Hhave you seen those elegant black or white insect-like light fixtures by Serge Mouille? I got intrigued after seeing them appear in numerous interior blogs and did some research. These lamps, which are the epitome of mid-century lighting design, were first launched in Paris in 1953.  Serge Mouille’s lighting collection fast became the lighting choice for collectors and avant-garde architects worldwide.

Each considered a piece of art, the Serge Mouille lights have never gone into large production, each piece is still made completely by hand with the original tools designed by Mouille himself – Absolute Perfection!!

Serge-Mouille-Lighting-Designer-1

Known primarily for his work as a designer of lighting fixtures, Serge Mouille (1922-1988) received a master silversmith diploma from the School of Applied Arts in Paris. He studied with silversmith and sculptor Gilbert LaCroix and, after graduation in 1941, went to work in his studio.

In 1945 Mouille opened his own metal working studio with the intention of creating silverware utensils. At that point, however, his design commissions were mostly for hand rails, chandeliers and wall sconces. In 1953 Jacques Adnet hired him to design lighting fixtures, an art to which he devoted the rest of his life.

Serge Mouille remains famous primarily for his minimalistic designs and use of uniformly black painted metal materials. His wall-mounted spot light fixture with articulated arms (the “Spider”) is typical for his discrete, yet highly functional designs.

The wall-mounted “Spider”, designed around 1953, via Pinterest

MSC-R3: this sconce can project light into a room at varying angles due to the independent rotation of each arm and each shade.

The Mouille wall-mounted Spider: this sconce can project light into a room at varying angles due to the independent rotation of each arm and each shade.

Mouille's "Spider" lamp, designed in 1953 via Elements of Style

Mouille’s “Spider” lamp, designed in 1953 via Elements of Style

MCL-R3 Simple and elegant, this ceiling lamp makes a dramatic addition to a variety of room settings.

The Mouille ceiling-mounted Spider: Simple and elegant, this ceiling lamp makes a dramatic addition to a variety of room settings. 

Throughout the 1950s Mouille designed those large, angular, insect-like wall mounted and standing lamps with several arms and smaller, more curved wall-sconces. Some of his best known designs from the period are his “Oeil” lamp (1953), “Flammes” (1954) and “Saturn” (1958). Mouille made each of his lamps by hand and never used machine technology to maximize production numbers. He worked to achieve a kinetic, sculptural aesthetic that evoked a sense of movement in space. A Serge Mouille lamp is as much a work of art as it is a source of illumination.

Eye wall sconces by Serge Mouille via Pinterest

Eye wall sconces by Serge Mouille via Pinterest

The Mouille "œil" or Eye Sconce is named for the shape of the shade. Designed by Mouille in 1953.

The Mouille “œil” or Eye Sconce is named for the shape of the shade. Designed by Mouille in 1953. 

MSC-FLA: An elegant twist of metal results in a lamp that illuminates upwards while creating playful shadows through the elongated metal with tapered ending.

The Mouille Flame: An elegant twist of metal results in a lamp that illuminates upwards while creating playful shadows through the elongated metal with tapered ending.

The Mouille Saturn lamp: a partial cut allows the outer edge to bend revealing a sculpted ring encircling a central cone reflector to both diffuse and project light into the room.

The Mouille Saturn lamp: a partial cut allows the outer edge to bend revealing a sculpted ring encircling a central cone reflector to both diffuse and project light into the room. 

 Towards the end of the 1950s the invention of neon tubes inspired Mouille to create a series of floor lamps that combined incandescence and fluorescence. These designs, called the “Colonnes” collection, had their debut at the 1962 Salon for interior design.

The Mouille Totem floor lamp, 1962. I am not such a fan of this design, are you?

The Mouille Totem floor lamp, 1962. I am not such a fan of this design, are you?

The Mouille Totem floor lamp, 1962

The Mouille Totem floor lamp, 1962

The Mouille Signal floor lamp, 1963

The Mouille Signal floor lamp, 1963

Mouille suffered from tuberculosis for many years, and in 1959 he was forced to suspend his design activities and undergo treatment. Production of his light fixtures stopped definitively in 1961. In the 1980’s, due to a renewed interest in the rarity of Mouille’s lighting, his spouse Gin Mouille decided to introduce a new edition originally designed in the early 1950’s. The original precision craftsmanship is applied to this edition to maintain the integrity of the early work. Each shade is produced with the use of original moulds, proportions, materials and techniques. Each piece is stamped and numbered. Only 1000 pieces are produced each year and are exported all over the world, which make them not only objects of beauty but collector items as well.

Here’s a little overview of Mouille’s light fixtures still in action today, I’m interested to hear what you think of them.

Bedlight wallsconce by Serge Mouille via Cabbage Rose

Bedlight wallsconce by Serge Mouille via Cabbage Rose

Desklamp by Serge Mouille

Desklamp by Serge Mouille

The white spider

The white spider

Mouille wall lights on the left, via Blood & Champagne

Mouille wall lights on the left, via Blood & Champagne

via Desire to Inspire

via Desire to Inspire

via Desire to Inspire

via Desire to Inspire

Mouille single floorlamp via Notes on Design

Mouille single floorlamp via Notes on Design

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

via Roger Lum

via Roger Lum

via Rachel C.

via Rachel C.

via Viva Full House

via Viva Full House

MDE-CCT An elegant triangular base supporting a slender, straight arm and cylindrical shade allows this deceivingly simple lamp

On of Mouille’s desklamps: An elegant triangular base supporting a slender, straight arm and cylindrical shade allows this deceivingly simple lamp

MDE-TRP The shade of this lamp is modeled after a moule or mussel shell. The arm is connected by a brass swivel and supported by an unusual tripod base

Another desklamp by Mouille: the shade of this lamp is modeled after a “moule” or mussel shell. The arm is connected by a brass swivel and supported by an unusual tripod base

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Remodeling and Home Design
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