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Designer

Robert Dudley Best

Widely recognised as one of the greatest British designers of the 20th century, Robert Dudley Best’s lighting was largely influenced by the Bauhaus and modernist European designers. His most celebrated design, the Bestlite Lamp, lit Winston Churchill’s desk and was proclaimed as the first manifestation of the Bauhaus in Britain by Architect's Journal.

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Widely recognised as one of the greatest British designers of the 20th century, Robert Dudley Best’s lighting was largely influenced by the Bauhaus and modernist European designers. His most celebrated design, the Bestlite Lamp, lit Winston Churchill’s desk and was proclaimed as the first manifestation of the Bauhaus in Britain by Architect's Journal.

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A keen design enthusiast as well as a prominent industrialist, Robert Dudley Best spent much of his youth travelling Europe, meeting designers and creating the first sketches of his iconic Bestlite Lamp. Furthering his interest in modernist design, he enrolled at the School of Industrial Design in Düsseldorf. It was during his time as a student in Düsseldorf and then Paris that he developed a distinctive style that was primarily driven to break barriers between industrial and artistic merit.

Upon inheriting the world's largest lighting company, Best & Lloyd, Robert Dudley Best changed course and began creating lights that symbolised the spirit of the new age. Setting lighting on a new path, and strongly influenced by the Bauhaus and the work of his friend Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus, Dudley Best banished the trimmings and ornate detailing typical of Best & Lloyd products in favour of clean and contemporary lines.

Bestlite BL2 Table Lamp Black, Brass & Bone China

Bestlite BL2 Table Lamp Black, Brass & Bone China

The origin of the Bestlite has its roots in ideas that emerged from the Bauhaus, an establishment that championed a rebellion against tradition and sought to bring simplicity to the forefront.

English designer Robert Dudley Best drew the first sketches of the light that would be proclaimed as the first Bauhaus manifestation in England during 1930, while studying in Paris and Dussledorf.

The Bestlite design was initially favoured by car mechanics on account of its adjustability; however, the swan-necked original BL1 lamp entered the nation's consciousness when it was pictured on Winston Churchill's desk in his air-raid shelter beneath Whitehall during World War II.

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