There’s a bit of irony (not in an Alanis Morissette kind of way) between the premise of the tv show Elementary and what I initially thought was a Serge Mouille 3 Arm Floor Lamp. Elementary is a modern take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson characters. The go-to pieces for movies and shows are typically the Mies Barcelona Chair, Eames 670 Lounge or a Saarinen Womb or Tulip chair. Those are all instant visual cues of HEY! WE ARE MODERN AND DESIGNY! So I was annoyingly distracted and all too excited when Lucy Lui’s Character Dr. Watson walked past what I thought was my all time favorite floor lamp. Almost a little too excited in the thought of FINALLY! Something a LITTLE more unusual, but like in Malcom Gladwell’s Blink, something immediately was wrong.
The original Serge Mouille 3 Arm floor lamp was designed in 1953, and then built by his own hands until 1964, when he stopped production completely to focus on work as an educator at the School of Applied Arts. His works were never made by machined parts and have fetched astronomical prices in various auctions. The lamp is now in production in France and can be found at DWR for $7380.
It took a bit of patience to catch glimpses and better angles of the lamp on the show and after a bit of time it was obvious that in fact this was a copy of my beloved lamp. The shades were more rounded and the tripod base/legs were completely off. all of which eventually led me to the actual lamp used on the show. The Organic Modernism shop carries the Praying Mantis lamp for $575, which is probably pretty close to just the shipping cost of the Mouille lamp.
I usually struggle with posting about copies of my favorite designs, but have an odd attachment to this show and didn’t just want to write about the Saarinen Executive Chair (metal legs) or the Womb Chair that are also used. I think there’s also a Modernica Eames fiberglass side chair on there as well. So it was the lamp that I decided to focus on.
I never usually quote directly from a film or show, as I feel it’s lazy, but for what it’s worth, Johnny Lee Miller has a line that has stuck with me since I first heard it last year and I believe it applies to this appropriately.
“Learning to see the puzzle in everything? They’re everywhere once you start looking, it’s impossible to stop. It just so happens, people and all their deceits and illusions that inform everything that they do tends to be the most fascinating puzzles of all. Of course, they don’t always appreciate being seen as such. ”