Boulanger Ostrich Egg Table Lamp
Materials: Square brass base with a cylinder on top. Brass plated iron leaves. White opal glass ostrich egg or oval globe. Round conical fabric lampshade. Brass parts and pine cone on top. Bakelite E14 sockets.
Total height: 73 cm / 28.74”
Lampshade: ∅ 36 cm / 14.17”
Base: 11 x 11 cm / 4.33 x 4.33”
Electricity: 3 bulbs E14, 3 x 40 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb with an E14 screw base can be used, not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1960s, 1980s.
Designer: To be appraised, probably inspired by some ostrich egg lamps produced by Maison Charles, Paris. This Boulanger lamp is often sold as a Maison Charles lamp. The Maison Charles table lamps always have a stamp in the metal on the back of the base with the company’s name on. Today Maison Charles has some 9 different “egg” lamps in production. You can find them on their website by doing a search for oeuf (egg) in French.
Manufacturer: Société Anonyme Boulanger, Anderlecht, Belgium.
Other versions: This Boulanger ostrich egg table lamp exists in several different versions, other colours and lampshades. Many other “ostrich egg” or “reed/palm” lamps were produced by S.A. Boulanger, you can find a lot of them here on Vintageinfo. Two similar turquoise ostrich egg table lamps can be found over here.
One of these lamps got a sticker on the “ostrich egg” with the text “Opaline Veritable France. Fait Main“. Real French opaline, hand made. Boulanger did not produce the glass globes themselves.
Other names for these lamps: palm lamps, reed lamps.
S.A. Boulanger was founded in Anderlecht, Belgium in 1945. The company is famous for the large amount of lights it produced that were designed by Gaetano Sciolari. At some point in the 1980s the company changed their name in Les Ateliers Boulanger NV.
It has long been thought that they were two different companies, but that is because a trader from Liège, Belgium persisted that the lamps came from Herstal, near Liège.
In 1996 the company had 11 employees. The firm moved in 1998 to the Martelarenlaan 155 in 3010 Kessel-Lo, near Leuven. In the period 1995 – 2001 Jean-Philippe Spalart was the CEO. He did a feasibility study for the transfer of the company to China, Eastern Europe and Africa. Relocation of the manufacture in Zimbabwe.
Boulanger was specialised in metal processing and manufacturers high-end lamps and lighting fixtures. Les Ateliers Boulanger ended business in 2006.
Massive & Boulanger
Massive sold several Boulanger models over the years. The only difference is the typical Massive canopy/ceiling cap and some other parts.
Old text from the 1990s
“Boulanger sells mainly in the high-end lighting markets in Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. The growing sales in the US and in South Africa are of growing importance to the company. Due to the highly competitive market, having product with a high added value is very important. The intelligent lamp is an important advantage, compared to our competitors, and will increase our market share in an important way.
The most important local competitors are Massive, a Belgian company, market leader in Europe (turnover of 100 MEUR), Deknudt at Deerlijk (turnover 2.5 MEUR) and some 10 other Belgian competitors of its own size. There is important competition from southern European and Asian competitors. The market share of Boulanger is only a few percent of the share of the Belgian companies. It is a small company with a turnover of about 300 k EURO.”
“Most Boulanger lamps are low voltage and halogen lamps (220V up to 300W or 12V up to 50W).
The products are sold to retail shops. In Belgium, about 300 retail shops sell its products. There are around 40 retail shops abroad: Luxembourg, Germany, France and South Africa.”
All the electric parts were made by VLM Components in the 1960s. The company was founded in 1945 in Buccinasco, a small village near Milan, Italy. The company became famous for the switches they produce since 1968, designed by Achille Castiglioni.
VLM is part of the Relco Group, founded in 1967. Today they are the owners of the brands Relco, Leuci, Relco Lighting, VLM and Segno.
Lamps in the movies
A S.A. Boulanger reed table lamp was used as a prop in the 2016 French-Belgian television thriller series Zone Blanche (White zone but named Black spot). Starring Suliane Brahim, Hubert Delattre and Laurent Capelluto. Many other lamps were used as a prop. You can find several of them over here.
A S.A. Boulanger ostrich egg table lamp was used as a prop in the French comedy film Potiche from 2010. Starring Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu.