Maija the Bee Standing Lamp by Ilmari Tapiovaara for Hienoteras, Finland 1950s

Maija the Bee Standing Lamp by Ilmari Tapiovaara for Hienoteras, Finland 1950s


Maija the Bee Floor Lamp by Ilmari Tapiovaara for Hienoteras, Finland 1955

Designed in 1955 the Maija Mehiläinen (Maya the bee) floor lamp is a deliciously simple and elegant piece. Tapiovaara's inspiration for this household lamp came from Maya the Bee, a friendly character from a 1912 German children’s book, that also was the basis to the widely acclaimed comic strips and translated as Maija in Finland.

In his clear and simple design style Tapiovaara created a column of small metal superimposed discs from which the light glows as if coming from a shimmering beehive. Thin brass knobs and tubes fixate the symmetric and rhythmic arranged discs. The partly cane wrapped stem and brass rings just underneath the shades form a nice contrast with the white lacquered aluminum. A three legged base with round shoes keeps the lamp in its place. The original long-tube incandescent bulb, spreading diffused slices of warm light, can be turned on by pulling the small drawstring. The lamp is manufactured by Asko/Hienoteräs, Finland.

Interior impressed with ‘HIENOTERAS’.

About the designer:

Ilmari Tapiovaara graduated in 1937 as interior architect from the department of furniture design of the Central School of Arts and Crafts. Even before graduating, Tapiovaara went abroad to work for Alvar Aalto in Artek's London office in 1935. Right after completing his education Tapiovaara got a position of assistant at the office of Le Corbusier, in France. These were not the only times he learned from international masters; he also worked with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in Chicago, in 1953. Read more about Ilmari Tapiovaara.


In good vintage condition. Wear consistent with age and use.


5.12 in. Ø/ 18.11 in. Ø x 54.73 in. H

13 cm Ø /46 cm Ø x 139 cm H


Asko: Satojen Mahdollisuuksien Mallistoa Tavoite Kotiin, sales catalogue, n.p. for the standard and table lamp

Ornamo: Finsk Konst Industri, Helsinki, 1962, p. 50, fig. 200 for the table lamp


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