Auctions Spring 2019


Wilhelm Wagenfeld

Bremen 1900 – 1990 Stuttgart

„Tischlampe aus Glas“ - model: MT 9 (preliminary work by Carl Jacob Jucker). 1923/24 / execution 1924

Crystal glass, glass tube with melted in blue thread; brass, steel, nickel-plated; porcelain; original wiring – manufacturer: Metallwerkstatt des Staatlichen Bauhauses Weimar. 37,5 cm; Ø 17 cm. (14 ¾ in.; Ø 6 ¾ in.) Etched in on glass tube: Felsenglas.  [3288]

ProvenancePrivate Collection, Hanover (until the early 1990s) / art dealership, Hanover / Stefan Züchner, Hanover (until 1996) / Galerie Ulrich Fiedler, Cologne (from 1996) / Alexander von Vegesack (2004) / Galerie Ulrich Fiedler, Cologne (until 2006) / Private Collection, northern Germany

EUR 100.000 – 150.000
USD 112,000 – 169,000

„Tischlampe aus Glas“ - Modell: MT 9 (Vorarbeiten von Carl Jacob Jucker)

Auction 305Thursday, 30 May 2019
02:00 PM

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A second (or identical) copy of the Wagenfeld-Tischlampe is depicted on interior photographs by Ferdinand Kramer from the 1920s (and catalogue of Warenhaus Oberzenner Frankfurt am Main: Siedlungsmöbel … nach Entwürfen von Dipl.-Ing. F. Kramer, 1925 and Kramer’s catalogue Typenmöbel für Hausrat GmbH, 1925).

We would like to thank Magdalena Droste, Berlin, for kindly providing additional information.

ExhibitionKunst, Technik und Design - das bauhaus. Exhibition to mark the 28th Kunst- und Antiquitäten-Messe Hannover-Herrenhausen. Hanover, 1996

Literature and IllustrationMagdalena Droste: Die Bauhaus-Leuchte von Carl Jacob Jucker und Wilhelm Wagenfeld. Frankfurt am Main, 1997, ill. p. 18 and p. 25 (described as being part of the Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin) / auction: Masterworks from the Collection of Alexander von Vegesack. New York, Phillips de Pury & Company, 8.12.2005, cat. no. 70

By 1928, the Werkbund protagonist art critic, Wilhelm Lotz, referred to it simply as the “Bauhaus Lamp”. In fact, Wagenfeld’s 1923/1924 design symbolizes the ambitions and ideals of the Bauhaus, the Mecca of modern design in the 20th century, in such a striking way that few other objects can. "A round plate, a cylindrical tube, and a spherical shade are its most important parts," is how Wagenfeld himself described the lamp briefly and aptly to his contemporaries. In addition to its formal language – which is still reminiscent to some extent of old kerosene lamps – the materials glass, iron, and nickel-plated brass in combination with electric light keep the lamp within the spirit of modernity. Wagenfeld was inspired to design the lamp by the master of form in the metal workshop, László Moholy-Nagy from Hungary. The Bauhaus management saw a lot of potential in the luminaire from the very beginning, which explains why the first version with a base and shaft in metal was immediately followed by a corresponding variant in glass. Wagenfeld made some use of studies by the Swiss Bauhaus student Carl Jacob Jucker, who had since left school. Jucker had already considered the design of a table lamp made of glass beforehand, although without convincing results. It was Wagenfeld's design, with the proportions chosen by him, and the use of the glass shade and the technical solutions provided by the original construction, that finally gave the luminaire its final appearance.
The lamp did not have problems gaining attention, despite the Bauhaus' aim of mass distribution failing to materialise, the lamp’s static shade, which is not glare-free and rather unsuitable as a desk lamp and the fact that it was only produced in small editions until around 1933. On the contrary: the great modernist architects such as Bruno Taut, Adolf Loos, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius and Ferdinand Kramer all used them for their designs. Today, the "Bauhaus lamp", produced in re-edition since 1980, has become synonymous with good taste. However, the originals from the time when the Bauhaus invented this classic design are becoming harder and harder to find.

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