Huge, and hugely attratctive. This pair of 40's/50's lamps by designer James Mont certainly impress. They are exceptionally glamorous and highly decorative.
At 43cm tall and around 33cm wide across the belly of the vases, these are large, heavy duty lamps. With their original gold silk shades, which come in at another 42cm x 53cm each, these can honestly be described as monumental. Size all in is 86cm x 53cm x 42cm.
The lamp bases are early to mid 20th century Chinese brass Hu vases in the archaic style. They have been gilded and distressed by the designer to look really antique. The mahogany mounts at top and bottom have likewise been deliberately distressed to age them. Elaborate, time consuming and expensive finishes are a Mont obsession, metals are often seen gilded and distressed to transparency to reveal subtle undercoats. The surfaces on these lamps are wonderful, they just glow when light touches them. Photographing these felt like we were in the British Museum, they don't feel mid century, they feel like treasures.
Condition: Completely original condition with the exception of the brass finials topping the shades which we have had to replace. The new finials are 2.5cm solid brass balls and match the look of the lamps perfectly. Both lamps are solid and newly rewired to the highest standard. One base has lost a slither of mahogany to the top surface, about 5cm long, 6mm deep and one of it's feet has a tiny loss. The double lined silk shades are in more or less perfect condition, they show slight signs of ageing and a couple of the tiniest frays but have no losses or damage. These are the only examples we have seen to include the shades, exceptionally rare.
Mont designed for Hollwood Royalty and was funded, and had a lifelong association with, the mafia. His clients included Irving Berlin, Bob Hope and Lana Turner alongside feared mobsters like Frank Costello and Joe Adonis (popular items with the mob included the 6ft bar that could collapse to 6 inches wide, and furniture riddled with hidden compartments). This is Hollywood Regency at it's finest, though the New York Times described Mont's style as Brass-Knuckle Chic and we wouldn't argue.
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Gilt Brass James Mont lights with original shades
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