A Little History On The Sputnik Chandelier


As Russia dazzles the world with the opening ceremony of Sochi (and half of ET is Russian), I thought it an appropriate moment to give a little history on the Sputnik chandelier! . . .

In 1957, The Soviet Union launched the world’s first man-made object to orbit the earth. The satellite was about the size of a beach ball, had whisker-like long antennas extending from one side and each of its 1440 elliptical orbits around the Earth took about 98 minutes. Its launch marked the start of the Space Age, led directly to the creation of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and kicked off a worldwide fascination with space travel. It also inspired a design aesthetic based on these rocket-propelled devices, which brought new shapes to furniture, lighting and other household items.

Designers such as Saporetti started manufacturing lighting loosely based on the Satellite and many other designers followed suit. The extraordinary chandeliers at the Met (Lincoln Centre) in New York in the 60’s are a great example of how these chandeliers developed and became more and more ornate.

We have a variation on this theme in stock, which is more in keeping with the original Soviet design, with a simple, clean linear design in brass and black enamel. Who wouldn’t want to own such an iconic piece of design history?