Hidden in a tiny street since the early 1980s, Monsieur Ara has a veritable Aladdin’s cave of antique lamps, lampshades and lightbulbs, with a workshop at the back that also serves as a sort of museum.
It’s probably the only place like it in the world. We went down to see this charmingly retro tiny space to take photos for you and hear the detailed (and fascinating) stories of the owner.
Check out our photos below!
Even if Monsieur Ara has been the subject of a fair few articles over the years, his little shop remains one of Paris’ hidden treasures. You won’t find anything like it anywhere else in the world.
Ara is articulate, wise and obviously passionate about the objects he owns and presents. He also has an infallible memory, allowing him to tell the story behind each lamp, where it came from, the year and country in which it was produced, the style of design it belongs to and much more. Oh, and his workshop is a wonder to behold – he can repair any part of a lamps, from the workings to the beaded shade.
It was a rainy spring day when we went to visit Monsieur Ara, who kindly welcomed us and patiently recounted – as he has no doubt done many, many times – the story behind his boutique-slash-museum, which attic sales have the best finds, and all the details of his hundreds of lamps.
He’s also a gentleman very at ease with internet and the social networks. Hi website has a gallery of lamps (many of which are also for sale), an explanation of the variou sdifferen flames, a presentation of his fringed lampshades and a trilingual glossary of the very specific terms relating to lighting.
His Facebook page is also very active.
Here are some photos of our visit. All the info about the boutique-museum are at the bottom of this article.
Once again, many many thanks to Monsieur Ara for allowing us to take photos, and for looking after us so wonderfully.
Feel free to go down and see his amazing space!
Lumière de l’œil (here) is open Tuesday-Friday from 2-7pm and Saturdays from 11am-5pm
Visits are available (for individuals and families, not groups) without prior booking
Each visitor is requested to give a 10€ donation to the AFEGAZ association, and will receive the association’s calendar