Object Timeline

1922

  • Work on this object began.

1932

  • Work on this object ended.

2016

  • We acquired this object.

2018

2021

  • You found it!

Articulated Desk Lamp, ca. 1927

This is a desk lamp. It was designed by Edouard-Wilfred Buquet. It is dated ca. 1927 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is aluminum and nickel-plated brass. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Edouard-Wilfrid Buquet received a patent for his articulating lamp from the Ministry of Commerce in France in 1927. The lamp has five different points of articulation and is capable of swinging 360 degrees. Buquet manufactured these lamps himself in several different versions: desktop, floor lamp, wall mounted, and this version, which can clamp to an architect’s drawing board. The lamps are made of aluminum and nickel-plated brass, and the freestanding versions feature a weighted wooden base. All of the versions contain counterweights in the articulating arms for stability, regardless of their position. It is believed that many of the most highly regarded architect and designers of the time owned Buquet’s lamp, including Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer, and Louis Sognot. The design was exhibited at the Salon d'Automne in Paris in 1929.

The lamp is a prime example of the emphasis on functional design that emerged in the late 1920s and 1930s. Rooted in the dictum that “form follows function,” functionalism came to be embraced by modernist furniture and product designers as well as architects. Unlike streamline designers working at the same time, who preferred to shroud the mechanical parts of objects, functionalists believed that there was an inherent beauty to an object’s working parts and that they were best expressed in an open and honest way. This lamp is contemporaneous with George Carwardine’s Anglepoise lamp (1932), and Christian Dell’s articulated lamp designs at the Bauhaus (late 1920s and early 1930s) and therefore reflects greater trends for flexibility as well as an industrial aesthetic in modern lighting design of the period.

This object was donated by David Teiger Trust. It is credited Gift of the David Teiger Trust.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 56.5 × 61.3 cm (22 1/4 × 24 1/8 in.)

Cite this object as

Articulated Desk Lamp, ca. 1927; Designed by Edouard-Wilfred Buquet (French, (1886 - ?)); aluminum and nickel-plated brass; H x W: 56.5 × 61.3 cm (22 1/4 × 24 1/8 in.); Gift of the David Teiger Trust; 2016-36-6

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/823323089/ |title=Articulated Desk Lamp, ca. 1927 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=28 July 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>