Monday, November 29, 2010

The Bouillotte Lamp

Another classic, the bouillotte lamp.  It is classic because you can use it with so many different styles: romantic, minimalist, traditional.  You can also trace it through many different decades: 1800s all the way through today.

luxury-home-design-ED0909-BADGLEY30-0110.jpg, At Home with Badgley Mischka, bottom right hand corner, bouillette lamp, creme, Bouillette Lamps

untitled 1 031 Bouillotte Lamps, Bouillette Lamp (Daryl Carter design)

IMG_0479, My New Love . . . My Bouillette Lamp

scan0009, Caroline Lee Bouvier Canfield Radziwill, Lee Radziwill home in NYC mid 1960s, the Yellow Oval Room, circa 1962

It is named after the French card game, bouillotte (pronounced boo-yot) that was played in the 18th century.  The lamp will have 2 or 3 adjustable candle brackets and a common shade that can slide on a central shaft.  The shade is metal (a material called tolle, pronounced toll) because electricity wasn't around in the 1700s--the lamp really did use candles.  This is the same reason for the shade being adjustable--the candle height would get smaller as they burned and the shade needed to be adjusted so that there wasn't a glare on the game player's eyes.  The lamp would be placed on a bouillotte table, sometimes on a removable top covered in a felt-like cloth.  The table has little drawers to hold the game pieces, and the dish at the bottom of the lamp not only caught the melting wax, but also held game pieces.

This lamp is part of the White House permanent collection.

La_Bouillotte_early_77bf, Ladies and Gentlemen playing La Bouillette, France, c1804-1814

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