Among Skinflint Design‘s latest reclaimed and salvaged lighting are some intriguingly named ‘Asylum lights’. It turns out that they actually were used in a Victorian lunatic asylum in the Midlands, c1950…
If you had walked into a hospital ward sixty years ago you might well have seen lights like these mounted above the beds. They are pictured here in the infamous derelict Cane Hill Lunatic Asylum poised over the beds or bent and broken hanging down the flaking paint of the water damaged walls.
Installed in the late 1950s their clean lines and elegant shape mean that they are now considered a classic of mid-century design, from a practical point of view the articulation of the arm and head enabled the bed and patient to be easily illuminated by the resident medical staff. Unfortunately many of these elegant lights were lost during 1980s refurbishment programs, simply discarded as being ‘old fashioned’ and ‘out of date’. They are now highly sought-after stylish collectors items, and make for beautiful wall mounted bedside lamps with a rather unusual history.
(Photos by Andre Govia)
With their polished aluminium shades and circular wall plate with brushed and lacquered steel arms, these Asylum lights are perfect in their new life as wall-mounted reading lights in this bedroom. Skinflint have retained the original worn internal paint finish to the shade, adding character and emphasising the originality of the pieces.
There are 14 of these Asylum wall lights still available from Skinflint. Supplied tested and rewired with new bayonet chrome plated lamp holders and integral switch. Price: £ 320 each (ex vat)
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