Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Maurizio Tempestini brass brutalist style lamp for Laurel lighting

To be perfectly frank I was not educated in the Brutalist syle of the 50's and 60's. That's the great thing about the vintage and collectables trade, it's a never ending learning curve. I'm not a newbie to the trade as my lovely wife has been in business for many years and I've already assimilated so much from her, but this one was a new one for me personally. A consignor to our store brought in a lamp they described as pretty ugly for their personal taste although I as a guy I loved this lamp. As it turns out I purchased the lamp and my consignor actually forwarded me the credentials (many thanks Marty!) which they had run across in doing their own research. Here are some pics...The base looks like cast pewter painted black and the body seems to be brass formed in two pieces. The only steel in the piece is the circular support plate inside the light. Except for the wiring it appears to be in perfect vintage condition although it's missing the bottom felt or whatever the original bottom surface was constructed of.

As it turns out this particular lamp was designed by Maurizio Tempestini for Laurel Lighting. Some of the dates for manufacture I've seen state the 70's but the Italian interior designer passed away in 1960 so I'm guessing this was late 50's or early 60 unless it was produced after his death. It came sans a shade and the harp is new although the wiring is frayed and appears to be original. I have yet to see a lamp intact with its original shade although one just sold on Ebay without a shade for about $500 and I've seen listed for up to $1600 in the high end market. If anyone has any documentation on what the original shade was please give me a heads up! I would love to put out on our floor for sale at Kaleidoscope or maybe just keep for myself but want to give it a complimentary head dressing! Not that this piece really needs it as it's a piece of art as it stands. Shoot me an e-mail or post here ont the blog if you have any ideas.
Thanks for checking in!
A Modern Line


  1. I have something similar that I bought at a local thrift store. But it has a white base and they painted it ugly brown. I'll be restoring this piece very soon.

    Thanks! S

  2. Hi... do you know of any documents from the period which link Tempestini to the design of this lamp or any affiliation with the Laurel Lamp Company? As you note, he dies in 1960 (July) yet the design of the lamp clearly owes its inspiration to the post 1965 era. I've researched his work in the U.S. (he was a life long resident of Italy) and consistently find only references for his designs for Salterini (furniture 1950-1960) and Lightolier (Lighting and showroom design 1951-1960). I'm always looking to learn of documented examples of Tempestini's work from primary source material from the period. Thanks, chris

    1. Hey Chris, The only references I have are from sellers both in Ebay and some of the other higher end sites (1stdibs and Vintage and Modern) He is also attributed to the wave design lamps. I don't always trust the info out there, but there seems to be a lot of sites/sellers attributing these designs. Let me know if you find some hard info as I'd love to see.
      Thanks, David