NEARLY A CENTURY OF LIGHTING
Extract of the dictionary of the artists decorators (edition 1953) :
Jean Perzel was born to Bruck, in Bavaria (Germany), on May 2nd, 1892. Learns very young painter’s job glassworker in Munich and, in 16 years, taken out the first one of the school, it begins, on foot, its tour of Europe: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Swiss, High Italy, then France. Along the way, he is hired in studios(workshops) to make his living and to know the various techniques. He arrives in 1910 to Paris, between at a master glazier who sends him at the end of one year to execute works important for Algiers. Return in Paris in 1914: it is the war; he(it) makes a commitment in the Foreign Legion, is demobilized in 1919 and naturalized French. He still works as painter glassworker, in particular at Gruber.
From 1920 to 1939, Art Deco revolutionized 20th century architecture and design…The period also gave birth to the Jean Perzel company, which would also make its mark on the world of lighting and design. Jean Perzel’s light fixtures and furniture in both glass and bronze later adorned the world’s most prestigious addresses… from the King’s Court in Belgium to the home of Henry Ford as well as the Rothschild’s family residence. He also conceived the lighting for the League of Nations in Geneva, the Luxembourg Cathedral, the Embassy of Canada at Lahaye, and even the French cruise ship Normandie.
Jean Perzel took home numerous awards in international exhibitions and contests …notoriety that earned him popularity with a host of celebrities and politicians. He brought new life and light to the interiors of the King of Morocco, Bangkok’s King of Siam in Bangkok, the Maharaja of Indore, and French presidents General De Gaulle and Georges Pompidou.
In 1923, at the age of just 31, Jean Perzel specialized in the study of modern interior lighting and established his own company. He would locate both his showroom and workshop in the rue de la cité universitaire in the 14th arrondissement of Paris… In an Art Déco building designed by the architect Michel Roux-Spitz, winner of the Grand Prix de Rome. The company’s offices are still here today.
In 1925 motivated by a desire to intensify light, Jean Perzel made all of his pieces from glass. He designed his creations himself in a permanent search for elegance and purity in all forms.
Each work highlighted the architecture of the place that inspired its creation. The pure lines of Jean Perzel’s fixtures made them timeless works of art.
In 1933, his nephew, François Raidt joined the company…he too would dedicate his entire life to the business.
A gifted perfectionist, François quickly became his uncle’s right-hand man…designing, refining and simplifying assembly line production of Perzel lamps.
At the tender age of just 18, Francois created decorative lamps for Henry Ford to celebrate the company’s 25 millionth automobile, with the base of the lamps resembling the famous car’s gears (as shown in the right picture).
Francois adapted his style to the changing tastes of the 1960s and 1970s… a new line of creations which would also retain a pure and timeless style.
Francois’s son, Olivier Raidt , learned to appreciate excellence in lighting from an early age. Following mandatory training on each step of the assembly process, he would bring new enthusiasm and management skills to the company … as well as a vision for international development.
Creator as well as businessman, Olivier Raidt, along with his team, combines contemporary style and the knowledge of master-craftsmen, perfectly expressed in Jean Perzel lines.
Today, customers seek to warm their interiors though light… as well as the timeless sophistication that has marked Jean Perzel style since 1923. Recognized by the French government for its history and traditional techniques, in 2008, the French ministry of culture awarded Jean Perzel with the label of « Company of Living Heritage ».
If you are interested in Jean Perzel History, you can visit our blog where we go throught a century of lights by Perzel.