HOW TO RECOGNISE MAISON CHARLES AND MAISON JANSEN LAMPS

Today's post is brought to you by my friends over at Roomscape. Roomscape vintage furniture have long been one of my favourite dealers, specialising in 70s brass lighting - my absolute fave. I wanted to pick their expert brains about Maison Charles lamps and Maison Jansen coffee tables, as I kept coming across the design houses almost every time I found things to obsess over, like the pineapple and palm tree lamps they are so famous for (see the gallery in this post for an example).

Read on to learn how to spot an authentic Maison Charles lamp...

For over a decade Roomscape Vintage Furniture has specialised in European Mid Century furniture but when we stumbled upon the rich metals and 1970’s designs from Parisian makers, ‘Maison Charles’, ‘Maison Jansen’ and ‘Jean Charles’ we knew we'd found our guilty pleasure. 

The warm metallics used by French designers of the 1970’s add texture and warm reflections to modern interiors and, to our delight, stylists such as Sarah are making metals hot again.  With thanks to Sarah, we thought readers might be interested to know a little more about these designers and their stylish clientele.

Often, it’s hard to tell the makers apart, particularly with their golden metals, quality details and neoclassical references not to mention the similar sounding names. Roomscape frequently has to dig below the surface to find clues to their past.

maison charles floor lamp

Founded in 1880 by Dutch-born Jean-Henry Jansen, Maison Jansen of Paris is considered to be the first truly global design firm. With fashionable clientele worldwide the house provided design services for European royalty and the redecoration of the White House during the Kennedy period.

Maison Jansen’s style fused traditional European design with trends of the time such as Vienna Secession, Modernism and Art Deco.  Within ten years, it transformed from designer to designer-maker, with its own showroom gallery which sold antiques alongside its own collection. 

Key to Jansen’s identity is the playful, often dramatic yet practical design style such as this 1970’s Maison Jansen coffee table with sliding glass top. While this one just sold, another will be arriving in September.

Recently, Sarah worked with us in putting together a style guide featuring some of our current stock. We were delighted when she selected this beautiful Maison Charles lamp to complete her glamorous look.

The third design house Maison Charles is the only company still in operation. Initially started in 1908 with the production of bronze reproductions, it has become best known for its lighting, in particular, nature-inspired designs such as the pineapple and the corn stalk. These were designed in the 50’s by John and Jacques, grandsons of the founder, Ernest Charles.

photo by Neal Rockwell

photo by Neal Rockwell

In the mid 60’s, Jacques created the ‘Inox Collection’ including the stainless steel ‘organ’ lamp that became an instantly recognisable design classic for both the company and the period. 

Maison Charles, with its rich family traditions, award-winning techniques and attention to detail, remains a strong family business. Most Maison Charles’ lamps are stamped ‘Made in France Charles’. While this bronze floor lamp below is unmarked, the textured bronze baluster with 'Lalique-style' iris glass has all the features of the company.

Frequently, glinting pieces from all three designers can be found in Roomscape’s London showroom, alongside those of other European designers. If you have your eye on something in particular, we are always happy to find it for you or perhaps you’d like to receive our monthly mail out of new arrivals, just subscribe here!