Features swing arm design and adjustable shade. The lamp has a sleek cylinder shade with circular base in polished chrome and features black enameled metal accent. Fitted with on/off switch at stem. Has original Nessen stamp/signature on underside of base.


  • Creator
    Walter Von Nessen (Designer),Nessen Studio (Maker)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 14.5 in. (36.83 cm)Width: 20 in. (50.8 cm)Depth: 8.5 in. (21.59 cm)
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1960s
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Great condition with very minor wear.
  • Seller Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU911021650362

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $175 Standard Shipping
    to anywhere in the world, arrives in 3-5 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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About Walter Von Nessen (Designer)

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.

About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Vetted Seller
These experienced sellers undergo a comprehensive evaluation by our team of in-house experts.
Established in 2011
1stDibs seller since 2011
260 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
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