natavintage logo

Illuminate in Style: Arteluce Gino Sarfatti Rare Designs

arteluce gino sarfatti 600c

Table of Contents

If you’re an aficionado of modern design, the names Arteluce and Gino Sarfatti likely ring a bell. These entities are at the heart of some of the most innovative and refined lighting fixtures ever conceived.

Spanning from floor lamps to ceiling lights, wall sconces to pendant lamps, Arteluce and Gino Sarfatti have crafted masterpieces of Italian lighting. Their work has left an indelible mark on generations of designers and collectors.

But who exactly was Gino Sarfatti, and what is the story behind Arteluce? How did they revolutionize lighting design in the 20th century?

And why do their lamps continue to be highly coveted and admired today? This article will dive into these questions, unraveling the captivating history and legacy of Arteluce and Gino Sarfatti, the undeniable genius in the realm of lamps.

The Legacy of Gino Sarfatti and Arteluce

Gino Sarfatti: The Visionary Designer

Gino Sarfatti, born in Venice in 1912, initially pursued aeronautical engineering in Genoa. Nevertheless, the economic crisis and the political climate of 1930s Italy compelled him to halt his studies. Transitioning to Milan, Sarfatti embarked on designing and crafting lighting fixtures, marrying his technical prowess with a creative flair.

In 1939, he established Arteluce, a brand that would spearhead modern lighting design, becoming a beacon of innovation and leadership.

Sarfatti was an industrious and inventive designer, conceiving hundreds of lamps tailored for various environments and usages. His forays into new materials, shapes, and technologies, notably being the initial adopter of halogen bulbs in 1971, underscored his dedication to aesthetic and functional refinement. His vision was to forge sculptural and elegant lighting solutions that blend form with functionality.

His collaborations spanned esteemed architects and designers like Giò Ponti, Franco Albini, and Marco Zanuso, earning him accolades such as the Compasso d’Oro and an Honorary Diploma at the Milan Triennale.

Arteluce: A Leading Light in Italian Design

Arteluce, founded and led by Sarfatti until 1973 when it was acquired by Flos, transcended its role as a mere lighting manufacturer. It was a cultural and artistic nexus that propelled the Italian design ethos into the 20th-century spotlight. Arteluce’s hallmark lay in its innovative, elegant, and functional lamp designs, employing avant-garde materials and techniques like aluminum, plastic, and magnetic joints.

The company’s identity was defined by geometric forms, bright colors, and minimalist lines, setting a distinct aesthetic standard in the design world.

Arteluce’s flagship store in Milan, conceived by Marco Zanuso in 1953, became a vibrant hub for Italian design, fostering a dynamic interaction with its creations. This space not only showcased its innovative lamp designs but also hosted exhibitions and events that championed modern design principles.

The Synergy between Sarfatti and Arteluce

The legendary stature of Arteluce and Gino Sarfatti is attributed to their harmonious collaboration, mixing Sarfatti’s visionary design philosophy with the company’s pioneering spirit. Sarfatti was the driving force behind Arteluce, directly designing or overseeing projects, ensuring that each piece not only met aesthetic standards but was also technically and commercially viable.

Conversely, Arteluce furnished Sarfatti with the resources and platform to fully realize his innovative visions. Thanks to a team of adept craftsmen, engineers, and collaborators, Sarfatti navigated the intricacies of lighting design, bolstering both his and Arteluce’s reputation in the design domain.

Together, Arteluce and Sarfatti epitomized a union of creativity and innovation, leaving an indelible mark on the annals of Italian lighting design.

Iconic Designs of Gino Sarfatti for Arteluce

Among the hundreds of lamps that Gino Sarfatti designed for Arteluce, some stand out as iconic examples of his creativity and innovation. In this section, we will introduce four of his most famous and influential designs, which showcase his mastery of form, function, and technology.

Model 2097: The Classic Chandelier

The Model 2097, also known as the Sputnik chandelier, is one of Sarfatti’s most recognizable and popular creations. Inspired by the first satellite to orbit the Earth in 1957, the Model 2097 consists of a central steel structure with multiple arms that hold small light bulbs.

The result is a stunning and futuristic chandelier that combines the elegance of a classic candelabra with the modernity of a space-age object. The Model 2097 is still in production today by Flos and is available in different sizes and finishes.

Model 1063: Embracing Function and Form

The Model 1063, designed in 1954, is a floor lamp that exemplifies Sarfatti’s approach to functional and minimalist design. The lamp consists of a slender metal rod that supports a large aluminum cone that houses a powerful light source.

The cone can be rotated and tilted to direct the light as needed. The simplicity and elegance of the Model 1063 make it a versatile and adaptable lamp that can fit in any environment.

The Model 1063 is also still in production by Astep, a company founded by Sarfatti’s grandson.

Model 537: The Balance of Light and Shadow

The Model 537, designed in 1951, is a table lamp that explores the contrast and balance between light and shadow. The lamp consists of a metal base that supports a thin metal rod that holds a hemispherical shade made of perforated metal. The shade casts a pattern of light and shadow on the surface below, creating a dynamic and intriguing effect.

The Model 537 is a poetic and artistic lamp that demonstrates Sarfatti’s interest in the expressive potential of lighting.

Desk Lamps and Sconces: Model 600 and more

In addition to the larger and more complex lamps, Sarfatti also designed a range of smaller and more versatile lamps, such as desk lamps and sconces. These lamps were often characterized by geometric shapes, bright colors, and features that allowed the user to adjust the position and orientation of the lamp. For instance, the Model 600, an idea inspired by the bean bag ashtrays with a leather base evoking a tennis ball. Thanks to the lead balls in the leatherette base, the lamp can be placed in any direction. Other examples include the Model 559, a sconce with a triangular shade and a pivoting arm, and the Model 607, a desk lamp with a cylindrical shade and a flexible stem.

These lamps were designed to provide both functionality and style, and to suit different needs and tastes.

Collecting Arteluce Lights Today

If the legacy of Arteluce and Gino Sarfatti sparks your interest, venturing into the world of collecting their vintage lamps could be a fascinating endeavor for you. However, embarking on this journey requires knowledge of certain key areas, such as the market dynamics, preservation techniques, and the provenance of the pieces you aim to collect.

In this guide, we’ll provide invaluable tips and advice for budding collectors of Arteluce lights.

Understanding the Market for Vintage Arteluce

The allure of vintage Arteluce lamps has led to an increasingly growing and competitive market, as both collectors and enthusiasts vie for the most desirable pieces. Rarity, originality, and condition play critical roles in determining the value of these lamps. Notably, highly coveted models, such as the Model 2097 chandelier, can command prices up to $20,000, while the iconic Model 1063 floor lamp might sell for as much as $15,000. Nevertheless, more accessible options exist, with desk lamps and sconces ranging between $500 and $2,000. These treasures can be found through various channels, including online platforms, auctions, and specialized stores like Pamono or Casati Gallery.

Preservation and Care of Vintage Lighting

Purchasing a vintage Arteluce lamp means acquiring a piece of history and design. As such, it is imperative to preserve its originality and functionality meticulously. Modifying or restoring the lamp without expert guidance could jeopardize its value and authenticity. Regular maintenance is also crucial, employing gentle cleaning techniques and suitable products. Dusting with a soft cloth, polishing metal parts with a mild cleaner, and using correct bulbs are all essential practices to ensure longevity and preserve value.

The Importance of Provenance and Authenticity

Provenance and authenticity are cornerstone considerations in the collection of vintage Arteluce lamps. Verifying the origin and history of each piece, as well as understanding its design and production specifics, are vital. Look for distinctive signs, such as labels, stamps, or maker’s marks, that can shed light on the model, year, and creator of the lamp. Comparing the piece against catalogs, books, or museum exhibits can further affirm its authenticity. Whenever possible, securing a certificate of authenticity or provenance document from the seller is advisable.


In this insightful journey, we’ve delved into the rich history and enduring legacy of Arteluce and Gino Sarfatti, prominent figures in the realm of Italian lighting design. Gino Sarfatti, recognized for his visionary and innovative approach, crafted hundreds of luminary designs for Arteluce, a trailblazing entity at the forefront of contemporary lighting. Furthermore, we’ve spotlighted iconic and sophisticated creations by Sarfatti for Arteluce, including the revered Model 2097 chandelier, the sleek Model 1063 floor lamp, the elegant Model 537 table lamp, alongside distinctive desk lamps and sconces.

Moreover, we’ve shared valuable guidance and insights on amassing vintage Arteluce lamps, offering strategies on navigating the market, ensuring preservation, and confirming the provenance and authenticity of your finds.

For those keen on deepening their understanding of Arteluce and Gino Sarfatti, or if you’re interested in acquiring or parting with their remarkable lamps, our website serves as a rich resource, providing extensive information, tools, and contacts. We encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest developments and insightful articles on Arteluce and Gino Sarfatti, along with a spectrum of topics surrounding modern design.

This is a unique chance to explore and cherish the masterworks of Italian lighting. Don’t let it pass you by!

Ask a question about Illuminate in Style: Arteluce Gino Sarfatti Rare Designs

Request a quote for product and shipping about Illuminate in Style: Arteluce Gino Sarfatti Rare Designs

Ask question for:

Illuminate in Style: Arteluce Gino Sarfatti Rare Designs

Request a shipping quote for:

Illuminate in Style: Arteluce Gino Sarfatti Rare Designs