Jean Perzel, who would eventually preside over the renowned Perzel lighting company was gifted and curious from a young age. At the age of 16 he left school top of his class to journey around Europe, learning various glassmaking techniques. When he arrived in Paris in 1910 he began working under a master glassmaker who after only a year would give him the responsibility of making important works in Algiers. With an interim for the war, he would begin working again in 1919 as a glass painter. The following years witnessed the birth of Art Deco and a concomitant establishment of Perzel’s reputation in the lighting world under the banner of the Perzel Company — established in 1923 — which produced works in both glass and bronze, from its new workshop and showroom in Paris.
Perzel’s elegant works, which he always designed himself, attracted prestigious customers, at both the private and commercial level, from the Rothschild family to Henry Ford. He sort a purity and elegance of form which was always sensitive to the architecture of its environment. Glass products were often favoured simply to augment light. Perzel was lucky to find in his nephew Francois Raidt a committed and equally precise designer to eventually take over the company. At just 18, Raidt designed car lights for Henry Ford on the occasion of the 25 millionth car produced by the factory. Raidt would head the company all the way through the 80s (eventually handing over to his son Oliver) keeping alive the company’s truth to a purity of design that have given and continue to give their lighting a seamless relevance. Appropriately, Jean Perzel was awarded the prize of ‘Company of Living Heritage’ by the French interior minister in 2008