It’s not often we in the vintage furniture game get lucky enough to offer you a NWT experience. And yet here we are with a deadstock Heifetz Rotaflex lamp in its original box, with the original hang tags, nestled neatly in its original packing material — the yellowing pages of a 1963 New Haven Register newspaper — talk about a time capsule. The Rotaflex name, its origins and applications, are a bit less cut-and-dried. Rotaflex™ is the name of a patented method of molding spun cellulose acetate into a lampshade. The technique was developed sometime between 1954 and 1957 in France, and has been widely attributed to a trio of young French designers, Pierre Guariche, Joseph-André Motte, Michel Mortier, working together under the short-lived collaboration Atelier de Recherches Plastiques. From there, Rotaflex™ was utilized by a myriad of manufacturers throughout the Western world. Though most companies employed their own designers, certain commonalities can be observed. The appeal, though, is undeniable. The articulated cellulose diffuses an especially gentle light. The impossibly delicate fixtures resemble blown glass from a distance, and yet still transmit a quality of palpable lightness only explained by closer viewing of the material — that this duality is made possible through technological innovation makes Rotaflex™ a poster child for Space Age modern design. The two best known manufacturers of Rotaflex™ lamps are also the two most often confused: the eponymous Rotaflex GB, and Heifetz Rotaflex. Rotaflex GB, helmed by Bernard Stern, hired designers Syliva and John Reid to design Rotaflex™ lamps, but also more industrial styles. In the US, Heifetz Mfg, a Connecticut-based lighting company under the direction of Yasha Heifetz (not to be confused, as others before me have done, with Jascha Heifetz, the world-renowned violinist), sold Rotaflex™ lamps of Heifetz’s own design.

Rotaflex

Previous Article Next Article

0 comments

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published