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From a Design Sponge sneak peek, some images of Kimi Weart and Paul Galloway’s cute flat somewhere in the States.

Great idea for hanging a pendant light without getting an electrician in below:


I have never really done this before, but as I am now pretty sure you are out there…coyly quiet, but reading away…I am going to ask for your opinion.

Background first:

Along with the Anglepoise that I have been puzzling over, I have recently acquired  not one more – but THREE new lamps to restore! They all came up on ebay within a couple weeks of each other and I got them for a deal. Heaven!

One is a rusty Hadrill Horstmann Simplus from the 60s:

And the two others are…Kaiser Idells! Sigh. At last!

Sorry for the bad ebay shots. I will be posting more on these as they get the Roost treatment!

As I just couldn’t wait to get started, I immediately stripped the Hadrill. It was rusting and because it is the least precious of the bunch, could be my guinea pig! Little oinker!

That done, I started researching how to sand and polish the metal up to glossy perfection. Having made jewellery in the past, working with metal is pretty familiar to me, and I knew it would be quite a bit of work, but thought it would be worth it.

I started looking at examples of polished/refinished lamps…and more examples…and more examples. I get a little obsessive in my research sometimes. Ok. All the time. ;-D

And you know what? I am not sure I really agree with taking something that has the marks of a lifetime’s worth of use and making it look totally new. It seems that the item really loses something. Becomes somehow generic.

Initially I was planning on powder coating my Kaiser Idell 6556 like the mint one above. At some point someone painted over the black with grey and both are chipped through showing layers:

Now that I have it in hand, and it shows me its little history from 1930 or something- it just seems wrong.

Ok…so this is where the opinion poll comes in.

What do you think? Am I being overly sentimental?

Refurbish old items to retain patina and not deteriorate further (as with rusted items), so that the lamp works safely… or refinish everything like new so it is beautifully glossy and fresh?

I’d love to hear your opinion.

I have just added up how much the restoration of my Anglepoise 1227 could cost me and am a little appalled at how my ‘deal’ is racking up a bill!

Here is a breakdown:

This estimate doesn’ t include bolts, the parts I might have to buy to modify for the hinge or the new felt baize for under the lamp. Gulp.

It is looking like I haven’t really saved much money by buying a lamp that needed work! I suppose it does give me a satisfying project, but it is a little disappointing.

Now as mentioned in the last post, the high ticket item – the springs- are something I can likely get around. Also, I don’t need to replace the bulb holder, as the bakelite one is in good nick.

Unfortunately I really love how a nice shiney chrome one looks at the top of the lamp like below.

So may have to get all the gear to do this anyway. But I suppose this could wait.

Slowly but surely…

I might also be able to scavenge a plug if I keep my eyes open…we’ll see.


Some great images from interior designer Robert Stilin’s portfolio.

Loving the chromed Hadrill Horstmann lamps on the bedside tables below:

Loving how low the art in the shot below was hung:

It brings the image into the vignette below by having the lamp and sculpture overlap it. Perfect.

A few years ago I really wanted an Anglepoise 1227 desk lamp, but as they were a bit more expensive then, couldn’t justify the cost, so settled for a vintage Type 75 like the one below, which I scored off Ebay for a steal.

Since then, I have regretted my impatience as I STILL prefer the 1227, and really should have just saved up and waited for the right auction (you’d think I would know myself well enough by now to know that I should wait and save for what I really want instead of settling, but …there you go).

I have occasionally been checking the Ebay listings for a 1227 and the other day managed to get this one for a reasonable price:

It is in fairly decent nick, with only a couple dings to the shade, and I figured with a little elbow grease, I could get it up and functioning in no time….

…little did I know how expensive the various parts are for restoration, as Anglepoise doesn’t supply any of their specialist spare parts! Gulp.

Other than the obvious rewiring and safety updating, my lamp needs 2 new side springs, and most worriesome, a new hinge.

Now, the springs aren’t a huge problem as I can A) pillage them off my Type 75 lamp or another one and even though they aren’t exactly right, those will do; or B) find some generic tension springs to fit.

I could pay £30 and get new ones with the special cap – see below- for the 1227s that have been manufactured by a fellow on ebay:

But I have am seeing that many of the old ones have newer springs and it is really not noticeable. Check it out in the photo below…would you care? I don’t.

The hinge, though is another story. You can’t buy them and you would have to buy another lamp to replace the parts. The mechanism consists of a long, thin bolt which goes all the way through 3 metal tube bits and 2 ‘arms’. These are attached to the 3rd bar behind with a short bolt and creates the tension much like an elbow joint.

I am noticing many of the restored ones have used the plastic hinge from the newer lamps, but I just don’t think it works:

I think I may be able to cobble something together with my jewellery tools if I can just find the right stuff to chop and modify. Fingers (feathers, claws, etc.) crossed.

Stay tuned. I will try to do regular posts along the way as I try to get this little puppy back up and fabulous.

I have had to come to terms with the fact that there is no way in hell that I can find images of all of Dell’s lamps…there were over 500 designs for two companies, Bunte & Remmler and Gebrüder Kaiser & Co.!!

The man was seriously prolific.

The designs were produced for large scale production and relied on interchangeable standardised parts (love that they use to do this. Wish you could still buy things with interchangeable bits to change them.).

The Kaiser Idell range remained in production for over 60 years…and are now being produced again!

Here is an image of a Kaiser Idell brochure from 1935 showing their current models of the year.

I did find a German site called  Lumieres which has photos of many of these models, if anyone wants to see more.

My newest weekly (or so it seems!) obsession are Kaiser Idell lamps.

As the new Fritz Hansen store in the West End opened recently I went by on lunch to check it out the other day…

…and got a serious drool on when I saw the Idell lamps in real life!

The ones show above have been re-released by Fritz Hansen and are really solid, glossy and gorgeous. The Luxus 6631 desk lamps are much larger than I expected and make a huge statement on a table. Beautiful.

When you see them you’ll notice that all the ones produced by Kaiser Leuchten GmbH have ‘ORIGINAL KAISER IDELL’ stamped on the shades.

It is so exciting to be learning more and more about design classics and one of the most interesting parts is finding out about the designers themselves as I do my research!

A little background – initially a silversmith, Christian Dell designed numerous lamps and was the principal of the Bauhaus metal shop from 1922 to 1925 before Hitler dismissed him.

His biggest success, the iconic KAISER Idell – ‘idell’ standing for Dell’s ‘idea’ – were produced during this time in cooperation with the lighting manufacturer Gebr. Kaiser & Co. in Neheim, Germany.

I thought I would try itemising all of the ones I could find, as there doesn’t seem to be a reference for them all anywhere online, and, let’s just say it – I am a huge, categorizing NERD!!!

The only thing I could find were these drawings on the Fritz Hansen site:

There seems to be a gazillion different models, though…a bit scary!

I think this might take a while…so lets see how far I get.

Here is a bio at Ketterer Kunst if you want to read more about the man.

To be continued…

I am unveiling my newest completed project today! I had planned a DIY post for my new tripod lamp but all of my in progress shots were lost by a camera glitch, so the grotty condition of the tripod pre-project are now gone. Grr.

You will just have to take my word for it….dusty, dirty and grimy, this poor baby needed a good brass-brushing, lubing and teak oiling to bring it to its present splendour (if I do say so myself. ahem!). The legs were so gummed up not even the mighty Bubs could get them to extend fully!

I was a bit surprised to find the maroon iron bit at the top, as it was a filthy grey and I assumed it would be brass or straight iron before it started coming clean. It adds a nice bit of warmth.

This project was remarkably quick and easy in the end. After cleaning the tripod I took the camera attachment off the top and added the items below – a 4cm ‘nipple’ (yes, that is the actual technical term!)and bolt to attach the bulb holder securely and then about 3 meters of beautiful black and white chevron flex cord.

I left the cord super long so it would pool nicely under the lamp and added the plug.

Still need to find a foot switch for it, but here is the reveal:

Ta dah! I do plan to change the crazy shade to something a bit wider and narrower in a plain fabric…I just have to find the right thing. Anyway, this shade fits for now!

Now I just have to get to the point where I start actually selling these projects instead of hoarding! Eesh.

My eagerly awaited Erik Hansen/Le Klint Scissor lamp arrived a few days ago, and I immediately started to get it ready for the wall.

For once I remembered to take a series of photos of my restoration and rewiring to document the process…those moments of bricking it when I couldn’t get the fixing back into the light holder/scissor section (bad, bad moments)…the relief when I did…

So naturally my camera somehow deleted the photos when I uploaded to the computer. Grrr. Hiss.

Luckily a precious few remained of the ‘before’ shots, so I can continue with my intended before and after-ing!

The shade was in worse condition than I initially thought, with a lot of crinkling and creasing in all the wrong places and the tension was gone due to missing and stretched out elastic.

Amazingly, as you can see on the right, I managed to get most of the wrinkles out and reshaped the shade by heating the vinyl with scorching hot water and re-pleating. (If anyone cares to know exactly how, please get in touch.)

I also replaced the  missing and worn elastic which is meant to hold the tension of the shade with fishing line. This last bit took me ages, and it became quite clear why the elastic is used, as it would have made it much easier. However, the fishing line won’t break down with age and did the same job.

You can still see a bit of the creases on one side, but the other is almost pristine. I am quite pleased with my efforts.

On arrival I turned the lamp arm over and saw the faint stamp on the right – a dead ringer for the Le Klint logo, shown on the right, that I have seen in photos for auctions on other Erik Hansen scissors:

As it was listed as a ‘Panton’ lamp, before it arrived I did have slight doubts as to whether I truly had scored an original Erik Hansen scissor lamp at a huge bargain, or if it was a replica. The shape was so obviously Le Klint, though, that I took a leap and bought it anyway. I have to say had a smug moment of jigging for joy when I saw the stamp (yes, Flatley is still weeping).

As the old wire looked worn and a bit ghetto, I cut it off and ordered some beautiful, braided, red fabric flex to replace it.

Then I wiped down the wood with sugar soap and gently wire-wooled away paint flecks that didn’t come off, then gave it a fresh teak oiling.

Lastly I rewired the lamp, added a cutely shaped vintage plug that is a similar aged honey colour as the shade, and hung it.

And here is my precious, fully installed and feeling fabulous!

Welcome to the Roost, little eagle.


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