Bouillotte lamp shades (say BOO-YOT – Think Halloween and Boating) are commonly found on brass lamps that have multiple candlesticks or sometimes multiple curved arms. Many of these lamps have 2, 3 or 4 candlesticks with or without electrical sockets on top of them. The lamp shades near me are short shallow and round in shape. The shade top is usually smaller than the bottom although there are drum shaped Bouillotte shades with near equal tops and bottoms. Some styles are ultra shallow with only 4-5″ side length. More common shade styles have 7-9″ side length.

The most common shade material is metal or paper and they are usually black in color with gold inside lining. Silk shades in black, cream or white color are also available to fit these lamps. Of course the lighter color shades give off more light than the black ones. The metal and paper shades do not allow any light to pass through them as it is all directed upwards and downwards. Most Bouillotte lamps have a brass center pipe that holds the shade which can be adjusted up or down. This adjustable feature is taken from the original candle burning lamps of the 18th century.

Bouillotte was a French card game that was very popular during the late 1700’s. The originals were candle burning lamps that had a bowl shaped base where the game chips were stored. A central tube surrounded by candle holders (candelabra) held a metal shade. The Bouillotte shade could be adjusted downward to cover and shade the burning candles as they burned lower thereby shading the direct candle light from the eyes of the players. Modern electric Bouillotte lamps often have this adjustable shade feature incorporated into the design for authenticity although it has no practical use. Most of the lamp bases also have a dish or bowl shape that mimics the original style used with the card game.

Bouillotte lamp shades are very uncommon or even rare depending on where you live. They are usually only available at large full service comprehensive shops or websites. The original makers of these electric lamps were companies such as Baldwin, Stiffel, Frederick Cooper, Edward Alden, Ethan Allen and some other fine high quality lamp companies. Most of these lamps are made of real solid brass although there are some less expensive models which are brass plated.

Bouillotte lamps and their shades lend themselves toward many uses such as desk lamps, foyer, study, library, living room and even the bedroom – pretty much limited only by your imagination.


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