cf. M. Dufrène, Ensembles Mobiliers: Exposition Internationale 1925, Paris, 1925, pl. 71, p. 153 for an image of a chandelier of this model at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, Paris, 1925;
J. Kahr, Edgar Brandt: Art Deco Ironwork, Atglen, PA, 2010, pp. 119-120 for images of a chandelier of this model at the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, Paris, 1925.
Edgar Brandt, the protean artist/blacksmith of the early twentieth century, based his career on the use of modern metalworking techniques in order to evoke the style and character of his time. He felt that decorative artists had relied on historicist models, such as the Louis styles, for far too long. Purist blacksmiths would use only the anvil and the hammer. While Brandt used the traditional skills of the anvil and the hammer, he also used power hammers and oxy-acetylene welding guns and other mechanical devices. He felt that new tools and techniques gave him greater latitude of expression. He said: "In order to create, the artist must use all the means that science places at his disposal." To Brandt, it made no sense to limit oneself to old methods. This philosophy allowed him to develop an ironwork repertoire that earned him worldwide commissions and fame.
On April 15, 1925 the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes opened in Paris. Besides being a judge for the metalwork section, Brandt and his ironwork was found all over the fair. In his own display room, Stand 45 in the Salon d'Ameublement, he created a treasure trove of tables, grilles, sconces, torchères, vases, the iconic Art Deco screen, L'Oasis, and the great chandelier (most probably the one offered in this sale). The public and the critics lauded Brandt, and easily understood why he was deemed hors concours or above the competition.
The room, planned as a narrow vestibule, featured a circular center table with large S-scrolls at the base. Above the table was an imposing glass and wrought iron chandelier. Two rows of lace-like floral arms gracefully open from the center, like the petals of a flower, each with a design of vines, leaves, small modernistic flowers and some tiny berries. The larger arms scroll out and upward, while the smaller wings above scroll downward. This opposition enhances the elegance of the design by allowing it to be seen from two angles. Twenty bell-shaped, and acid-etched Daum glass shades are incised with two rows of C-scrolls referencing the scrolls of the iron. Below the arms are four graduated shades in descending size, offering additional light. The iron arms were lightly gilded over a rich brown/gold patina; and the glass shades have gilded flakes that the French called verreries métallique. The light from this luminous fixture blended with the tones in the room of gray, silver and gold, and with the indirect and cove lighting in the layered concavity at the top of the walls. The chandelier was the centerpiece in a space that illuminated the art deco ferronnerie that Edgar Brandt had pioneered.
author of Edgar Brandt, Art Deco Ironwork