I want to introduce you to my new love…my bouillotte lamp! I found it while thrifting with CC Catherine at Catherine de thé Cups last weekend and I think they could hear me squeal in the next county! And…it only cost $18...an absolute steal! Woo hoo! Now, maybe you are saying…what is a bouillotte lamp? Warning…warning…I feel the French teacher in me coming out! lol
Bouillotte (pronounced boo-yaht) is a card game similar to poker that was very popular in France during the late 1700's and into the 1800's. Players sat at a round table with a gallery edge that was lighted by a special lamp. You can see the table and lamp in this painting by Jean-François Bosio (1798).
The lamp had a special metal shade that could be lowered by turning a key as the candles burned down in order to shield the players’ eyes from the glare. There was usually a sort of dish at the base that was used to hold the game chips. The electrified versions have the same characteristics, although the adjustable shade is really no longer necessary.
Mine is a relatively simple one…not very ornate…which suits my style just fine. But let me show you some other examples of bouillotte lamps…
…such as this one from Pierre Deux. Isn’t it beautiful? Bouillotte lamps can have two to four arms and, more often than not, there is a metal tole shade which is narrower than ordinary lamp shades. The three and four armed lamps have a round shade…
…and the two armed variety like mine have an oblong shade. This Empire style lamp is from Fourcoux-Prince, a Parisian company specializing in bouillotte lamps. I love the Napoleonic N and those wonderful bees! Hey…if I were talented enough to paint mine, I could make it look almost like this one!
Now here is the real deal…a pair of antique Louis XVI style ormolu bouillotte lamps recently sold in auction at Christie’s in Paris for about $8,000! Aren’t they magnificent??
This one is a special favorite of mine because it belonged to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis! She loved this Louis XV style lamp so much that she took it from their home in Georgetown to the West Sitting Room in the White House and finally to her New York apartment. It went up for auction with the Geiger Collection of Historical Artifacts in 2007 with an estimated value of $35,000 to $50,000. I love the hand-painted Chinoiserie on the shade!
However, there are still bouillotte lamps in the White House. Here is a pair that is included in the permanent collection in the Blue Room. The room was decorated in French Empire style in the early 1800's by President James Monroe and has remained that way ever since.
And now, I have a bouillotte lamp! I love the way it lights up the corner of the room and adds a warm glow! I love that I have this classic French lamp in my house! And I love that somebody decided to give it away so that I could adopt it and take it home with me! I think I will name it Jean-François! lol
Thanks so much for stopping by! Please head on over to Mary’s at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday to see one of her beautiful mosaics and to find a list of this week’s participants. You will be treated to some wonderful photos from some very talented people!
Next, be sure to visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday where you can get a peek at her gorgeous home and see what sorts of changes she is making, as well as find out who else is playing along! I can’t wait to see what everyone has going on! See you next time! A la prochaine!