It takes a keen design eye to spot an old post by the side of the road and and envision it with a glossy green and red lacquered lampshade on top.
Paris antique dealer, Aline Bachelier, transforms old artifacts into stunning contemporary lamps. Aline’s stall, in the Paul Bert section of the flea market, is illuminated by her fabulous ensemble of lamps.
Aline’s family has been in the antique business for many years, and her brother, François, has a stall across from hers in the market. His stall is chock full of copper pots, ceramic jugs, and is well-known for having all things related to the kitchen.
Aline says herself that she can’t draw, but the designs for her lamps come to her each time she finds a new base. This old candlestick from a church had been discarded until Aline gave it a new life as a lamp.
A workshop in Paris makes the lampshades that top the found objects, with materials such as sheer metallic plastic, heavily lacquered paper, and even neoprene lined with silver. Aline typically prefers the drum-shaped lampshade, because it provides a modern touch that works with most of the bases.
Bases can be found anywhere and everywhere. These vintage surveyor’s measuring sticks are topped with bright red lacquered shades.
The geometric pattern of this painted post inspired a rectangular lacquered shade. The black shades that top the lamps on the table, made of white porcelain electric pole insulators, are lined with silver.
In the corner are vintage camera tripods, with gold metallic shades. (I bought one, retracted the tripod, and put it in my suitcase. Love it.)
Tripods from the 1940’s, crowned with silver metallic shades, are timeless in their simplicity.
The lamps are Aline’s passion, but she also has a personal antique shopping business that began when an employee from Ralph Lauren came to the market looking for someone who could help source items for their new Paris store. Her Antiquing Guide Service business was born. Aline will take clients to antique dealers, fairs, and markets from the south of France all the way to Belgium and Holland.
I can’t imagine anyone more fun to scour antique markets with than Aline, and I hope to do so one day.
In the meantime, I’ll think of her, and Paris, every time I turn on my lovely lamp.