A bit of a rare find, this stunning hand made lamp by British craftsman David William Pye (1914 - 1993) is a real one-off! We're told the lamp is a prototype and so its likely that this may be the only one in existence. With simple, clean lines, a polished teak base, woven paper shade and brass nails, the lamp looks like a piece of classic 1950s Mid Century design. Marked 'D.W.Pye 41' on the base, there is also a cello-taped label stating 'Patent Applied For'.
This number may reference the year of manufacture or could also be a catalogue/serial number. This unique and stylish lamp oozes sophistication and would certainly not be out of place in the pages of any modern design publication. With exaggerated shapes and forms, there is a lovely glow through the almost floating shade. Each element of the lamp is effortlessly placed to create a simplistic composition, sure to take pride of place in any interior.
We contacted the British Library who hold a record of all British patents but unfortunately nothing was found and it seems that Pye may have made an application but did not follow it through. In general good condition for its age, there are the usual signs of wear and markings to both the shade and base. The lamp has been rewired with approximately 220cm of twisted 3 core, nylon flex and is fitted with a new lamp holder plus a 3 pin UK plug.
One of the most respected British craftsmen, Pye’s main career was in teaching and he spent 26 years at the Royal College of Art, London (1948-1974), and for the last decade was Professor of Furniture Design. An acclaimed writer, Pye’s 1968 book 'The Nature and Art of Workmanship' had a long-lasting influence on the crafts, and was followed a decade later by 'The Nature & Aesthetics of Design'. Throughout his career, Pye designed furniture for industrial production and crafted wooden bowls and boxes.
The unusual fluted bowls and boxes he created were carved, as opposed to being turned, on a lathe or ‘fluting engine’, which he had invented in 1949/50. Pye exhibited and sold his work continuously from 1949 to the early 1980s and in 1984-5 the Crafts Council arranged a touring retrospective exhibition of his work. In 1985 he was awarded an OBE.