Boulanger Ostrich Egg Table Lamps
Materials: Brass, brass plated iron. opaque/white crystal glass egg. Fabric lampshade, brass pine cone on top. Bakelite 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, 1970s – Regency style.
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, Liege, Belgium.
Other versions: Made 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 many 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.
Other names for these lamps: palm lamps, reed lamps.
Unfortunately, not much is known about the company. S.A. Boulanger is famous for the large amount of lamps the company produced that are designed by Gaetano Sciolari. S.A. Boulanger ended business somewhere in the early 1980s. There is nothing to be found in the Belgian Official Journal about the company/factory. The journal goes back to 1983. The company is not to be confused by the other Boulanger company from Belgium: Les Ateliers Boulanger NV from Brussels.
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.
Label on the opaque egg: Opaline véritable – fait main – France. (real opal glass – made by hand – France)
A Boulanger ostrich egg table lamps used as a prop in the movie “Potiche” with Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu in 2010.
In 1977 a submissive wife gets to run her husband’s umbrella factory, after the employees rebel against their tyrannical manager. In French, a “potiche” is a decorative vase, but by extension means “window dressing” or, roughly, “trophy wife”.