12.12.2010

Rateau, Again

Ah, my desire for all things made by Rateau and associated to Lanvin continues unabated, apparently. But seriously, who could avoid being seduced by this languorous sconce? Christie's describes its form as a butterfly, but to me this looks very much like the folded moths I run into on very early morning walks through the woods, sleeping and phosphorescent in the morning twilight:




"Maison Bagues has confirmed that this sconce was designed by Rateau and executed by Bagues. It was originally conceived as a ceiling light. Bagues also installed this lighting fixture in the Pavillon de l'Elegance at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes." How delightful is that! It was originally conceived as a giant bug crawling across the ceiling! And even more appropriate that it be a moth, prone to attraction to sources of light.

Goes to the hammer on the 15th, and it will be expensive, yes, but I'd rather have this sleeping moth than a lousy car or a time share in Miami, and in 50 years the sleeping moth will be worth many times more than either. Now I find this sconce very charming and can conceive of owning things of this calibre in the future, but this chair, I acknowledge, is in another class and utterly beyond me:



Linked bronze. Lovely. 1.5 to 2 million. "This stunning armchair is one of eight recorded examples of the model. Six were originally created by Armand Albert Rateau for the wealthy American collectors Florence and George Blumenthal and it is from this group that the present armchair originated.

In 1919, Rateau and the Blumenthals happened upon each other while aboard the ocean liner La Savoie traveling between the U.S. and France and it was from this meeting that the Blumenthals became Rateau's first clients. The three had worked together previously, before the war while Rateau held the position of creative director in the prestigious French decorating firm Alavoine & Cie. However, in 1919, when they became re-acquainted, Rateau had set out to work independently.

Shortly after their transatlantic encounter the Blumenthals commissioned a suite of furniture for the patio surrounding the indoor pool at their sumptuous Manhattan townhouse. Taking his cue from the elaborate aquatic murals featuring mermaids swimming below the ocean amongst sea creatures and sea life, Rateau created his magical bronze suite (consisting of six armchairs, two tables and one lamp) with an intricate shell and marine life theme."

Found and greatly admired at one of my favorite blogs, Aestheticus Rex. Available here and here.

3 comments:

Daniel-Halifax said...

Oh dear, Nick, these two specimens are Heaven-sent. And I'd literally give my birthright to go to back in time to the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes...especially with an Hermes wallet full of cash.

Hollywood forever, Kevin said...

That chair is divine! I have never seen it, thank you for the new discovery.

Anonymous said...

That is the most unique chair I have ever seen in my entire life.

-Zane of ontario honey

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