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  • Provenance

    Collection of Aldo Cichero, Genoa
    Fragile, Milan

  • Exhibited

    "Bracciodiferro: Gaetano Pesce - Alessandro Mendini 1971-1975," Biblioteca Umanistica dell'Incoronata, Milan, April 4-14, 2013

  • Literature

    Domus (Milan), no. 525, September 1972, p. 38
    Emilio Ambasz, ed., Italy: The New Domestic Landscape: Achievements and Problems of Italian Design, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1972, p. 97
    Giuliana Gramigna, Repertorio 1950/1980, Milan, 1985, p. 357
    France Vanlaethem, Gaetano Pesce: Architecture, Design, Art, London, 1989, p. 28
    Anty Pansera, Bracciodiferro: Gaetano Pesce - Alessandro Mendini 1971-1975, exh. cat., Biblioteca Umanistica dell'Incoronata, Milan, 2013, illustrated front cover and pp. 70-77

  • Catalogue Essay

    Gaetano Pesce named his towering floor lamp after the ancient Ammonite god Moloch, to whom certain Levantine tribes sacrificed children by fire. Fed by the offspring of its own progenitor, Pesce’s lamp derives from designer Jac Jacobsen’s “L-1” adjustable lamp (1937), of which Norwegian manufacturer Luxo has produced more than 25 million examples. A pointed comment perhaps—one never knows with Pesce—it’s the many who have created god in their own image, not the reverse. Regardless, the “Moloch” presides everywhere at the same time, seeing, allowing us to see, at the end of its spring-balanced arm.

    Naval architect Aldo Cichero acquired lots 401, 406 and 411 directly from manufacturer Bracciodiferro, where until 1972 he had led research and development in close collaboration with Cesare Cassina, Gaetano Pesce, and Alessandro Mendini.

    As curator Anty Pansera has noted in the catalogue to her recent exhibition, Bracciodiferro: Gaetano Pesce – Alessandro Mendini 1971-1975 (in which the present lot appeared), Pesce’s “Moloch” was the first object produced by the firm. Although Bracciodiferro had intended to make an edition of 100, the company had sold only 13 by July 1975, its final year of production. The present lot, stamped “000-C,” is one of six known prototypes of varying finishes labeled alphanumerically as follows: 000-A (mirror-polished aluminum); 000-B (black aluminum); 000-C (bronze-anodized aluminum); 000-D (bronze aluminum); 000-E (black aluminum); and 000-F (black-colored aluminum). Pansera believes Bracciodiferro only produced approximately 20 examples in addition to its run of prototypes.

    An example of Gaetano Pesce’s “Moloch” floor lamp, a gift from the manufacturer, is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.


Prototype "Moloch" adjustable floor lamp

Anodized aluminum, aluminum, painted metal.
141 3/4 in. (360 cm) maximum height
Produced by Bracciodiferro, Italy. Prototype "C" of 6 known prototypes. Base impressed with MOLOCH RIDISEGNO DI GAETANO PESCE PRODUZIONE BRACCIODIFERRO S.R.L. GENOVA - ITALIA PRIMA CENTINAIO ESEMPLARE N. 000-C.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $197,000

Contact Specialist
Meaghan Roddy
Head of Sale, New York
[email protected]
+ 1 212 940 1266

Design Masters

New York 17 December 2013 6pm