My latest "have to have it" accessory is a bouillotte lamp. Yes, they are very traditional, but for some reason they seem rather fresh right now. Bouillotte lamps originated in late 18th c./ early 19th c. France for use during games of bouillotte, which was similar to modern Poker. Bouillotte lamps traditionally have dish type bases which were used to hold the game chips. Attached to the base is a shaft which holds two to four candleholders as well as a metal shade. At the top of the shaft is a screw type key, which allows one to move the shade down as the candles melt down. The idea was to avoid any type of glare in the eyes of the bouillotte players. Of course, if you have an electrified version, you won't need to move the shade, but the design is the same. What also makes this lamp so distinctive is the tole lampshade. On those lamps that have two candleholders, the shade is rather elongated, but on the three to four-arm lamps, the shade tends to be more conical.
A classic two-arm bouillotte lamp from Circa Lighting
A sophisticated version of the bouillotte- late 19th c./early 20th c. pair of French bronze lamps at Gray Morell
Elegant, polished silver four-arm lamp from Visual Comfort; at Neena's Lighting
The bouillotte design used for a hanging fixture. A 1930's two-arm fixture at Brunelli Designs.
Bouillotte lamp (on bookshelf) in the apartment of Christopher Spitzmiller
Photo at top: Bouillotte lamp in bedroom of Mary McDonald (House & Garden, Nov. 2001)