Storefront Arts et Lumières with MailDrop, Mr. Bringas and the lamps
Let's Explore,  Neighborhoods,  Shopping/FleaMarkets/Organic

Finding Treasure Around the Corner in the Bastille

Have you ever wanted a specific, stylish item? And you searched until you found it? My search was for finding the hanging lamp treasure that would fit in with my 1890s library ceiling. No flea market was needed. The treasure was literally, around the corner from my apartment in the Bastille. I looked through the window of a vintage lamp store. After 27 years, I finally pushed open the door of Arts et Lumières, looked around, looked up and fell in love.

Once I made the decision about buying the lamp, I took my time. Uuntil one day, the signs Tout doit Disparaitre (Everything Must Go) and Déstockage Massif (Clearance sale) were pasted on the windows. And what happened? the store shutter was closed when I was ready to buy. I thought I was going to lose my lamp! I knew the owner, Mr. Didier-Jacques Bringas, was planning on closing for good December 31; giving up his lease that was too expensive and moving out to the Paris suburbs. 

With no phone number to contact him, the mail slot was visible when the façade shutter was pulled closed. With a nudge of my hand, it flipped open. I slipped in a desperate message to be contacted about the green lamp.  A couple of days later, Mr. Bringas called me. He reopened his store, told me why he had closed (death in the family) and I bought my Art Nouveau lamp at a discount; a slight crack.

Now his shop is open all the time and did not close December 31 as planned. I think business is too good with those signs! They scared the neighbourhood!

The shop of Didier-Jacques Bringas was opened by his father in the 1970s. It is a collection of lamps of style, vintage and other knick-knacks like clocks and lamp shades and an immense chimney that was part of the now demolished Hôtel du prince Georges Bibesco at 22 Boulevard de la Tour Maubourg. That story and the connection to Auguste Renoir is for another post.