Two desk lamps with brass, skinny, angled stems, triangular frosted glass shades, and square black glass bases.

Pair of Lamps


Joseph Urban (American, b. Austria, 1872-1933), designer
Egli & Son (American, active 1920s), attributed manufacturer

glass and brass
Gift of Mrs. Thomas J. Reis
1973.772, 1973.773

Sharp angles and a dynamic mix of materials and finishes give these lamps a smart, clean, no-nonsense appeal. The lamps’ bases are made from Vitrolite, the same black, reflective, opaque glass used to clad the Wormser Bedroom walls. The brass arms and finials pick up other brass and gold accents used throughout the room, and the frosted, conical glass shades soften the glow of the electric light bulbs they house. Urban added a pair of these lamps to Elaine Wormser’s dressing table and another pair to her desk.

This lamp design appears in other interiors designed by Urban around the same time: Repose, the boudoir that Urban designed for the American Designers’ Gallery exhibition (1928); Urban’s own New York apartment bedroom; and rooms designed by both Urban and his colleague Herman Rosse for the American Designers’ Gallery exhibition in 1929.