My Tolomeo story

HG Esch

"It's hard to believe, but I've known the Tolomeo lamp for over 30 years – it's constantly appearing in front of my camera. ...

...I started photographing architecture in 1989 and since then, we've kept on meeting each other all the time, in Rio de Janeiro, in Shanghai or Sao Paulo. I should take a look through my archives for Tolomeo images. I'd find a photo of the Ingenhoven architectural practice in Düsseldorf there, where there's a Tolomeo on every desk – just as there is in Meinhard von Gerkan's gmp office in Hamburg or in KPF in New York. I also had the pleasure of photographing the designer Michele De Lucchi – a very impressive encounter.
With the Tolomeo, he has created a uniquely timeless product. I like the beautiful shape of the lamp shade and the geometric simplicity of the structure that shows the mechanism on the outside. In this way, the Tolomeo is reminiscent of the shape of cranes, which is why I picked up on this aesthetic in my photograph. Do I own a Tolomeo myself? I have loads of them! For the last 17 years, they have been dispensing light on the desks in my studio, which I opened in a former farmhouse in Hennef in the year 2000. We're still "old school" here, with light bulbs in the lamps – it goes perfectly with the atmosphere of the room."

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