task light

Anthologie Quartett

  Anthologie Quartett Rain chandelier set

“Do not use anything which you do not know to be a pleasure to yourself, and which you do not believe was a pleasure to the workman who made it.” Oscar Wilde, in his lecture The House Beautiful.

Suppose you agree with Oscar Wilde's dictum. Surely then, if you don't actually make things yourself, it would be worth dedicating your life to seeking out the things that give pleasure, and ensuring that they are available for people to buy, thereby also giving work to the designers and artists who make them.

The criteria upon which you would edit your collection of things that give pleasure may include the beautiful, the interesting, the fascinating, the challenging, the wondrous, the joyous.... And, if you have the courage, you would impose no boundaries -- of type of object, style, date, nationality, material....

You'd end up with a collection similar in breadth to that of Anthologie Quartett.

It includes the unusual, such as this extendible table and benches

Anthologie Quartett Extendible table and bench

or this coat and hat rack

Anthologie Quartett hat and coat rack

Though many items are not as unusual -- rugs, cushions, coat hangers, brushes and jewellery (the Best Friends collection).

Some pieces are anonymous, such as these handpainted terra cotta and silk eighteenth century nativity figures from the court of the King of Naples

Niapolitan royal family's Nativity

or these bell jars, made by a small glass works in the Czech Republic

Anthologie Quartett blown glass bell jars

or this traditional Florentine straw hat

Anthologie Quartett Florentine straw hat

But most are by an incredible roster of great designers -- outdoor furniture by SchinkelLe Corbusier and Bohuslav Horak (part of a large collection of works by him in the Anthologie Quartett collection),

Anthologie Quartett Bohuslav Horak Metal garden bench

glassware by Matteo Thun and Peter Behrens, furniture by Alessandro Mendini and Aldo Cibic, plus this wardrobe by Ettore Sottsass:

Anthologie Quartett Ettore Sottsass wardrobe

and a bird feeder by Jasper Morrison

Anthologie Quartett Jasper Morrison bird feeder

As an illustration of the strength of their commitment to great design, and making it available to us all, they beavered away until they managed to find a way of constructing the coffee table that Mies van der Rohe designed to go with his ubiquitous chair for the German pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona World's Fair.

Mies van der Rohe Barcelona table

The originals wobbled so badly that they had to be positioned against walls. (This was because, under the chrome plating, the structure was made from several steel parts that had to be screwed together.)

In a post of this length, only the briefest hint can be given of the treasures to be found within the catalogues of Anthologie Quartett. To see the online catalogue of non-lighting items, click here.

However, from the turn of the century, they have built up their lighting collection to the point now where it is the centrepiece of their activities. It is in two catalogues, here and here.

This collection also includes the unusual, such as this pendant light, Illustri, by Hans Heisz:

Anthologie Quartett Illustri pendant light by Hans Heisz

or The Flying Robert of  Ali Siahvoshi (you choose the number of umbrellas in the composition) -- if the name rings a bell (or not), read the poem in English here

Anthologie Quartett The Flying Robert set

Recent introductions have included the LED Alumega, that comes in many forms;

Anthologie Quartett Alumega long pendant light set

Anthologie Quartett alumega pendant

Anthologie Quartett alumega simple pendant light set

the Friday, which is bang on trend

Anthologie Quartett Fridaythe elegant, versatile Kollege task light (that, because of the translucency of the lovely acryl glass shade, also acts as a table light)

Anthologie Quartett Kollege task light setAnthologie Quartett Kollege task light positions


and the wonderful Grande Enorme series by Reinhard Dienes

Anthologie Quartett La Grande chandelier Anthologie Quartett La Grande table and floor lights

The most successful light in the collection (measured both by their sales and the number of low quality fakes everywhere), is Cellula by Nunzia Carbone and Tiziano Vudafieri -- the first linear chandelier:

Anthologie Quartett Cellula chandelierof which there is now a LED version:

Anthologie Quartett Cellula LED chandelier

It should be clear by now that such an exceptional collection must have someone extraordinary behind it.  And there was: Rainer Krause, who has just died suddenly of a heart attack. He was very, very special: this collection will stand as his legacy, along with the joy given to people who are living with the pieces, and the careers of the designers and artists whose work he delighted in discovering (such as Reinhard Dienes) and putting onto the market.

Rainer even chose a magical location for Anthologie Quartett -- in the grounds of the moated Schloss Hünnefeld near Bad Essen...


...where there is also a wonderful bed and breakfast


He and his partner Michael designed just one light in the collection, but it is an absolute cracker! Rain (at the top of this post) is very simple, yet hugely effective, whether as a pendant (in many standard round or oval sizes -- or custom), a wall light or a ceiling light

Anthologie Quartett Rain ceiling light ovalwith the "rain" of clear crystal

Anthologie Quartett Rain chandelier clear

gold crystal

Anthologie Quartett Rain chandelier gold

or even, if your client can afford it, rock crystal

Anthololie Quartett Rain chandelier detail rock crystal


Rainer's death has hit all those who knew him very hard. We can channel the grief at his loss into making the most of what he left us -- the Anthologie Quartett collection.

Here he is, on the left, with Michael -- and Kollege:

Rainer and Michael of Anthologie Quartett

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Milan 2013: Penta -- a sure-footed collection that just get better the closer you look!

PENTA JULIETTE floor and table lights set By the end of one's last day at Euroluce, one is tired and unresponsive. I was lucky therefore that I finished on a high note, being shown the Penta display by the charming and efficient Mariarosa. It was that rare thing -- a stand with no duds!

We'll post separately about two designs, Tic Toc and Glo Mini, later this week.

The first light featured in this post, and shown above, is Juliette by Carlo Colombo. At first glance, it is  a simple, unfussy 21st century design reminiscent of the mid 20th century, the 1930s -- Félix Aublet,  for example. The closer look reveals excellent proportions, neatly patterned electrical cable, and a marble base.

There are three sizes -- a floor-standing light, H1700mm:

PENTA JULIETTE floor light carlo colombo

and two sizes of table light, H550mm and H300mm:


in black nickel, or white or light blue or red. The bases are in white carrara marble or black marquinia marble. The weight of the marble allows the bases to be crisply cut discs, in proportion to the rest of the design.

Klint, by Penta's art director, Umberto Asnago, is an unusual glass table light, in two sizes, Ø300 H300mm, and Ø150mm H280mm:


There are two separately switched LED light sources in the base -- one in the centre and one around the outside, allowing different amounts and intensity of light. The result is a choice of two elegant glass sculptures that also happen to be sources of adjustable ambient light:

PENTA KLINT table lights set

Finally, designed for Penta by Daniel Debiasi and Federico Sandri of the design studio Something, there is Labo, so called because the inspiration was laboratory glassware (an extremely specialized field, demanding bespoke work of astonishing accuracy, as practised by ASO Glassblowers [01235 834477]  who are next door to our warehouse):

PENTA LABO concept by Something


Like Juliette, there is a floor version, total height 1,490mm:

PENTA LABO floor light

and two sizes of table version, H550mm and H330mm, in clear, blue or smoked glass:

PENTA LABO table lights

That link to specialist glass working is justified because the complex shape of these lights is apparently made with no seams. The result is very pure -- no joints, springs &c.:

PENTA LABO table light floor light detail

Yes, you see the cable going up through the centre to the lamp, but that now becomes an attractive detail. Again, as you look closer, you see that they have thought about the cable -- it is plaited and in a choice of colours, yellow or black.

Penta's collection is very varied -- there is no "typical" Penta light, which is a strength but also a problem at the simple level of remembering what they do. Sadly, they are not on Architonic yet, so they are not in our LIGHT FINDER, meaning that your search results won't show their lights, however relevant they may be. Therefore, it behoves one to get their catalogue down and to go through it periodically. Of course, Cameron Peters Fine Lighting staff will draw lights by this excellent company to your attention whenever they suit your brief.

penta labo drawing



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Stockholm: Talk from Örsjö

Orsjo Talk applique white recessed You think you know a collection....

We were delighted by what we were seeing in Malmstenbutiken in Stockholm last Friday, and were particularly struck by a neat, elegant table light. We asked Jerk about it and he said that it was by Örsjö. Well, we are meant to know about lights, we know the Örsjö collection, and we had spent plenty of time on their stand at the Fair just the day before. But we did not recognize this light -- and one would definitely remember it. So, although we did not contradict Jerk out loud....

He was right, of course. It was Talk, by Marge Architects for Örsjö. There are four versions -- floor, table and wall (recessed and surface-mounted).

The recessed wall version is shown above because this image shows the detail most clearly. There is a metal body, enamelled in matt white or matt black. Both have a smart stitched brown leather ring. Even the light it casts is good, from a 12V halogen lamp.

The table version...

Orsjo Talk table light black

...and the floor version...

Orsjo Talk floor light

...have simple forms that could not be improved upon.

So, what can we learn from this experience? It is that there is never any substitute for seeing a light in the flesh, as it were. We had only seen pictures of Talk, so we had not grasped its quality -- how good it looks and how well made it is.

Here is the surface-mounted wall version:

Orsjo Talk wall light surface mounted


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Maison et Objet: most endearing light -- Companion from Discipline

Discipline Companion task light by SmithMatthias Endearing. There are lights that are cute -- maybe they look like little people, or birds, or animals -- but Companion, IMHO, is not cute. Companion is endearing.

The Italian company producing it, Discipline, seem to think so too -- they point out that its "...animated look make it it an ideal desk companion, enjoyable and likeable" (hence the name!).

And the British couple who designed it, Jack Smith and Gemma Matthias, think of it as "engaging and elegant in appearance, intuitive and effortless in function".

But it is not just endearing, it is also an unobtrusively clever piece of design, because you don't see the cable at all, once it has entered the base. The power is carried invisibly up the ash structure to the lamp in the steel head.

I think that the version on their stand at Maison et Objet had ball joints that were different colours, but the versions listed for sale on the Discipline web site are black (see above) or red:

Discipline Companion task light by SnithMatthias red

Discipline is an interesting new brand launched as recently as April 2012. You may have seen them at designjunction during London Design Week. They only do this light and one other at the moment, but they already have quite a large catalogue of furniture, accessories, tableware and gifts from an impressive roster of designers that includes Marc Sadler, Claesson Koivisto Rune, James Irvine and Nendo. And there are more to come.

The unifying factor is that the materials used are sustainable: "Each product is built with materials selected for their self-regenerating properties, such as wood, cork, bamboo, glass, natural textiles and eco upholstering, obtained by sustainable production methods."

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Tree of Life LED desk light by Victor Vetterlein

tree-of-life-by-victor-vetterlein 1Working in an office (as we do) we can road test LED task lights on our desks. Few stay for longer than a couple of days, because they don't work very well as lights. But they can be great sculptures, as designers take advantage of the unique properties of LEDs.

In this case, the light, by New York-based Victor Vetterlein is functional -- and cute. It is made out of copper in order that the five lights can be bent to spread the light where it is required.

tree-of-life-by-victor-vetterlein 2He is doing some very interesting lights at the moment. Most prominent recently has been his egg-box-like Trash Me (which is bigger than it looks in pictures!) for the Danish company &Tradition.

See also our posts on his United pendant and Sprig Lamp pendant.

Clearly one to watch!

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