LÉON CAUVY (1874-1933)
LÉON CAUVY (1874-1933)
LÉON CAUVY (1874-1933)
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LÉON CAUVY (1874-1933)
8 More
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION
LÉON CAUVY (1874-1933)

IMPORTANT BEDROOM SUITE, 1904

Details
LÉON CAUVY (1874-1933)
IMPORTANT BEDROOM SUITE, 1904
executed by Paul Arnavielhe, carved gilt wood with embossed and engraved leather insets, carved overall with calla lily and stylised foliage, comprising: double bed, the footboard depicting peacocks; wardrobe; two bedside tables, each with marble top, one with a cupboard; table with frieze drawer; together with an associated carved giltwood chair by Louis Majorelle, early 20th Century
bed: 57 in. (145 cm.) high; 67¾ in. (172 cm.) wide; wardrobe 90½ in. (230 cm.) high; 74½ in. (189.3 cm.) wide
footboard signed PARNAVIELHE, headboard inscribed Cauvy 04, inscribed to leather L. Cauvy (6)
Provenance
Purchased by the grandfather of the present owner in the early 20th century, reputedly directly from Paul Arnavielhe.

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Erin Caswell
Erin Caswell

Lot Essay

Léon Cauvy (1874-1933) studied at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Montpellier, leaving in 1895 for Paris to study under painter Albert Maignan, and then returning to Montpellier and beginning a career designing Art Nouveau furniture as well as exhibiting paintings. In 1898, he completed a commission for Emmanuel Laurens to decorate the interior of a house he was building in Agde, Hérault, a short distance from Montpellier and later known as the Château Laurens. During his career, Cauvy won numerous prizes for his designs for furniture and interiors, including twelve featured in Art et Décoration magazine between 1896 and 1906. He also exhibited regularly in the salons of the Société des Artistes Français from 1901, including a screen with leather decoration in 1901, a display case with leather panels which was presented in 1902, and later decorative panels and wallpaper designs. In 1907, at the age of 33, Cauvy took up a place at the Villa Abd-el-Tif in Algiers, a European artists' colony, and settled thereafter in Algeria, eventually becoming the director of the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts d'Alger. Once in Algeria, his artistic career focused on Orientalist painting and printmaking rather than the decorative arts, although in 1925 he decorated the interior of the Pavillon de l'Algérie, Exposition International des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, Paris, which was later transported to the governor's Summer Palace in Algiers.

Paul Arnavielhe was a cabinet-maker and active member of the Montpellier community, and collaborated with Léon Cauvy on other suites of furniture, notably those designed for Emmanuel Laurens, parts of which are included in the collection of the Musée Agathois Jules Badou in Agde. Further elements from the Laurens commission bedroom suite appeared at auction in Paris in 2013 and were pre-empted for the museum by the Service des Musées de France. The designs and leatherwork in their collaborations were Cauvy's, while Arnavielhe undertook the cabinet-making, a shift from the latter's otherwise more traditional style.

Intriguingly, the bed bears a U.S. customs label, which may relate to its possible presentation in a New York exhibition, where it is believed by the current owner to have won a medal. Documentation about Léon Cauvy remains scarce, but the rediscovery of this hitherto unrecorded suite is a substantial addition to works from Cauvy's rare oeuvre.

For further images see www.christies.com
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