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Black Lamps from Serge Mouille

black lapms

 From a study minutieuse of body’s anatomy associated to an eroticism that governs its imaginary, Serge Mouille created in 1953 the famous black lamps, called “nipples of darkness”. Serge Moulle lamps are borrows of modernity and cross time with fluency.

Always made in an artisanal way, they are unequaled by their conception and their realization, two lines of character necessaries and founders of design.

With this lamp, Mouille established design precedents that remained consistent through the remainder of his career. Most prominent, of course, is the unique shape of the metal lamphead of most of Mouille’s lamps, which is oblong and organic-looking, and topped by what can only be described as (ahem) a nipple. What this nipple allowed was for the wiring and hardware of the light bulb to be recessed inside, maximizing the reflective surface of the inside of the lamp head. Other Mouille lampheads took different forms, including snails or ovoid shapes.

black lamps

Mouille’s most famous lighting fixtures were handmade in black-lacquered aluminum lampheads on tubular steel supports, and were assembled with distinctive 6-sided screws and brass ball-and-socket joints. Mouille’s intent was that the brass would oxidize to a brown-bronze patina. The arms of Mouille’s lamps join elegantly to the main ‘trunk’ support, so the profile of even the largest lamps can be minimized. The legs of his floor and table black lamps branch out, clawlike, into a three-legged support that gives the pieces a sense of personality and whimsy. These black lamps have been described as “insect-like.”