• Press release
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  • New York
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  • For immediate release
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  • 21 April 2021

Christie's Presents Paris in New York: A Private Collection of Royère, Vautrin, Jouve

Auction: 26 May 11am EDT in New York

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.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

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