Jean Royère’s Tour Eiffel Chandelier
The elegant designs of Jean Royère (1902—1981) bridge the gap between the ornate fin-de-siècle style and the pared-back forms of postwar modernism. Working across furniture, lighting, and interior decor, the French designer is known for his pioneering work with organic shapes and rare materials. Royère did his apprenticeship at a furniture workshop at Faubourg Saint-Antoine in Paris, which ultimately led to the exquisite craftsmanship of his designs. He rose to prominence with his sophisticated renovation of the Hotel Carlton’s brasserie on the Champs-Élysées in 1933 and worked internationally until his retirement in 1972.
Lot 341, Tour Eiffel chandelier, Jean Royère, c. 1947
October 9, 2016 Modern Art & Design
Throughout his career, Royère focused primarily on creating unique and limited edition pieces, instead of venturing into the mass production techniques of his modernist peers. Therefore, surviving examples of his work are particularly prized. His Tour Eiffel series encompasses lamps, chairs, standing screens, and tables. Produced in the late 1940s, the collection took inspiration from the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, designed by the firm of Gustave Eiffel and completed in 1889. Royère expertly incorporated the structure’s gridded metal form in these chic furnishings, transforming the industrial aesthetic into a style more suited to a domestic setting. Though his work referenced the contemporary fashion for the so-called “machine age,” it never compromised on comfort or functionality. The Tour Eiffel chandelier represents a luxurious interpretation of the tower’s iron lattice pattern, which is rendered in tubular metal to form a circular base. Sinuous arms extend from the base to connect to a rope-like stem and the chandelier’s six lamps perch upon slender rods, capped by simple parchment shades.
Russ, Eric. “From Jean Royère to Lucio Fontana.” Sotheby’s. 07 April 2015. Web. Aug 18, 2016.
Wagner, Andrew. “Galerie Patrick Seguin Showcases the Fanciful Designs of Frenchmen Jean Royère.” Artsy. 24 Feb 2016. Web. Aug 18, 2016.
Tour Eiffel chandelier
Designed c. 1947
64″ x 54″ diameter
Provenance: 1950 Gallery, New York, New York;
Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the above, c. 1991)
Literature: Jean Royère. C. De Beyrie and S. De Beyrie. 2000. 27 for variation.
Estimate: $50,000 – $70,000
October 9, 2016 Modern Art & Design Auction