A Bouillotte lamp with a shade of tôle peinte (painted tin-plate). The deep ormolu dish rests on a ring decorated with a cable pattern and has an openwork edge decorated with palmettes and floral motives. In the center of the dish stands a baluster shaped decorated column. On the square stem a ring with three C-volute-shaped branches. The branches end in acanthus leaves and drip trays decorated with floral motives. The candleholders are shaped like classical urns adorned with palmettes. The ring carrying the branches is topped with a tray decorated with elongated gadroons.
The lampshade is carried by three volute-shaped branches, decorated with acanthus, and ending in feline heads that grip the edge of the shade with their jaws.
The rings that carry the candleholders and the shade can be adjusted in height along a central square rod. Both rings are retained by an ormolu screw that is shaped as the shaft of an arrow with fletching at the end. The central rod is topped by an ormolu rosette of acanthus with an upright tassel.
“Bouillotte” was one of the most popular gambling card games of the 19th century in France. To avoid the light of the candles blinding the players a tin-plate shade was developed to deflect the light to the table. The shade was placed at eye-level and when the candles burnt shorter, the candleholders were adjusted up to keep the flames level with the lampshade. The deep dish at the base of the lamp was ideal to hold the kitty. Although the popularity of Bouillotte was waning in the course of the 19th century, the elegant Bouillotte-lamps kept their appeal.
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