The most famous work of Bauhaus designer Christian Dell, the Kaiser Idell lighting range is a classic of 20th-century design and an enduring symbol of the Bauhaus legacy.
Kaiser Idell lamps, designed by Dell (1893-1974) throughout the 1930s, were produced by Gebr. Kaiser & Co in Neheim-Hüsten, Germany. The range includes floor lamps, articulated “scissor” wall lamps, and desk lamps, often featuring lacquered metal structures in black or bold, primary colors. The collection was first promoted in Kaiser Leuchten’s 1936 catalogue, but models were put into production as early as 1933-4. For the remainder of the 1930s and until the outbreak of the Second World War, up to 700 copies were produced annually. Early edition lamps in the collection were imprinted with “Original JDell,” and later versions manufactured in the mid- to late-1930s were marked “Original Kaiser Idell” with the logo forming a circle around the head of the lamp.
The history of the Kaiser Leuchten factory took a darker turn during the war, when the factory was destroyed, and many laborers who were forcibly employed there were killed in 1943. After the war, the factory was rebuilt and lamps were put into production once more and remained so until the late 1970s when the company was acquired by the Thorn Lighting Group.
Today, vintage Kaiser Idell lamps remain highly sought-after on the secondary market.