How “futurism” inspired the lighting of 20th century designers

image credit: Phillips, London.  Pendant by Carlo Scarpa

Carlo Scarpa, Max Ingrand and Serge Mouille certainly rank in the top 10 in vintage lighting design.  And with mid century design gaining a greater share of the limelight, the works of these three appear more and more often in auction catalogues and interior design magazines.  Today I preview but a few of their stunning lighting works at auction in London.

Let’s start in the 1930s, with Carlo Scarpa’s Venetian glass creation (above).  I see the very beginnings of futuristic design – similar is spirit to the designs for buildings at the New York World’s Fair that would open later in the decade.  The conical support coupled with the globe provides a vivid contrast in shapes and the white filigree crisscrossing the green colored glass lends an element of texture.  A wonderful piece of high Venetian style.
image credit: Phillips, London.  Pendant by Max Ingrand
Fast forward two decades and we find Max Ingrand with a style that is still futuristic and elegant but completely different.  Made by Fontana Arte, I covet this pair of chandeliers from the Hotel Savioli, in Spiaggia Italy.  It’s great design from the wreath of glass petals to the spherical bulbs.  The shadowy halo they cast on the ceiling is for me, part of their charm.  Almost 4 feet in diameter, they could easily fill a space on their own.
image credit: Phillips, London.  Pendant by Max Ingrand
Ingrand’s other lighting pendant is a perfect example of the design of the times.  The frosted and etched glass with the bright brass support again reference modernity as seen not only in furniture, but in the fashion of the 1950s.
image credit: Phillips, London.  Sconces by Serge Mouille
Serge Mouille brings us to the 1960s with his pair of wall lights.    Wouldn’t these just be the bomb in an entrance hall?  Called “Saturne”, they obviously draw inspiration from the rings of that planet.  In a time when man was literally reaching to the stars, they would have been right at home in the “far out” decor of a mod glam couple.
If you’re a loyal reader you know I love lighting and I think these examples are a great introduction to the many forms and styles out there.  And who knows, as the vanguard of this developing trend, buying today might just reap profits in the not too distant future!
image credits: Phillips, London.  All featured lights are being offered in their 25 April 2013 Design sale.  From top to bottom: Carlo Scarpa (lot 27); Max Ingrand (lots 28 and 62); Serge Mouille (lot 185)