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How do I recognise an original Tube light?
ClassiCon is the only manufacturer licensed to produce the Tube light. With an original lamp, the ClassiCon logo can be found under the foot. The product also has an engraved serial number. Another feature of an original ClassiCon lamp is the signature of the designer Eileen Gray and a reference to Aram Designs Ltd.
Further information on the differences between an original Tube lamp and a copy can be found here: (ca. 7,0 MB)
Eileen Gray was born in Ireland on August 9, 1878. During the World Exhibition in 1900 in Paris, she discovered her love for France. From 1901, Gray studied at the London Slade School of Fine Art, the equivalent of the Beaux Arts de Paris, and returned regularly to the French capital to take courses in painting and sculpture, before in 1907 she moved into a condominium in Paris. In 1910, after moving further and further away from painting and concentrating on lacquer work, dyeing and weaving, the designer opened two studios. Her creations, screens and carpets inspired by Japanese tradition, quickly caught the attention of Art Nouveau representatives and some De-Stijl members, an artist movement founded in the Netherlands in 1917. After Gray met the architect and designer Gerrit Rietveld, she turned away from Art Deco, which seemed too monstrous to her. In 1925 Gray discovered works by Marcel Breuer and thus her enthusiasm for functional furniture, whereby the Wassily Chair particularly fascinated her. In the same year she bought a plot of land in Roquebrune on the Côte d'Azur and was convinced by her partner, the art critic Jean Badovici, to devise and realise the concept for the building and the interior design herself. She later christened the villa E 1027, E for Eileen, 10 for the position of the letter J for "Jean" in the alphabet, 2 for the B in "Badovici" and 7 for the G in "Gray". The house is one of the most important buildings in the international style, an architectural direction that developed between the 1920s and 1980s, and its interiors include some of Gray's most important designs including the famous Adjustable Table E 1027 and the Bauhaus Tube light.
The Tube light floor lamp, designed in 1927 for the Villa E 1027, is the most unusual object by the designer. Eileen Gray banished all elements of a conventional lamp and focused on the bulb that is normally covered by a lampshade. Arranged vertically and fixed with plastic frames, this takes up the tubular shape of the frame, which rests on a round base equipped with a switch. With its structure of chrome plated tubular steel and its minimalist design language, the lamp was considered to be avant-garde at the time, as no one had previously dared to use a fluorescent tube in that way. The ClassiCon lamp Tube Light by Eileen Gray broke with the conventions and particularly inspired designers of the 21st century such as Ingo Maurer and Castiglioni, who also put the bulb in the focus of their creations.
In 1968, an article in Domus magazine brought the E 1027 table and the Bibendum armchair back into the public sphere after both had been forgotten in the architecture and design worlds. Production then resumed. Eileen Gray died in Paris on October 31, 1976, at the age of 98, after which architect and author Michel Raynaud said that Gray had become famous only four years before her death. In 1987 the first biography of the architect and designer was published. The German manufacturer ClassiCon has been in possession of the licenses for her works since 1990 and produces, among other objects, the Tube Light lamp and the Roquebrune chair. As one of only few visible female designers, Eileen Gray managed to create a connection between the older generation of artists from the beginnings of modernity and the artists of the 80s. After buying her archive in 2002, the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin opened a permanent exhibition of her works. The Victoria and Albert Museum has two Art Nouveau screens, while the Center Georges Pompidou has nine pieces of furniture from Villa E-1027 in its collection, including an Adjustable table and a Transat armchair. In 2013, the museum that focuses on modern and contemporary art dedicated a very successful exhibition to Eileen Gray. The Coiffeuse table (1926-1929), another well-known work by Gray, can be admired in the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris. Two of her architectural projects, Villa Tempe a Pailla and Villa E-1027, were classified as "Monument historique" in 1990 and 2000, respectively.
The ClassiCon Tube light is manufactured in southern Germany in certified handicraft companies that meet high quality standards and the applicable environmental protection regulations. In cooperation with specialized suppliers all production steps have been carried out by qualified employees for many years. ClassiCon works exclusively with renowned partners who have extensive experience in the areas of product development, process optimization and raw material processing and who bring these into the development process. During the production of the Tube light lamp, the transport routes are always optimized to minimize the environmental impact. The manufacturer has various environmental protection certificates and guarantees, including the ISO 14001 certificate for the electroplating process of chrome components. Every single work step is subject to precise control right up to the finished product. After a thorough quality check and careful packaging, the Bauhaus Tube light is shipped.
In order to ensure the durability of the ClassiCon products, the manufacturer offers spare parts for the original Tube Light. Both the support and the base are made of chrome plated steel and are easy to care for. The LED tube is held by black plastic frames that are attached to the vertical rod. A black switch on the base enables the lamp to be switched on and off. ClassiCon's Tube Light is manufactured in small series by hand, which can lead to slight deviations between batches. As high quality and authenticity play a special role in ClassiCon furniture, all products are marked and numbered: the signature guarantees that only high-quality materials and processing techniques are used in production - in compliance with all ecological requirements - and that every piece of furniture has undergone intensive quality control. The signature of the designer testifies that it is an original ClassiCon product.
From its very beginnings ClassiCon made a point of promoting and presenting contemporary designers such as Konstantin Grcic and Barber Osgerby in addition to established names such as Eileen Gray and Eckart Muthesius; a company philosophy which means that only objects are included in the ClassiCon program that meet the demands of the classics in terms of quality and design. The manufacturer, based in Munich, pays particular attention to new design ideas when looking for future collectibles. The ClassiCon brand quickly established itself in the furniture industry and stands for quality, originality and timeless aesthetics, regardless of fashionable trends. As early as the 1970s, Eileen Gray began working with Zeev Aram from London based Aram Designs to mass-produce her furniture and lights, before in 1975, she transferred the rights to manufacture and distribute her designs to Aram Designs Ltd.. The United Workshops founded in 1990 in Munich, to which ClassiCon belongs, had already produced and distributed the designs by Eileen Gray under license, before ClassiCon acquired its own licence from Aram. ClassiCon respects the historical significance of the designs by producing them at the highest level and true to the original. As a quality and authenticity feature, every ClassiCon design classic is provided with an indelible mark and number.