Celebrating the Legacy of Jules Wabbes: 50th Anniversary and the Resurrection of the M57 Lamp

Jules Wabbes, a name synonymous with timeless design and impeccable craftsmanship, is being celebrated on the 50th anniversary of his passing. This Belgian designer, born in Brussels in 1919, embarked on a journey from a photographer and antique dealer to a renowned interior designer and creator of his own furniture and objects. His work, characterized by simple shapes, quality materials, and meticulous attention to detail, has left an indelible mark on the design world.

Wabbes first gained international recognition at the 1957 Milan Triennale, winning a silver medal for his slatted furniture system and a lamp. His continued success at events like the 1960 Triennale and the Expo in 1958 solidified his status among specialists and expanded his clientele, which included prestigious institutions and private individuals alike.

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However, tragedy struck in 1974, with Wabbes’ untimely death at the age of 54. In 2024, we commemorate his legacy, particularly through the reintroduction of a once-lost masterpiece – the M57 lamp.

The M57, named in honor of the 1957 Milan Triennale, is a product of Wabbes’ company, General Decoration, founded in 1969. This lamp, originally known only from photographs and celebrated for its innovative design, had disappeared and was never marketed due to a technical heating issue with incandescent bulbs.

Decades later, in a twist of fate, Vincent and Caroline Colet, cabinetmaker and designer respectively, have breathed new life into this iconic design. Using modern technology and the original photographs, the Colets, with the help of designer Gaston Golstein and craftsman Cédric Leurquin, have recreated the M57. This new edition, crafted in brushed brass with nickel-plated brass fins and LED bulbs, exemplifies the evolution of technology and the enduring appeal of Wabbes’ designs.

General Decoration, under the stewardship of the Colets, continues to honor Wabbes’ legacy by producing 70 items, including the M57 lamp. Everything is crafted in Belgium with a commitment to local artisans, ensuring the rarity and authenticity of these pieces.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jules Wabbes’ passing, his influence remains palpable in the world of design. The resurrection of the M57 lamp not only pays homage to his genius but also serves as a testament to the timeless nature of his creations. Wabbes’ work, characterized by simplicity, quality, and an eye for detail, continues to inspire and captivate design enthusiasts around the world.



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