Boulanger palm table lamps
Materials: Completely made of polished brass. Square base, “handle” striped rod. Palm or reed leaves. Cardboard spotted “metallic” lampshades, gold coloured inside. Bakelite sockets.
Big palm table lamp
Height: 92,5 cm / 36.41”
Lampshade: ∅ 35 cm / 13.77”
Base: 12 x 12 cm / 4.72 x 4.72”
Electricity: 3 bulbs E14, 3 x 60 watt, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, but preferably a small round bulb.
Small palm table lamp
Height: 85,3 cm / 33.5”
Lampshade: ∅ 29,7 cm – 11.69”
Base: 9 x 9 cm / 3.54 x 3.54”
Electricity: 2 bulbs E14, 3 x 60 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, but preferably a clear round bulb.
Period: 1970s, 1980s – Hollywood Regency.
Designer: To be appraised, probably inspired by a lamp designed by Maison Charles, Paris: “Vase Roseaux” (reeds vase) and often sold as a Maison Charles lamp. The Maison Charles table lamps always have a stamp in the metal on the back of the foot with the company’s name on. The Vase Roseaux is still in production, you can find it on the website of Maison Charles: www.charles.fr. (link opens in a new window)
Manufacturer: Société Anonyme Boulanger, Liege, Belgium.
Other Versions: These Boulanger palm table lamps exists in many variations. Made in polished brass, black lacquered brass, brass and chrome… Many different lampshades. Made in several variations: with an ostrich egg, different base and so on. You can find many examples here on Vintageinfo.
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.
Lamps in the movies
A S.A. Boulanger ostrich egg palm lamp was used as a prop in the French comedy film Potiche from 2010. Starring Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu.
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”.