BY ROBERT DUDLEY BEST
The Bestlite Collection, designed by Robert Dudley Best, has been in continuous production since 1930. Developed at the end of the revolutionary Bauhaus movement, the collection’s utilitarian forms and clean lines are strongly representative of the period.
A Bauhaus-era classic
The Bestlite is a timeless Bauhaus-era classic; its swan- necked stand, bell-shaped shade and adjustable pivot- joints make it not only elegant, but also highly functional. In continuous production since its conception, it has become an iconic part of British design history with a Danish twist to the tale.
In 1994, the Bestlite became the first archival piece in GUBI’s collection.
A multitude of functionalities
The Bestlite Collection is one of the most comprehensive and hardworking lighting collections of all time, including 10 different table lamps, floor lamps, wall lamps and pendant lamps, all of which can be adjusted in multiple directions. Adjustable at both the shade and the point at which the arm meets the base, wall bracket or stand, the Bestlite was the first example of a truly adjustable lamp.
Jacob Gubi and his parents, the co-founders of GUBI, first saw the Bestlite in a shoe store in Copenhagen and immediately agreed the design was something special. They located the manufacturer and took a trip to Birmingham, England, to trace the lamp’s heritage. There, they met the designer Robert Dudley Best’s family and visited the factory where it was still being produced, using the same traditional tooling as had been used since 1930.
ROBERT DUDLEY BEST
Robert Dudley Best was heir to the world’s largest lighting manufacturing company Best & Lloyd, founded in Birmingham in 1840. Despite the company’s proud history of providing traditional lamps to a prestigious clientele, including Titanic and the Orient Express, Dudley Best was interested in a new collection that symbolised the spirit of the new age by appealing to the more avantgarde architects and setting a new agenda for lamp design.