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14 March 2023
When the Bauhaus essence is declined in gentle and rounded lines
The idea of an object is its perfect representation formulated by the mind, from the word idea derives the adjective ideal which underlines, precisely, the excellent, the best solution. Idea is also thought, it is subjective image, personal creative expression. And this is the etymological root of the name that Christian Dell decided to give to his most iconic lamp, merging the term idea with his surname to obtain Idell. Kaiser, on the other hand, is the name of the German company that first produced this and other projects by the designer, a name that today serves as a reference to industrial quality and the German engineering tradition. Designed in the 1930s, Kaiser Idell™ is still the desk or reading lamp par excellence and its modernist taste makes it just captivating.
To fully understand and appreciate its design, it is interesting to know a few more details about Christian Dell’s training. In 1911 he specialized in silversmithing and between 1912 and 1913 he studied at the Saxon College of Applied Arts in Weimar. Between 1922 and 1925 he worked as master builder for the Bauhaus metal laboratory introducing a number of innovative approaches in this field. His training, therefore, is not an architect or an engineer but in 1926 Dell approaches design, designing a series of lamps for the Gebr company. Kaiser & Co of Neheim Hüsten and in 1936 the first catalog of his lamps produced by the company was introduced. Among these, the 6631 Luxus also appears for the first time, starting from which the Kaiser Idell™ will later be imagined. Today the lamp is produced by Fritz Hansen but retains in its name a strong reference to the industry that was the first to believe in Dell’s talent.
Another element that contributes to a complete reading of this project is the choice of the designer, after the war, to devote himself to jewelry, recovering the skills related to silver processing with which his training had begun. The grace and elegance typical of the jewel are precisely what make the Kaiser Idell™ particularly interesting because it combines the austere Bauhaus taste with the kindness of a precious accessory.
Its most classic guise is that of a desk lamp of which kind it embodies the twentieth-century archetype with a round base, a steel stem and a lampshade coordinated with the base but wider. This harmony and refinement of shapes makes the lamp professional but also familiar, thanks also to the succession of rounded lines. The inclination of the stem and the orientation of the lampshade are adjustable, and the German engineering approach can be read in these details. The desk lamp is available in various colors with a glossy or matte finish for a more contemporary style.
Equally iconic is the wall version which combines the swiveling lampshade with an extendable scissor arm. Ideal for a reading corner to which Kaiser Idell™ gives a gritty tone but also a pinch of vintage atmosphere. For the reading corner in the living room, but also next to the desk, the floor-standing Kaiser Idell™ is equally perfect. The long and curved stem at the top perfectly reproduces the lines of the table lamp and gracefully accompanies the metal lampshade, which rotates as in the other models. Finally, the dome-shaped lampshade also returns in the suspended ceiling version, a lamp that knows how to be sophisticated and informal at the same time and is perfect for an interior where you want to introduce a note of cultured design but in a discreet way. Also, in this version the lamp comes in different color variants, from glossy or matt black to dark red, to white.
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