Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back in Paris

73 Avenue Daumesnil
Paris 75012

Okay, we are back in Paris, and today we are only visiting one place, but it is a bit off the beaten path and it is worth a day to see it all.  It is Bagues.

Everybody knows Bagues for their beautiful wall sconces of bronze dore with crystal birds or flowers,

But did you know that they also make bronze dore sconces and chandeliers in only the bronze dore?

And wonderful bouillottes

And “bamboo” and glass tables

And Louis XV wall sconces?

This is a beautiful Louis XV sconce known in France as an appliqué.  This one is actually an 18th Century one, and you can find these in antique stores, especially in France.

One of the most popular chandeliers we ever find for people are crystal bead ships.  Bagues makes the most wonderful ones.

The one directly above was done for their booth in a trade fair in Moscow—all those rich oligarchs!  Look at how beautifully the light comes through the bottom.  These are such wonderful chandeliers—you will sometimes find them in antique stores.  I did in St. Louis, Missouri, where I paired it with a room hung in Zuber’s magnificent “Les Vues de l’Amerique du Nord"—more on that fabulous wallpaper in another post.  It has a very interesting history.  But no more interesting than these crystal bead chandelier.  Do not be afraid when you are buying electric lighting fixtures when they say 20th Century.  That is when most of these were done.  They can be anywhere from around $1500.00 to multiples of thousands, depending on their intricacy and size.  Usually, when you find one, unless it is in a really nice store, they are filthy and need to be cleaned.  Have them cleaned and then rewire it.

Nota Bena: I always rewire vintage fixtures.  Nothing is more dangerous that old wiring, especially if the coating is broken anywhere.  It only costs a few hundred dollars to rewire most fixtures, and that is certainly cheaper than redoing after a fire.  The same goes for old lamps.  I had an extremely bossy (and cheap) client once, who would order the most beautiful lamp shades, but she never wanted to rewire her lamps, most of which were from the 60’s.  I do hope I am not going to read about her becoming “the human potato chip.”  Yikes!

Usually Bagues chandeliers are for grand, grand rooms such as this beautiful salon in Paris

This room was done by that all-time master, Alberto Pinto, and it is a room you should study even if you know you will never do anything like this.  It is a perfect example of a French drawing room.  But Pinto used Bagues in rooms that were much less formal, such as this charming, painted dining room out on Long Island.  Look at the wonderful way he blended the naïve painting, the blue and white porcelains and the lovely fireplace surround with the glorious Bagues chandelier.

Isn’t this the most wonderful room?

Bagues is also known for their wonderful tables from the middle part of the twentieth century.

Usually made of some form of lacquered plaque (these are wonderful lac de chine in gold on a red cinnabar) and resting on bronze d’ore legs (notice how these legs are like the rustique legs of the furniture I showed you in the post on “Something Wonderful,” they were wonderful sitting besides the arm of a luxurious stuffed chair—like these, they are usually found nested.   Often times the tops were made of glass, and these are more readily found—and are less expensive.
 Did you know that Bagues was also a maker of clocks.

And of wonderful “tres moderne” sconces for both private and commercial places

Guess who this sconce was made for---I suppose the red glass inset into the sconce was to remind one of rubies.

Bagues is a wonderful place, and if you are into somewhat gloriously grand decoration, it is the spot for you.  All of the antique pictures I have shown you today are from shops around Paris.  So you can spend a whole day here at Bagues and also go into almost every antique store you see.  It will be well worth your effort.  You will learn so much; you will refine your eye, and, most of all, you will have fun.

Happy Hunting  



  1. Hi Leta..lucky you. Enjoy...their things are stunning, we visited their showroom when we were there in Jan.'10. Just beautiful works of art...have fun!

  2. As always, I always learn so much from your posts! Thank you for sharing, it always makes my day to learn from your experiences...
    xx Anne Fairfax

  3. Hi Leta - I have always loved Bagues chandeliers and sconces. The sconce with the birds - I have always loved that one. And the ship chandelier...just gorgeous. Thanks for posting the Albert Pinto rooms as well - one of my favorites.