Charles (Maison)

Maison Charles was founded in 1908 when Ernest Charles bought out Maison Ullmann, a bronze ornaments company. It specialized in lighting which soon became its main production. In 1920 Emile Charles succeeded his father and in 1932 his brother Pierre partnered with him. In the 1950s the two sons of Emile joined the company: Jean-Charles, who was head of the class in wood sculpture at Ecole Boulle, and Jacques Charles, who had a degree in Arts Appliqués en Architecture Intérieure. The two brothers created the style “Charles” and revolutionized the lighting market. In 1960 they bought out Maison Fargette, which gave them an important collection of classic style lighting fixtures. The most iconic pieces of the decade were created by Chrystiane, Jean’s wife, like the famous lamps “Ananas” (pineapple), “Lotus” or “Vase Médicis”(medici vases). During the 1960s the very successful series “Inox et Laques” (Inox and lacquer) became an esthetic reference thanks to the organ-pipe lamps. After Jean’s death, Chrystiane ran the company and created in the 1970s her namesake collection. Many collection followed, and the company, still in existence, sells its most famous pieces.