Created for the German manufacturer Bayer in 1969, the 'Fireball' hanging lamp is one of Verner Panton's most spectacular designs. Cellidor, a very translucent plastic at the time recently developed by the German company Bayer, allows the lamp to emanate a particularly soft glow. Ball lamps of various configurations were the highlights of Panton's installation Visiona 2 for Bayer in 1970. The show was one of two installations commissioned from Panton by Bayer for the Cologne furniture fair as a means of presentation for their latest products.
Panton's now classic 1969 'Fireball' hanging lamp typifies the generation's interest in new materials and designs for the "space age." As an iconic image of the new, young, hip and daring, a red version of this lamp is featured in Brian de Palma's 1983 movie Scarface. The lamp appears in a crucial early scene in the drug lord Frank Lopez's home where Al Pacino's character Tony Montana meets his love, Elvira, played by Michelle Pfeiffer.
Panton Lighting, exhibition catalogue, R20th Century Gallery, New York, 2003
Les années pop 1956-1968, exhibition catalogue, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2001, fig. 68.75
Alexander von Vegesack and Mathias Remmele, eds., Verner Panton: The collected works, exhibition catalogue, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, 2000, pp. 52-54, 118-119 for other ball lamps, pp. 290-291