Porcelain fittings were common in the 1920s, when wall-mounted switches started becoming more affordable. Rotary controls were also a standard way of operating lights in Europe from the beginning of the 20th century. The finish of these beautiful hand-made pieces is a slightly creamy off-white glossy surface, which complements matt painted walls as well as period wallpaper.
For combining these round switches to create a double (or multiples), you need different backplates which are straightened on one side – or a special 2-gang frame (see picture 5 in the gallery).
NB: These switches are meant to be fitted into European back boxes, not standard British rectangular ones. It is theoretically possible to fit them in a square box and fill in the corners, but it is not recommended.
Click on the “What you need to know” link for essential product details, dimensions, fitting info and more.
Apart from switches, THPG offer a selection of wiring products and functions that can be combined with these frames, such as audio speaker inputs, TV/SAT sockets and network sockets. Contact us for information on other options if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
Because of its round backplate shape, this switch doesn’t fit the regular British square or rectangular wall boxes. The corners of the back box (or the hole the switch is going into) WILL SHOW.
It is perfectly possible to fit a European-style round back box, which the backplate will cover. We sell these boxes here. But this will require electrical work and decorating/plastering to make good the new wall box.
Please be aware that we don’t accept returns of this product after 14 days if you find that the necessary installation/decorating work is too extensive. We kindly ask that you and your electrician make sure that they are aware of the back box incompatibility before ordering this product.
What’s in the box?
This switch set consists of an insert including a screw-in porcelain turning knob, a frame and a front plate, fixed with a small hidden nut.
(Click image to enlarge. Pictures for illustration only. Number of gangs and/or finishes might vary)
What does an electrician call this?
This is a 1-gang 2-way 10AX switch, or a 1-gang intermediate 10AX switch
Where is this used in the home?
A 1-gang 2-way switch is commonly used for controlling a single light source from one or two places. A 1-gang intermediate is used as the middle switch of three, controlling a single light source (for example in a hallway).
THPG rotary switches are easy to install, but remember, the round backplate versions don't fit onto standard British back boxes! Just follow the step-by-step pictures below or go to our THPG rotary switch installation page. We used a European round box in the pictures but the procedure is the same for square ones.
(Click gallery to enlarge. Number of gangs and/or finishes might vary)
Please refer to our Installation section for more installation advice, manuals and helpful videos.
Does this cover a standard british back box?
No, a 70mm round back box is required. Check the available options below.
How deep does the back box need to be?
This insert is quite deep, it needs at least 45mm. Check the available options below.
Porcelain hasn’t always been an unusual material. From the beginning of the electrical age and several decades to follow, the porcelain and ceramics industry was the most important provider of electrical technology: Casings, switch pieces and housings were made from this attractive material that, apart from its aesthetic qualities, has tangible technical benefits: it insulates and is extremely tough.
Together with its sibling, the Porcelain Button, we’re bringing this stunning material back into UK homes.
The backplate and inner frontplate are made from 100% industrial grade porcelain, as well as the turning knob to operate the switch. The rotary action produces a very audible and satisfying ‘click’ when turned on and off. For areas where quiet operation is important, maybe our button alternative might be more suitable!
The whole piece with the ceramic and metal insert is noticeably heavier than plastic switches, which gives it a traditional and durable feel.
A USABLE SWITCH THAT SOFTLY SPEAKS VOLUMES
Hand-made and assembled by skilled workers, down the smallest parts of the switch mechanics.
THPG have brought together a producer of electro-technical switches from Westphalia and a producer of electro-technical porcelain from Thuringia. The result is this porcelain switch system: it is both functional and pleasant in three ways: to the eye, to the touch and to the ear
All porcelain parts originate from Schierschnitz in Thuringia, where electro-technical porcelain has been produced since 1913. The porcelain is moulded under a pressure of 35-40 MPa into metal mouldings, then glazed and sintered at a temperature of 1320-1330° C.
Equally suitable for period wallpapers and the crisp white walls of modernist interiors, this is a switch for interior professionals. The unusual material, combined with a soft round backplate, stands out and adds a quirky retro touch to any interior.
We have seen it used in faithful renovations of 1920s and 1930s properties, as well as adding a light vintage touch to ‘modern country’ styles, fitted to bare plaster walls or tiled kitchen splashbacks.