The List




The List


The George Carwardine/Herbert Terry Anglepoise Lamp


This is classic design in its truest sense. Patented originally in 1932 by George Carwardine, whilst attempting to develop a new kind of spring in his spare time, the anglepoise lamp was then licensed to Herbert Terry and Sons of Redditch, the company that would continue to produce anglepoise lamps to this day. Carwardine had realised that the springs he had developed could be applied perfectly to a ‘limbed’ lamp which allowed for the user to position it in any direction and for it to remain in that position until moved again.

An automotive factory owner by trade, Carwardine had concluded that such an adaptable lamp would be of use not only to his employees but also to direct light onto his own desk and paperwork. The first lamp, version 1208, was produced by Herbert Terry and Sons in 1934. This was followed by the design that is more recognisable today, the 1227, with its more art-deco inspired lines, introduced by Charles Terry following the popularity of the original design. The 1227 was slightly adapted in 1938 and it is this more ‘finalised’ design that was produced and revered for the next thirty years until it was replaced by ‘model 75’ in 1969. Herbert Terry Ltd went on to produce the ‘Apex 90’, ‘Type 3’ and, most recently, ‘Type 75’ in 2004.

So, why are we interested in this lamp? Because it is a piece of modern design that is accessible to everyone. It is understated; as happy to sit in the corner waiting to be used as being endlessly manipulated and standing proud to illuminate important papers. It is as comfortable in a home with grand décor as one with more minimalist tendencies. It looks as good chipped and world-weary as it does pristine and shiny new. It truly is a lamp for all seasons and is an absolute must in any design-conscious person’s home.

It has also enjoyed a presence in the mainstream media, such is its popularity and appeal across culture, class, age, background and, of course, time. The anglepoise lamp has most recently been used as part of the advertising campaign for the re-launch of the Fiat 500, ‘Everyday Masterpieces’, and the lamp’s design is also used as part of the Pixar logo, albeit a squat, cuter version.

A Carwardine/Herbert Terry lamp looks fabulous in a pared-down, modernist home. Nevertheless, it is a lamp that is found in all kinds of offices and homes the world over and is favoured for its function as much as its form. The lamps are so desirable that the 1227 still commands the same kind of price as a brand new Type 75. They are, however, an affordable classic, whether you choose to buy a vintage or a new lamp.

Bonne Gauche is slavering for one of the 1227 designs from the 1938-1969 period, and has chosen this style for The List not because it is the most widely available, but because of its pared-down, timeless appeal. The more world-weary the better and in any colour you like, so long as it’s cream…