Designer / Maker
Designed and manufactured by W.A.S. Benson (1854-1924)
The glass by Powell of Whitefriars (various partnerships, 1834-1980)
Silvered-brass and glass
51 (height of frame) x 40 cm (maximum diameter)
English (London), circa 1900
W.A.S. Benson, Price List Fittings for Electric Light, 1899-1900 (trade catalogue), pl. 3, no. 1093/s
H. Blairman & Sons, Furniture and Works of Art, 2016, no. 13
From the collection of John Schaeffer (1941-2020)
This model was available in different finishes and with different shades.
Benson paid careful attention to how electric light fittings, still at this date a novelty, should be selected. He wrote, for example: ‘Dining Rooms of say 20 feet by 16 feet, will want a centre light for three lamps, well shaded from the eyes of those at the table. These, while throwing a strong light on the cloth, leave the walls and ceiling in comparative shadow, which may be relieved by bracket lights, two of which are usually required over the sideboard…’ (quoted in Hamerton, op. cit., p. 113). It should also be noted that, in the early days of electric lighting (the light bulb as we know it was invented in 1878), the wiring was celebrated as part of the design.