Find all the news of the Atelier Jean Perzel, creator of art lighting in Paris since 1923 and labeled “Living Heritage Company”.

This year 2023 marks the 100 YEARS
of the Atelier Jean Perzel

In the world of Decorative Art and lighting, the Ateliers Jean Perzel have been synonymous with excellence and innovation for a century now.
To mark the centenary of our house, Jean-Jacques Wattel, renowned expert in Decorative Arts of the 20th century, published an exceptional art book with Louvre-Victoire editions. Plunging readers into a captivating adventure, this book retraces a century of lighting creation, highlighting the talent and invaluable heritage of the Ateliers Jean Perzel.

This art book is available for sale at the Atelier Jean Perzel showroom for €70 incl. VAT.
It is also available on the Éditions Louvre Victoire website and in several bookshops and platforms dedicated to books.

Livre d’art "Ateliers Jean Perzel – l’efficacité de la lumière" par Jean-Jacques Wattel

A tribute to exceptional craftsmanship

Jean-Jacques Wattel’s work is much more than a simple collection of photographs. Indeed, it offers an in-depth exploration of the know-how and creativity that have made the Ateliers Jean Perzel a reference in the field of artistic lighting. By describing the beginnings of the company and its history, the author reveals the mentality of Jean Perzel whose major concerns went far beyond aesthetic lighting. All of this demonstrates Perzel’s constant commitment to exceptional craftsmanship.

A journey through the evolution of lighting design

Throughout the pages, the reader is invited to travel through time and discover the evolution of lighting design over the last century. From emblematic creations of the 1920s with modernist lines, adaptation to the different styles and tastes of the 1950s, to contemporary design… Thus, the book offers a unique perspective on the evolution of tastes and trends in terms of lighting.

A celebration of prestigious collaborations

The Ateliers Jean Perzel have always maintained close ties with great architects and decorators of international renown. This is why this book also pays tribute to these prestigious collaborations and artistic projects that have marked history. While shedding light on the design processes and innovative ideas that gave birth to these masterpieces.

A bright heritage for the future

Beyond its historical aspect, the book also explores how the Ateliers Jean Perzel continue to innovate and reinvent themselves to meet the needs and demands of the times. New lighting trends, technological advances and contemporary challenges are discussed, showing how the company has been able to adapt while preserving its unique heritage.

In conclusion, this art book is a dazzling celebration of the Ateliers Jean Perzel and their exceptional contribution to the history of Decorative Art and lighting, through 100 years of history.

Browsing through its pages, readers are transported to a universe where aesthetics and functionality meet harmoniously. While reflecting the excellence and timeless elegance of the Jean Perzel creations.
Whether you are a design enthusiast, a collector or simply an art lover, this art book offers a captivating immersion in the fascinating world of lighting creation. It bears witness to the lasting impact of the Ateliers Jean Perzel on artistic heritage and the world of light.
If you are interested in our history, you can also read this article retracing the 100 years of this luminous history more quickly. But we can only advise you to read this book by Jean-Jacques Wattel.

The author

Jean Jacques Wattel has been an expert specializing in Decorative Arts and Design since the 90s. In 2022, he created his own Auction House, ARP, Art Research Paris. He is also the author of numerous works on Ceramics and Tapestry, as well as monographs devoted to designers such as Mattia Bonetti, Roland Mellan (to be published) and now Jean Perzel.

The editor

Founded in 1986, the expert firm Louvre Victoire, specializing in 20th century decorative arts, has extended its activities through Editions Louvre Victoire. This publishing house regularly presents extensively documented specialized works in the fields of Decorative Arts, Design, Architecture, History and Photography.

For a century, the Atelier Jean Perzel has illuminated the most prestigious interiors with exceptional creations. Our elegant and timeless art lights have stood the test of time, overcoming crises and aesthetic evolutions… without a single wrinkle!

100 years old and still as modern as ever?
Yes, we have a secret. And it can be summed up in one word: passion.
It is this passion that has encouraged the three successive generations to maintain an exceptional know-how. It is also this passion that has led Jean Perzel, François and Olivier Raidt to the constant search for luminous perfection. A light that illuminates, but without blinding. Which erases shadows and embellishes faces.
An art.

For these 100 years, we take you on an extraordinary journey through time, where innovation, quality and design have always gone hand in hand. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the Atelier Jean Perzel.

Light on Perzel’s beginnings: when excellence meets electricity

How did this Bavarian master glassmaker become the French pioneer of modern lighting? How did he go from stained glass to electricity?
It’s simple: a good dose of audacity, an insatiable passion and an avant-garde vision.

Jean Perzel : the art of glass, the passion for light

Son and grandson of a glassmaker, Jean Perzel began his apprenticeship in Munich in 1905. He was 13 years old. He graduated brilliantly, and set off on the roads of Europe, on foot, as a companion of duty. Austria, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Italy, France… It was in 1910 that he decided to settle in Paris, where he had no trouble getting hired by several master glassmakers. He continued to perfect his skills and was even sent to Algiers to create the stained glass windows for the Prefecture’s dome.

After the First World War, his voluntary commitment in the foreign legion will allow him to be naturalized French.
Upon his return, he joined the workshops of the famous master glassmaker, cabinetmaker and decorator Jacques Grüber. There, he perfected his knowledge of stained glass assemblies and light mastery. How to make it radiate through the glass?
It is this permanent quest that led him to leave Gruber and the restoration of church windows, to create his own workshop in 1923.

“I had specialized in stained-glass windows until the day when I realized all that there was to achieve in electric lighting fixtures, which were still, a few years ago, only lamps with petroleum or processed candlesticks.”

(Jean Perzel published in 1930 by the magazine Lux)

In the 20’s, the electricity develops on a large scale and Jean Perzel wishes to tame this new light source. He starts to draw, cut, assemble his new creations : lights.
Ironically, it is under a gaslight, in a small apartment without electricity, that his first pieces are born.

First lightings signed by Perzel: an immediate success 

Right from the start, Jean Perzel gave life to a collection of numbered lights, each model bearing its own unique identity. The very first-born, the model No. 1, is a living room floor lamp that has stood the test of time. Let yourself be captivated by its derived version, the floor lamp No. 1C, always meticulously manufactured in our workshops!
Between 1922 and 1924, Perzel’s creative imagination flourished, giving rise to a multitude of pieces inspired by the art of stained glass. The first wall lights were adorned with daring geometries, while the first known suspension, No. 6, was an assembly of juxtaposed hexagons.

“I designed my first lamps in the manner of the divine old stained glass windows of churches.”

(Jean Perzel published in 1930 by the magazine Lux)

In 1924, he presented 4 models at the Salon d’Automne. Selected and exhibited, they immediately won over the baron Robert de Rothschild, who acquired the complete collection. This is the beginning of success.
Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, Jules Leleu, Robert Mallet-Stevens, Pierre Chareau, Michel Roux-Spitz and many others wanted to work with him so that he could highlight their spaces.
Innovative, functional, elegant, refined, entirely in the Art Deco style, his creations aroused the interest of renowned architects and decorative artists. And the orders, public and private, are pouring in.

Innovate to survive: the successful challenge of the Atelier Jean Perzel, through the ages

Jean Perzel was able to perfectly combine his craftsmanship as a master glassmaker and his enlightened understanding of light to imagine devices designed for electricity. Driven by an insatiable passion, he seeks to achieve luminous mastery, constantly pushing the limits of his art.

The quest for the perfect structure for exceptional lighting

Innovation is at the heart of Jean Perzel’s creation.
For his lamps, he wanted to hide the light source, while making the most of its rays. He then researched the opacity of different glasses and finally turned to optical glass. Used, until then, only in eyewear, he was the first lighting designer to frost and sandblast this crystal to obtain a better diffusion of light rays.

“In front of Jean Perzel, it seems to me that all the lighting designers have fled. There were once a number of them who imitated him, who tried to distinguish him. But the public is not mistaken and Perzel remains the only master of the place. (…) Perzel is truly the prince of modern lighting.”

(L’Art vivant, magazine of January, 1930, Ernest Tisserand)

For his creations, he abandons lead, inherited from his art as a master glassmaker, in favor of brass. This new assembly gives him more freedom: an architecture in space, easy dismantling in case of later intervention as well as the masking of electrical wires.
The ceiling lights benefit fully from this new material.
If these innovations contribute to its success, they will also allow it to survive the crises of these troubled times.

From crisis to crisis, the Atelier Jean Perzel continue to shine

A stock market crash, a world war, mass production… it took a lot of passion, a lot of creativity, and a lot of rationality to resist and recover.

Survive and grow despite the crisis of 1929

After the crisis of 1929, orders were rarer, but Jean Perzel managed, despite everything, to keep the ten companions who worked in his workshop. His thrifty side, endless workdays, and discounted prices allow him to maintain his company and even expand.

In 1931, he moved his workshop to a brand new building, which he commissioned from the architect Michel Roux-Spitz: 3 rue de la Cité Universitaire, facing Parc Montsouris in Paris. He now had a beautiful exhibition room and basement studios large enough to give free rein to his creativity.

What an emotion to enter such a place today! The showroom has grown, but the workshops have kept all their authenticity.
For the record, the telephone number has also gone through the ages, has evolved, but has kept the same numbers. In 1931, you had to dial Gobelins 77-24 to reach Jean Perzel.

3 rue de la Cité Universitaire à Paris. L'immeuble de Michel Roux-Spitz en 1932 et de nos jours.
3 rue de la Cité Universitaire in Paris. Michel Roux-Spitz’s building in 1932 and today.

Perzel luminaires facing the darkness of war

The following years are illuminated by Perzel lights, beaming in the most prestigious places around the world.

The following years are illuminated by Perzel lights, beaming in the most prestigious places around the world.

But the World War II broke out, leading to the mobilization of Jean Perzel, and then his nephew François Raidt. At the end of hostilities, the company was requisitioned and kept under control until 1948, thus keeping the fate of the luminaries in the shadows.

Jean Perzel then takes over the reins of his devastated company. Deprived of his creativity for many years, he embarked on a true artistic renaissance. On the eve of the 1950s, he had to meet the expectations of a generation with new tastes… and reinvent itself.

The 1950s called for mobile lighting, with articulated arms stretching into large shades. A trend that Jean Perzel, visionary, had anticipated as early as 1936 with his wall sconces with movable arms and innovative floor lamps.
And he put particular emphasis on the expansion of his collection of outdoor lighting, thus responding to the strong market demand.

Unfortunately, in 1951 Jean Perzel falls ill. And François Raidt, assisted by only 3 companions (they were 18 before the war), is entrusted with the integral management of the family business.

Jean Perzel and François Raidt in the 1950s

Perzel, in the competitive arena of the 1960s

In the 1960s, the French economy was flourishing and this was the breeding ground for the development of unbridled trade. Customers are more concerned with the apparent novelty of a model than with its qualities.

It is therefore a difficult period for François Raidt who is forced to borrow money to support the company. He is also trying a new commercial approach: resale to professionals. But the margins are too low and he abandons this idea after two years of experimentation.

However, he refused to be discouraged. Following in his uncle’s creative footsteps, he multiplied the number of salons and designed a large number of new models: swivel sconces, reading lights, as well as lighted consoles and mirrors adorned with lights.

And the return to safe values is not long in coming. For some, quality still prevails over novelty and the works of art of the 1930’s, reinvented and brought up to date, are regaining their former appeal.
In recent years, Olivier Raidt, François’ son, has modernized Perzel’s lighting fixtures by creating a more contemporary range, available in 9 colors. A true rejuvenation of the emblematic pieces of the Ateliers Perzel, which remain timeless.

Perzel art lightings: timeless elegance

For 100 years, Perzel creations have illuminated the most prestigious spaces around the world, demonstrating exceptional craftsmanship and design that defies the ages.

As early as the 1920s, Jean Perzel designed specific models for restaurants, theaters and private hotels. But some collaborations have made more history than others.

Student room, Cité Universitaire de Paris, 1929

You can admire this lamp in many hotels and luxury restaurants. If the students of the time had known that this lamp would become a real collector’s item…!

Paquebot Normandie Escaliers illuminé par des colonnes de lumière Jean Perzel et les modèles 347BM
Grand Salon stairs, Normandy liner, 1935

Showcase of the technique but also of the French art of the time, and considered as a floating palace, the S.S. Normandie illuminated the Atlantic with creations signed by Jean Perzel.

Salle du Conseil, Palais de la Société des Nations, 1937
Council chamber, Palace of the League of Nations, 1937

Wall lights, floor lamps, ceiling lights… Jean Perzel was commissioned in 1936 to light the Palace of the League of Nations (UN) in Geneva. For example, our ceiling lights No. 601 have illuminated great moments in world history and still illuminate this magnificent council chamber.
One of the first four prizes received by Jean Perzel at the 1936 Decorative Lighting Competition was awarded to this ceiling lamp.

Lampes Ford, 1937
Lamps Ford, 1937
  • The Ford Motor Company

The 25,000,000ᵉ car produced by the car company generates an exceptional demand. The Atelier Jean Perzel is contacted in 1937 to create, in 36 hours, decorative objects from mechanical spare parts from the brand’s catalog. With Jean Perzel absent, it is François Raidt, only eighteen years old, who assures the order. He submits twenty-one proposals and all are retained by the Ford Motor Company. Desk lamps, ceiling lamps, wall lamps, hanging lamps, floor lamps integrate crowns, pinions, pistons and connecting rods in their structure. Quite a challenge!

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Luxembourg
Notre-Dame of Luxembourg Cathedral
  • Notre-Dame of Luxembourg Cathedral

When various rearrangements took place between 1935 and 1938, Jean Perzel proposed the wall lights No. 347 to create an almost divine luminous atmosphere, perfectly suited to this place.

  • The interiors of Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint-Laurent, Louboutin, Chanel…

Barney’s, Tiffanys, Ralph Lauren, … These greats of beauty and fashion were not mistaken. Maharajas, politicians and crowned heads, either.
And the greatest architects and decorators of the 20th century, such as Le Corbusier or Mallet-Stevens, have chosen Perzel creations to highlight their own work.

High-end luminaires from Atelier Jean Perzel have found their place in prestigious residences around the world, bringing a touch of sophistication and unparalleled elegance.

And they continue to seduce contemporary architects. But also collectors, art lovers and connoisseurs from around the world.

Perzel today: ancestral values for a bright future

Jean Perzel knew how to use his art, his know-how of excellence as a master glassmaker, to create a lasting luminous heritage that continues to this day. And he did not fail to pass on his values and his knowledge to his nephew, then to his great-nephew.

Craftsmanship passed down from generation to generation

In 1933, after a decade of success for the workshop, Jean Perzel wanted to pass on his art and get help. His rational mind looks to the future, as always.
He is 41 years old, has no children and therefore turns to his nephew François Raidt. The young man engages in a demanding apprenticeship to become a companion of duty. Days in the workshop, at all workstations. Evenings to revise… We understand better how he was able to manage alone, at 18, the incredible order from Ford!

In 1980, it was the turn of Olivier Raidt, François’s son, to take over the workshop. And as the family tradition dictates, he also trains at all the work stations.

“We have remained a craft company, able to ensure the quality of the product, to preserve the tradition and the flexibility of adaptation for each customer as we have always done.”

Olivier Raidt

The Atelier Jean Perzel: an emblematic place

Before you even push the door of this Art Deco building at “3 rue de la Cité Universitaire” in Paris, Perzel lights welcome you. And you immediately feel privileged. You have just taken a trip back in time.
You have the impression of hearing the walls speak to you, telling you the story of this workshop, but also the history of art and even great History.

And if you are lucky enough to go down to the basement, you discover the workshops, identical to what they were in 1931. The same machines. The same gestures.
What is striking here are the hands of these companions. Master glassmaker, master bronzer, polisher, sandblaster, varnisher… between their fingers, the materials seem to have a soul and the gestures are precise, ancestral, almost magical… You are spellbound.

The Atelier Jean Perzel: a place of art

Lamps, wall lights, reading lights, ceiling lights, pendant lights, floor lamps seem to come to life before your eyes. But it is actually a real work of craftsmanship that gives birth to them.
40 to 250 hours of work are required to create each piece.
These jewels are works of art. A legacy to pass on. Or for the more pragmatic: an investment.

It is for all these hours of creation, for the transmission of an exceptional know-how, for these emblematic workshops, for this history, that we have obtained the Living Heritage Company label from the French government. And we intend to promote this heritage for a long time to come.

Jean Perzel’s lightings around the world

In our workshops, we have preserved our values, our incomparable quality, our authenticity.

In our relationship with our customers, we have preserved this unique bond, this exclusivity which allows us to adapt to your specific needs, to the dimensions of your room. We design luxury lighting fixtures, for demanding customers, and we ship them around the world, in beautiful wooden crates, specific to works of art.

And today, thanks to our online presence, you can explore our collection, personalize your lights and see them in situ in prestigious places: luxury apartments in Moscow, lofts in New York, architects’ offices in Zürich…

What about tomorrow ?
Tomorrow one of our lamps, or one of our wall lights, will perhaps illuminate your interior and the faces of those you love, with this unequaled softness, this incomparable clarity, this timeless luxury that only Atelier Jean Perzel can create.

And you will discover the Art of diffusing light, as imagined by Jean Perzel 100 years ago.

Discover our guide to help you choose the right type of lamp for your home or office

Choosing the perfect lamp for your home may seem like a simple task. But there are actually many factors to consider in finding the perfect light fixture. Whether you’re looking for a lamp for your living room, kitchen, office or bedroom… It’s important to consider several criteria: your lighting needs for the room and its use, the current decor and the style of lamp you’re looking for. Lighting plays an indispensable role in your living spaces, we know this and are here to advise you!

Understand your lighting needs

One of the most important steps when choosing a lamp for your home is to understand your lighting needs.
The first thing to consider is the use of the room. For example, if you want to light up a bedroom, you will need soft, comfortable lighting to create a relaxing atmosphere. As an illustration, the lamp No. 313 bis of the Atelier Jean Perzel proposes an adjustable shade. This provides a real visual comfort and allows to modulate the light intensity, ideal for a bedside lamp. Whereas for an office, you will need a brighter and more homogeneous light to work effectively. Another example, in a bathroom, you will need to highlight the faces. You will then have to choose intense and diffuse lights, without glare, on either side of a mirror… Or you can also look for a rather functional light, in order to illuminate a useful surface such as a desk, your book or a worktop. The examples are numerous.

Luminaires Jean Perzel

Therefore, it is very important to consider the intended use of the lamp to choose the right type of lighting.
That being said, it is also essential to consider the layout of the room and the natural light inputs. For example, if your room is not bright enough, you will need to play with different light sources. You can consider using several lamps to create distinct light zones. Do not hesitate to vary the types and levels of lighting. This will allow you to have different sources for a diffuse effect, close to natural light.

Style and decoration of your room

The style and decoration of your room are also important factors to take into account when choosing a new lamp. Of course, your future lamp must correspond to your needs in terms of lighting. But, of course, it must also please you and fit elegantly into your interior.
Are you looking for something modern and minimalist for a contemporary living room? Or do you prefer something more classic for a traditional bedroom? Make sure the lamp you choose blends seamlessly into the overall aesthetic of your room.

For example, the Atelier Jean Perzel’s lamps are designed to be timeless, with clean, elegant designs that never go out of style. Whether your decoration is traditional, modern or somewhere in between… The Atelier Jean Perzel lighting will fit perfectly into your interior. Their sleek and elegant design will blend perfectly with furniture from different eras and styles. While their brass and bronze finishes add a touch of sophistication to any room.

Materials and quality for a sustainable design

The quality and materials of your lamp are also important factors to consider. In order to opt for a truly durable light, we advise you to favor glass, brass, crystal, bronze… These noble materials will last. In addition, they offer a sophisticated and timeless design, requiring very little maintenance.
If you are looking for a high-end lamp, the Jean Perzel lamps are definitely an option to consider. Timeless, robust and durable, they suit any decor and last through the ages.

Indeed, the lighting models of the Atelier Jean Perzel are known for their quality and sophisticated design. But also for their longevity: some models installed in the 1920s still illuminate these prestigious places.

Hand assembly of the ceiling light No. 2058 A

Our fixtures are made from durable, high quality materials such as brass, bronze and glass. This gives them superior quality and long life.
Moreover, they reflect French excellence. They have been handcrafted in France using the traditional methods of French craftsmanship since 1923. The lamps bearing the Perzel signature are as much a functional light as they are a everlasting work of art.

Get personalized advice

The Atelier Jean Perzel team in Paris is at your disposal to offer you personalized advice for your search for high-end lighting. Whether you’re looking for a lamp for your home or office, we can help you choose the perfect fixture. Our experienced team will help you find the ideal lamp for your room. We will take into account your lighting needs and the overall decoration of your interior. With our know-how and expertise, you can be sure to find the perfect lamp that meets your needs and expectations.

By working with the Atelier Jean Perzel team, you will receive advice from experienced professionals with in-depth knowledge of lighting and interior design. We can help you create the space of your dreams… Whether you’re looking to add a touch of sophistication to a single room or completely redo your interior. We will be happy to help you create a space that is beautiful, bright, functional and timeless.

In conclusion

As you can see, the choice of the ideal lamp for your interior depends on many factors. Such as your lighting needs, the decoration and shape of your room, the natural light entries, the materials and the quality of the lamp you are looking for… If you are seeking a high-end, elegant lamp and luxurious, let yourself be seduced by our know-how.

Do not hesitate to contact us or come to our showroom in Paris. You will benefit from personalized advice in order to find the ideal lamp for your interior. Our experts will help you choose the perfect lamp that meets your lighting needs and aesthetic tastes, so your home is lit with elegance and sophistication.

The Atelier Jean Perzel Showroom - Paris

Luxury lighting by Jean Perzel

Brighten your home with our high-end lighting. Luxury lighting by Jean Perzel (floor light, sconces, lamp, ceiling light…) will give a touch of elegance to your home.

Choosing a luxury lignthing is of course choosing a decoration harmony, but also – and above all – ensure quality lighting with excellent visual comfort.
Therefore, in order to meet the characteristics of a high-end lighting, our entire collection is manufactured since 1923 in respect of the artisan tradition with perfect craftsmanship.
We proudly display our Living Heritage Company label rewarding Jean Perzel Workshop expertise and its transmission, perpetuated generation after generation.

floor lamp 41E

Example of a high-end floor lamp: the No. 41 E

The historic character of our products offers an additionnal value. For example, enjoy the luxury of a high-end lighting with our floor lamp 41 E chosen over the years to decorate prestigious places.

Created by Jean Perzel in the 30s, it was chosen to decorate the grand luxury “Trouville” apartment on the cruise liner “Normandie” in 1935. Many of these floor lamps also adorn, for decades, the “Galerie des pas perdus” of the United Nations in Geneva (UN). In addition, the city of Paris bought it for the international exhibition of Arts and Techniques of 1937.

Beyond time and fashion, our floor lamp 41 E fits easily in classic or very contemporary interiors.