Due to the unfortunate labor issues at the West Coast ports in the US, the boat transporting our things has been delayed by over a month. There are certainly worse places to be stranded with just a few personal items so we have nothing to complain about. While we want to wait until we have everything in place before adding too many items to ensure that everything matches, we have spent many hours searching for lights to replace the standard hanging bulbs that currently illuminate our flat. The standard in Paris seems to be a bare bulb hanging from the center of the room. The result is a very stark and brightly lit room, but on the ‘bright’ side (pun intended) it also gives us an easier time visualizing something new in the space. To that end, we have had success in finding two chandeliers, one for the salon and one for the dining room. The one for the dining room is new and being made as we speak. It will be a bespoke piece which will warrant its own post once it is complete. The one in the salon, and the focus of today’s post is from the end of the 19th century and was acquired at the Saint Ouen Flea Market. The St. Ouen Flea Market is one of Paris’ most exciting places to visit if you are a fan of French antiques and have the constitution and stamina to spend hours upon hours searching through the hundreds and hundreds of vendors spread out over blocks of tiny and winding little allies and walk-ways. While in the US the term ‘Flea Market’ conjures up images of the Rose Bowl filled folding tables covered with cheap $5.00 pieces, St. Ouen is quite the opposite with museum quality antiques dating from the early 17th century forward including the occasional piece once owned by French Royalty (I will focus a future post on this extraordinary place so stand by).
This find was by accident as we were not looking for anything in particular and we were tired and ready to head home at the end of a long day of ‘looking’. It caught our eye hanging from the ceiling of a relatively small shop filled with dozens of paintings, statues and other nicknacks. We stopped in the small alley to look at it together. Then after a few minutes we decided to enter for a closer look. The shop keeper was very nice and quite informative. It is an alabaster lamp with bronze fittings from the late 19th century. Even with the original wiring the lights still worked. We talked about it for a little while then went outside to talk some more. Then we went back in to talk price. After a little negotiation, we settled on a price which included delivery. We were very happy. Once it was delivered, we thought it would be best to have it rewired so as not to burn down our building as that might be frowned upon. Once the rewiring was complete we had it hung and now it is the first of six chandeliers that we need for our flat. I have included several shots of it including some details of the beautiful bearded face that adorns three sides. Enjoy.