Image Map

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Antique French Rattan Bistro Chairs


 One of the things I love about  old things is trying to solve the mystery of how they came to be and what their history is. I found these beautiful old bistro chairs last year on craigslist and snapped them up. There were eight of them at about thirty dollars each so I was very excited to have a full set .They were very dirty.  BTW if you ever have any old rattan and want to bring it back to life, buy some Linseed Oil from a painting shop and coat the rattan with it. It dries to a shellac like finish. I once restored some old French Terra Cotta Tiles and the Frenchman who owned the hardware store nearby let me in on this age old treatment. It's apparently used for lots of antique restorations. While I was cleaning the chairs I noticed a little plaque on the back of a few of the chairs. It said, Le Rotin Paris Fabricant , 4 Rue de Atlas. At first I thought maybe it was a restaurant called Le Rotin but Fabricant means maker so what it means is  Rattan Maker 4 Atlas Street, Paris. How cool to have found authentic vintage bistro chairs! I googled the factory in French and English and found nothing and the girl I bought them from didn't know where they were originally from so I left it at that. Well when I was in Paris in June at Les Puces at Clignacourt  a gem of a flea market but not inexpensive , I saw the exact same chairs sitting in a stall! They were being used by the stall owner  to display some old books he was selling. I asked him about them and he said they were most likely from the 1920's and were common in outdoor bistros. He only had two and they weren't for sale. They weren't so easy to come by anymore, he said. When I told him I had a set of eight I found in Los Angeles he was bemused. Merde? How did they get there? In France things have to be over one hundred years old to be considered antiques so these would still be in the category there known as Bricolage which translated means bric-a -brac. So here are my bric-a- brac chairs:
One of the bistro chairs

Paris Flea Market

The badge on the back of the chair. It was covered with grime.
The chairs I found at the Clignacourt Flea Market which were the same as mine.
The set of chairs in my yard



  1. You have a great collection of French bistro chairs. You should visit which is a very famous bistro chair manufacturer. Their prestigious customers include Le Fouquet's, Café de Flore, Closerie des Lilas, ... Hope that helps :)

  2. Oh thanks! It was really hard to do research on these chairs.I'll check out your link. I love Cafe de Flore and Lilas!

  3. Oooh, be still my heart :)
    I've longed for chairs like those for years. You are one lucky chic.

  4. Absolutely charming!! What fantastic chairs you have~ I love them!! Thanks so much for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday! :)


Don't be shy! Your comments are really appreciated and fun for me to read! If you have a question I usually respond via e- mail which is easier for me, being a busy mom. Please don't leave anonymous comments, instead just put your name in the Name/ URL box if you don't have an account. Thanks.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...