© Arto Hanciogullari und T. Tsekyi Thür


A rare reading lamp by the innovative French lamp maker Henri Peigniet-Changeur from Paris. These distinctive lamps were marketed as "Lampe de travail" (roughly "office lamp") in the years around 1880-1890. Today they are sought-after, expensive rarities.

The construction of the lamp is based on the famous "Vesta reading lamp" by Wild & Wessel: here, too, the central support rod goes right through the middle of the kerosene/paraffin tank, which is elongated and wide in shape. Unlike the Vesta lamp, however, the kerosene/paraffin tanks at Peigniet-Changeur are made of porcelain. The support rod is machined like a wide rack; a spring mechanism can be used to lock the lamp firmly at a certain height.

The porcelain container is decorated with Renaissance style elements in relief and glazed in light blue colour. The cap of the filler neck fits tightly; I could not open it.

The iron base was the big problem. All the Peigniet-Changeur reading lamps I know of have a round, large porcelain base with a smaller iron core underneath. This base, however, is made entirely of iron. A thick layer of enamel was probably applied to this iron core and glazed with light blue paint (to match the font). This is pure conjecture, because only very small traces of the paint layers were left. My son cleaned the rust off the plinth with sandblasting. I treated the cleaned plinth core with rust converter, then painted it with black Revell paint (Matt 8), applied a layer of Faubourg Patina on top, and finally bronzed it with bronze wax (Laiton + Or Classique). I made the entrance area of the support bar into the base attractive with three matching brass discs.

I was able to buy a typical old reading lamp shade in green colour from the UK. Due to the relatively small shade I chose a 12''' Kosmos burner to make the proportions comfortable. I soldered the 155 mm shade holder in the middle with a globe holder for flat burners and adapted it to the burner with soldered copper wires and pieces of brass.

The reward for this tedious work is a coherent reading lamp from Peigniet-Changeur, for which you would normally have to pay twice as much.




Lamp Data

Added by me:
Burner, glass chimney, glass shade and shade holder.

Cleaning and repairs:
See above.

Lamp body:
Lamp body made of light blue glazed porcelain in the typical Peigniet-Changeur design.
Base made of very heavy cast iron. The ceramic coating usually applied to this iron core is completely rubbed off on this lamp, so I bronzed it myself. Base Ø 163 mm. Height of the rod 48.6 cm. Length of the porcelain body 243 mm.
Lamp body is also a font and is variable in height. The filler cap sits firmly. The ceramic insert has some cracks. Marked: Lampe de Travail - Breveté S.G.D.G. - France Etranger - Marque de fabrique - H. Peigniet Changeur & Cie.

12’’’ Kosmos burner of Hugo Schneider, Leipzig.
Wick knob marked: Logo of Hugo Schneider.
Flat wick 57 mm.

Glass chimney:
12’’’ Kosmos chimney. Height 255 mm, Ø fitter 44 mm.
Marked: Cristal Recuit - Louis Albert Porcelaines Pertuis (Vaucluse) - 12''' + lion.

Shade and shade holder:
Typical glass shade for British reading lamps, white milk glass overlaid with green, flat upper rim.
Height 122 mm, Ø fitter 150 mm.
155 mm shade holder with a globe holder for 11''' flat burners as centre ring, adapted to the burner.

Lamp dimensions:
Total height with chimney minimum 48.6 cm (height of support bar), maximum 70.2 cm.
Total weight 4100 g.