Rare Moe brutalist walls sconces, NOS, 1973

moe chandelier brutalist 1973I am the world’s largest fan of vintage lighting, so, in my daily ebay searches, I try to watch for the rarities that continue be unearthed daily from the big time big name brands from back in the day — including Moe, Lightolier, Progress and Virden, in particularly. My tenacity was rewarded the other day, when a set of rare Brutalist fixtures from Moe — 1973 — and NEW OLD STOCK — popped up. These are the most beautiful vintage lights EVER! Thanks for seller frivtime for giving us permission to catalog and show these beauties here on the blog. There is one chandelier, one wall sconce, and one pendant light. And the seller knows what he has.. the starting price is not cheap. See all the designs –>

vintage moe chandelier 1970sblingy

vintage moe chandelierNote via the photo above: The chandelier has nine — yes, 9 — candle bulbs. Six on the perimeter, and three inside.

brutalist wall sconce moeThe matching wall sconce.

moe wall sconce vintage

Above: The profile of the wall sconce. Nice.

brutalistmoe pendant lightCoordinating pendant.

moe lightConfirmation that these were sold in 1973. Looks to be model # M 4178.

What is Brutalist style?

What is “Brutalist” style? Read this story.

1969 Moe Lighting Catalog

I have a copy of a 1969 Moe lighting catalog — 20 pages featured here. I do not see this lighting family yet.

1969 moe lightingmoe lighting vintage 1969Moreover, I actually own the M-2149 chandelier in this catalog, along with four — yes, 4 — of the M-4149 sconces. I got a super duper good deal on these pieces — which I purchased in two different auctions. Umm, now I just need a house to put them in.

On this catalog, Moe make reference to the Bauhaus influence… then seems to refer to the Mediterranean style (see:”Old and New Worlds”). Heck if I know. Here’s the Moe text:

Unrestricted flexibility, simple lines and incorporation of mand-made materials enable today’s contemporary stylings to be fashionably functional. It’s interesting to note that what we term “modern” today actually originated in the 1920’s in Germany. There, the Bauhaus School staffed by leading designers, architects, and painters had as its credo, “form must follow function.”

M-2149 — A unique blending of the Old and the New Worlds. Hand-hammered antique bronze forms a framework that is geometrically contemporary in its execution. This eclectic styling is an ideal mix-and-match chandelier.

Regarding the M-2140/4149 set that I own, I see how they in fact have a Mediterranean antecedent. Make ’em wrought iron and you could put Arthur and his Knights of the Roundtable for dinner.

moe chandelier brutalist 1973

But going back up to the rarities in the main spotlight today — I’m going to assume they were called the 2178 / 4178 model — I don’t see Mediterranean so much as Brutalist. What would an architectural design historian say? Disco???? Any real scholars out there to help on this one??? 🙂

I wish there were more of the 4178 wall sconces and pendants, too, for sale — that way they would make for a matchy matchy set. Still, wow. Any readers out there feeling the need… and with the cash? Here’s the listing:

Tips to using the ebay carousel: To go to a particular item, click on its photo (NOT on the ebay logo) — then, click on the lime green “View and Bid” box, which will take you to ebay. Disclosure: When you buy anything from these ebay carousels or after you click into ebay here, it nets me a teensy commission, which helps keep the blog boat afloat — Many thanks!


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  1. Allen says

    Absolutely Beautiful!! Just no place to put them for me. At least at prices like these, if someone does buy them they REALLY like them and will probably preserve them for years to come!

  2. Jay says

    Pam, I’m no expert but the catalog states these are “modern” designs and ties it to “modern” originating at the Bauhaus which is true. It gave birth to the modern “International” style of architecture – flat top bldgs. minus classical ornamentation. An excellent pre-war example is PSFS bldg. in Phila. and post-war Lever House in NYC. The catalog doesn’t give these styles specific names but I like your description “Brutalist” as I see the resemblance. I think these are really nice to look at, escpecially with the interior lighting as well as the candles.

    • pam kueber says

      I’m thinking Moe was throwing in all the buzzwords of the day! They ARE correct about Bauhaus inspiring the modern movement, I *think*

  3. Robin, NV says

    Gosh, wouldn’t these be great in a swanky retro 70s penthouse?

    I’ve never been a fan of Brutalism. In my opinion, it’s aptly named – harsh, jarring, brutal. But I can respect it as a recognizable movement that really tried to do something different.

  4. Annie B. says

    These fixtures are magnificent. I love the in-your-face substantiality of Brutalist interior design. This styling was the top of the line in elegance for those years, no doubt, when Spanish Med went Modern and artsy.

    I’m not terribly keen on Brutalist architecture, though; it seems too gloomy to me, too much like Stonehenge made of Legos. Might be the only style of Modern architecture with which I’m not thoroughly in love.

  5. JKaye says

    Hi. This is a comment on brutalist architecture, rather than lamps. A few weeks ago we went to an art exhibit (watercolorist Paul Sawyier, who was not into brutalist style as far as I know). The exhibit was at Northern Kentucky University, a campus that has a lot of buildings made of poured concrete, many with a very raw surface. As we walked to the art exhibit, my husband said, “This is brutalist,” and pointed to the exterior of one of the buildings. So, since brutalist art is the topic here, I will link to a video that shows the NKU campus. The video maker has a note that the campus looks bleak and ugly, but, I really like it. It looks like a fortress. These lamps would look great in the NKU buildings.


    • pam kueber says

      I think it is so interesting that once you understand the design idea behind something it makes it easier to see the beauty! Thanks, jkaye!

  6. says

    OMG, this is too hysterical. I have this very light fixture (9 light one) in my 100 year old house in Richmond, VA, and I find it the most freakingly ugly thing ever. The mod furniture store around the corner also has one for sale for about the same price. I simply haven’t found something more in character with my home.

  7. says

    Moe lighting is fabulous. That particular swag lamp fit great in a hollywood regency style decor. I have a few original Moe catalogs that I use for researching them. A lot of the fixtures are not marked so you have to study up to find them.

  8. Jes says

    I know this may be a long shot… anyone remember the price of the chandelier? I just came across one similar to it but 6 lights inside, not candlestick style. Love it, debating on whether to keep or sell?? Would appreciate anyone’s thoughts on value. 6 lights, 6 panels… in excellent conditiin.

    • pam kueber says

      I do not remember. Mid century modern lighting — and creative and well designed post modern lighting, too — continues to go up up up in price. That said, it’s always about finding (or being, depending on which side of the buy-sell you are) the right buyer in the right place at the right time.

      In general – check completed auctions for this maker on ebay to see what the sales prices for completed deals are ….

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