Christie's Presents Paris in New York: A Private Collection of Royère, Vautrin, Jouve
A selection of highlights featuring furniture and lighting by Jean Royère, mirrors by Line Vautrin, and ceramics by Georges Jouve.
Photography Credit: Reid Baker
“For me, words like ‘functional’, ‘style’, ‘contemporary’ are meaningless. Let it be successful: I don’t know of any other imperative!” – Jean Royère, from an interview in La revue de l’Ameublement, December 1963
NEW YORK—Christie’s is pleased to present Paris in New York: A Private Collection of Royère, Vautrin, Jouve, one from a suite of four Design sales this season, to be held on May 26 at Rockefeller Center, New York. An important collection assembled by two private collectors in the 1990’s, Paris in New York features more than 50 iconic works by celebrated 20th Century French masters including Jean Royère (1902-1981)—one of the most original and innovative designers of the 20th Century—on the 40th anniversary of his death.
Paris in New York offers famed models by Royère including a ‘Polar Bear’ Sofa, circa 1950 (estimate $400,000-600,000) and an ‘Antibes’ Floor Lamp, circa 1950 (estimate $150,000-200,000). The auction boasts a stunning selection of talosel mirrors made by French designer and decorative artist Line Vautrin (1913-1997), including her ‘Solaire’ Mirror, circa 1950 (estimate $40,000-60,000), among others. Additional highlights include a Royère ‘Tour Eiffel’ Floor Lamp, circa 1945 (estimate $100,000-150,000) and a Pair of ‘Sculpture Armchairs’, circa 1955 (estimate $200,000-300,000), as well as a selection of ceramic works by Georges Jouve (1910-1964).
Alex Heminway, Christie’s International Head of Design said, “It’s an absolute joy to offer this in-depth, jewel of a collection on behalf of the private sellers who, with great prescience, assembled these works in the 1990’s when the great French designers represented here—Royère, Vautrin, Jouve—were in the early throes of rediscovery by the collectible ‘design’ market, itself a nascent idea, as it turned its attention to the French midcentury.”
Entirely self-taught, Royère employed bold colors and geometric shapes in a style that appears quintessentially French with clear influence from Italian and Scandinavian designs. His work has consistently possessed global appeal as he looked abroad for inspiration and promoted his creations in the Middle East, North Africa and South America, in addition to his home footprint in France and across Europe. As a result, Royère had a great impact on the post-war design culture of those regions.
“…Removed from their original homes, Royère’s works allow for a free-flowing interpretation outside of their bespoke origins, resting comfortably within both minimal and richly layered interiors of the present. As they find new homes, Royère’s universal designs arc toward the timeless,” wrote Michael Jefferson, Christie’s Senior International Specialist, Design.
Royère experimented with a wide range of materials and took an untraditional approach to modern design, creating a distinct style that combined elegance, playfulness and comfort. His career lasted until the early 1970’s and, today, his work is as well-respected and popular as his contemporaries—collected by celebrities, royalty and design aficionados alike.
The Paris in New York preview opens by appointment May 22 in Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries.
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