Antoine Vignault

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 This tabouret is named Rigel after the brightest star in the Orion constellation. The straw marquetry on the top, which could be interpreted as an elegant explosion, seems to then refer to Rigel’s potential to become a supernova. Eventually Rigel will become a black hole. The form of this tabouret portends to this conclusion.

Laquered blackwood, gilt brass, straw marquetry
Limited edition of 8
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We are excited to share with you two of our favorite designs from the forthcoming collection by Bordeaux-based designer Antoine Vignault.His work is, to us, an inspiring example of the potential that objects have to tell stories and carry meaning which connects us to each other and the world beyond our daily lives.Vignault consciously seeks to “transmit common codes between former civilizations that still apply today such as sacred geometry, golden proportions and secret messages hidden in old symbols and astronomy”.

Each of the objects in this collection are named after a star or constellation. Vignault says, “Stars were here before us and will still be here after us. Our ancestors used their movements and positions as a core science to explain all other ones : mathematics, geometry, geography, time… and most government architectures worldwide were designed in closed relation with celestial events.”

The beautiful materials and elegant forms in this collection intrigued us and upon investigation we are now completely enchanted by the way Vignault interpreted the night sky and has brought to life these eternal concepts that link our current lives to those of some of our greatest forefathers.
The entire collection will be on view in Paris this spring. We will post the details as soon as they are announced!

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Octant Side Table – named after the Polaris star constellation. It is  an essential reference point around which the night sky turns.

White marble, black waxed leather, oak inlay, gilt brass, straw marquetry
Limited edition of 8
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Your interior is your platform for making your own statement about your views and aspirations. What objects will help tell your story?

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Nanda Vigo

Nanda Vigo by Nilufar

‘Due Più’ (Two More) set of 6 chairs, 1971

Wow! These chairs really grab your attention.
Do you love them or hate them?

Designed by Italian Nanda Vigo in the 1970s in the Post Modern spirit, they actually disrupt one’s preconceptions about the function of a chair and demand of someone considering purchasing them to actively consider their own lifestyle and needs.

Do they give 1st priority to function, comfort, aesthetics, concept?

Our initial thoughts/experience was – “These are strong, sexy, sculptural and provocative. They will start a conversation about comfort and aesthetics rather than provide an unconscious or easy comfort.”

We’ve tried them and they are comfortable – for a time. They made us a bit self-conscious about how to position ourselves. It’s an interesting exercise. It lead us to question whether chairs should really be endlessly comfortable, anyway?

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This is a photo of an exhibition Vigo made with  Alessandra Pescetta e Saverio Todaro in 2006. (This is well before contemporary art exhibitions at Versailles!) The  juxtaposition of a contemporary art installation in a period interior forces the viewer to consider a potential relationship between the two elements. Instinctually we try to find connections – a story or explanation. In so doing we are given the opportunity to experience with fresh eyes what might have otherwise overlooked.

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Your interior is your platform for making your own statement about your views and aspirations. What objects will help tell your story?

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Friday Finds!

5888d63c-5e20-4554-9f95-5717fc38e2d6 Fauteuil ’44’  (1957) by Dangles & Defrance at Galerie Pascal Cuisinier, who is showing for the first time at Design Miami/ this year.
(click on the photo to link to previous post on Mid-20th century interiors) 

87fbbfac-56d7-4ec2-85d0-f704c46a9162Galerie Pascal Cuisinier, booth at Design Miami/  2014

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Mid-century French design, a period including the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s and referred to in French as “Les Trentes Glorieuses,” is one of our favorite themes here at Artecase as you know.

This week at the 10th annual Design Miami/ fair, with 6 of the 35 galleries focusing on this period,  it is evident that the beauty and seductive nature of this era continues to transcend time and in fact grow in appeal. 

As confirmed by Artsy in their pre-fair trending report based upon the most saved works, and the New York Times article on highlights from the fair, French mid-century design continues to be the most sought after category of collectible design.

Here are a couple of the highlights from this period at the show and some thoughts on why this period is so attractive. 

f3d4f04a-8f67-457a-bfb4-ea588b300816In situ image of the Hall of honor, Prefecture of Val d’ouse with interior design and furniture by Joseph André Motte whose work Demisch Denant Gallery is showcasing this weekend in Miami.
Image courtesy of Demish Denant

Clean lines, organization, practicality and comfort come to mind when looking at design from this period. When considering it from the perspective of the period when they were designed … new materials and brand new forms also play an exciting role.
The fact that these elements have come together to represent an aesthetic that resonates with collectors far and wide, speaks to something that’s actually deeper than an aesthetic.
We know the creators didn’t set out to make beautiful objects, but rather were focused on making objects that worked for the environment they were being designed for … The sublime marriage of form and function that they achieved using materials that were new at the time creates a feeling of possibility and excitement.
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43a84871-268d-4d5f-a4fc-de7bf19d1961dffe965d-3e1e-4a63-8a69-7db63f43a1feThe work of designer Pierre Paulin has been a near constant presence at the fair since its inception at galleries like Demisch Denant.  This year the fashion house Louis Vuitton has realized for the first time a design by Paulin for Herman Miller dating from the early 1970s. The maquette, normally displayed in Paris at the Centre Pompidou, is on view at Design Miami/ this weekend next to 18 furniture designs, which are based on an expanding grid configuration. This concept acknowledges the need for individuality, comfort, flexibility and function.
These are enduring themes indeed.

Design Miami/ 3-7 December 2014

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Watch this video about our sourcing services!

Friday Finds!

 

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Upon reading a story in the NY Times about design  earlier this week we were inspired to contemplate the idea of copying vs. reinterpreting. 

These reinterpreted 18th century Chinese vases by Studio Droog’s are part of the New Original Project collection – an experiment focusing on copying as an important “driver of innovation”.
The design of the vase is well informed by past traditions. The colors and proportions of these specific colors match the originals and  the form is a fusion of four traditional styles from the 17th and 18th century.  These original specifications are interpreted through a contemporary filter.

The resulting 3-D printed vase is a beautiful object on it’s own.

However, placed next to the “original” the viewers experience becomes infinitely broader. The vase becomes a platform from which to question and inquire about Chinese traditional decorative arts, from materials and methods of production to their significance and impact on international culture over time.

Wow! Pretty heady stuff for a vase made of sand!

Our surroundings say so much about us.What stories do your surroundings tell?

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Friday Finds!

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This beautiful sculptural portemanteaux designed by Felix Agostini,  straddles the worlds of Art and Design – it can as easily be described as a piece of sculpture as it can a functional piece of design. Sculpturally it has a personal and playful quality, as does so much of Agostini’s surrealist-influenced work with expressive attenuated lines created in patinated bronze. As a place to hang your coat – its functional purpose – it is perfectly efficient with several hooks for coats and a curved space further down to hook your umbrella. We think it would be a shame to hide the elegance of the form with coats but perhaps just a beautifully draped cashmere coat or scarf….
Agostini was self-taught and worked for a time around the 1940s with Giacometti in Paris. The latter’s influence is clear in the whimsical lines and textured surfaces mastered through the medium of bronze and metal.  In the 1950s Agostini had a shop at 3 rue de Penthievre in the 8th arrondissement of Paris and it is during this period that he produced many of his famous lights and standing lamps. Please click on the image of the ‘Ouragan’ lamp below to read an earlier post.
In this unique portmanteaux, dated 1970,  you can see how the original mid century maxim of ‘Form follows Function’ had moved on and evolved and the boundaries became blurred in an exciting and challenging way. To our mind, it is that which makes this unique piece inspirational and absolutely worth owning. Just think how sharing in this narrative would enhance your life. 
H160cm x W60cm.  
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We saw this striking lamp by Agostini and although several of his vintage designs are now being reissued in numbered editions by Donghia, we can find you the much sought-after original pieces.
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IMG_0844This is a pair of mahogany armchairs from 1950 by Domenico Parisi (1916-1996), better known as  “Ico” Parisi.   His early work can often be identified by the curves he incorporates to connect opposing angles. While minimal and certainly aware of the Moderinst movement, his work seems to identify more with the concurrent atomic age movement in design. Simultaneously it echoes the futurism movement that started in Italy in the beginning of the 20th century and was expressed in the Art Deco movements in Europe and the United States in the ’20s and ’30s.  We think his work is grounded and optimistic.  Original powder blue velvet upholstery.
Height/Hauteur: 75 cm (29.53 in)
Width/Largeur: 69 cm (27.17 in)
Length/Longueur: 72 cm (28.35 in)
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We love the casual yet dynamic elegance of this beautiful pair of Swedish lounge chairs in oak and leather (‘Model 204′) by brothers Uno & Osten Kristiansson. Named the “Hunting Chair” (1954) it was produced by Luxus, a company founded in 1950 by the Kristanssons. This is one of the rare furniture pieces designed by the duo as they mainly concentrated on lighting. Supremely comfortable, the design is ergonomically brilliant as the flexible leather cradles the sitter.  
Hookl Und Stool of Belgrade currently produce an adapted version of the ‘Hunting Chair’ called  the Masterpeace MP-04. While it looks quite nice there is nothing as elegant and enriching as acquiring the original with its gorgeous patinated leather.
H77cm x W53cm x L78cm
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Inquiries about any of these objects:
contact@arte-case.com or 06 47 25 09 66

Friday Finds!

photo 5Treasure hunting in Paris on a rainy day

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A pair of 1960s Scandinavian teak and rosewood chairs. These exceedingly comfortable chairs carry some recognizable trademarks of midcentury Scandinavian design. The sculptural form of the arms is one and the use of teak and rosewood is another. Both woods are tropical hardwoods from South and Southeast Asia (Burma, Malaysia India and Indonesia)  and both are known for their strength and fine straight grain, which quietly and naturally enhances the aesthetic of these pieces.
 
The market for teak has become politically charged over the last twenty years or so as logging of Burmese teak (known as Thai teak) was revealed to fund the Burmese military known for its human rights violations. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®), a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world’s forests, was developed but they too have become mired in financial scams at various times. And finally recent teak farms in Africa and Costa Rica have upset the natural habitat. There leaves are the largest of any tree species and they are a natural herbicide. When they fall to the ground they naturally inhibit the growth of other plants.
 
Vintage teak is collectible. Buying contemporary teak furniture you are likely to inadvertently contribute to problems you would otherwise stay clear away from.
 
Knowing what your buying has important consequences!

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The back splits are teak and the structure is rosewood. The seat is rubber-covered steel. The chairs have been reupholstered.

Size: H72cm x W63.5cm xD75cm
Height from ground to seating cushion 53cm
Height of seat frame without cushion 40cm

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We found these two very different small 1960s French lights enchanting. The curved brass feet on the base of the left hand side lamp place it firmly in the 1960s. The other lamp is made of nickel plated chrome.

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We were very excited to find this rare mid century black-lacquered metal and brass desk lamp (1960s) which was produced by the German manufacturer Gebr. Kaiser Leuchten.   We have seen this model in books and know that it is a very limited edition. It is most likely by German designer Christian Dell who was collaborating with the company at this time. Trained as a silversmith, Dell went on to work as a foreman in the metal workshop at the Bauhaus. With WWII looming, Walter Gropius offered him a job in the United States but Dell decided to remain in Germany.

The large lamp head, the shape of which is echoed by that of the base,  pivots in a three-quarter circle so that light can be directed where you want it.  It is really a magnificent piece. 

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Inquiries about any of these objects:
contact@artecase.com or 06 47 25 09 66

Friday Finds!

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With Paris Photo opening next week, we were excited to see Etienne Bertrand Weill’s  ’Métaforme’  works (1959-1982). These are photographs of  abstract creations through which he recorded the movement of mobiles based on his interpretation of musical structures. They were meant to free the viewer from reality by stimulating the imagination without restraining it. Weill worked for a time as Hans Arp’s official photographer and also conceived moving images as backdrops for France’s National Opera Ballet in the 1970s – these backdrops played a key role in the choreographies. This original silver print from 1959 is called ‘Orphée’ (41.6 x 51.5 cm). It is a technique which involved printing the original negative onto gelatin silver fiber paper. 

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This is a rare 1960s murano glass Seguso pendant light (20cm diameter). Seguso have been designing glass in Murano since 1937. The reflections made by the bubbles in the glass create a layered pattern effect and draw you into the depths of the glass orb. This would be a stunning piece above a side table or a kitchen sink.

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This pair of French wicker chairs from the 1970s are very comfortable and beautifully designed. They have a contemporary form but the material is a world away from the plastic material used to create weather-proof versions of this aesthetic. These are the original natural material.  They are light and easy to store when necessary.

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We were drawn to these three rare metal wall shelves from the 1960s by Matthieu Matégot (1910-2001) whose work has become quite well known in the auction world. This rare model called ‘Dedal’ noires, is a versatile storage solution. The arrangement can adapt to various size walls and the form they take can change depending on how you arrange them.  

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Here is a sneak preview from a recent project. This ’Etrangère’ vase  (1985) by Philip Starck is in black cut Daum glass on thick transparent glass. It’s sculptural asymmetry plays beautifully with this Empire commode in mahogany with a black marble top. 

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Inquiries about any of these objects:
contact@artecase.com or 06 47 25 09 66

Friday Finds!

Here are some exciting pieces we have spotted this week!

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 The sensuous and organic form of this contemporary bronze lamp (‘Grande Lyre’) by Philippe Cuny drew us in.  The glow from the bronze is gorgeous.

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 This reclinable chair in rosewood by Eugene Printz is like poetry in motion! The curved arm rests are exquisite.

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 One of a pair of sofas (model 485) by Edward Wormley. Edition Dunbar 1954. We love the simple design and clean lines.

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 This gently curved and elegant sofa by Augusto Bozzi for Saporiti (1950s) is an example of great mid century design. Highly covetable! 

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 This chic and beautiful desk (c 1935) in varnished wood with Hermes leather is by Paul Dupré-Lafon. The two rectangular compartments for storage on the desk top have sliding covers with ivory and brass handles. We can see it gracing an elegant sitting room or adding depth to a study.

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Inquiries about any of these objects:
contact@artecase.com or 06 47 25 09 66

Friday Finds!

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Upon visiting the breathtaking couture exhibition entitled ‘Les Années 50′ now on view at the Musée Galliera here in Paris, we found ourselves discussing how some of the themes and goals we saw in the clothes were being explored in furniture design as well.
 Like the fashion of this time the furniture designers were also focused on functionality, technical innovation and elegance.  Some of the fabric styles are quite similar to the furniture upholstery.

There is also a sense of control felt in the many buttons of the jackets and the firm cushions forms of the furniture yet the swirling full skirts created by Dior in these years sent shockwaves through France and the bright colored upholstery covering radical new furniture forms created excitement and optimism.
 

During the 1950s a more democratic system of licensing was put into place by some houses (such as Lanvin boutique) to make the lines more available to a public without access to the couture salons.  At the same time the first generation of French designers creating ultra-modern work that was meant to be mass produced.

 Enjoy the images below. And don’t hesitate to contact us when you are tempted by these gorgeous designs!

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f82c6100-1cd2-47bc-adf6-11593ce7110eIn the 1950s, the shape of the seating corresponded to social and practical criteria of the time. The historical context adds enormously to the story of each piece. This sofa by Genevieve Dangles and Christian DeFrance is made of numerous chairs which put together make up a magnificent arched-shape sofa. The shape of the chair backs kept the sitter’s posture straight which was important since the women all still wore skirts (before the advent of Saint’s Laurent’s revolutionary pant suits for women). Photo Courtesy  Galerie Pascal Cuisinier
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Looking back at this interior from the 1950s the furniture, to our eye, looks formal and uniform in its arrangement.  But with a little imagination, you can take elements from this period and incorporate them into your home, crossing eras and styles and making your own original and personal statement. The pieces  that we have found this week are refined, elegant and with simple lines reflecting the optimistic but practical postwar outlook of a brave new world. They speak  to the forward-looking ideals of that time. Perhaps these ideals resonate with you?
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La-Banane-Hotel-St.-Barts-1Designed for Chandrigah in India in the 1950s by Jeanneret and Le Corbusier, the timelessly beautiful, and architecturally rigorous chairs by Jeanneret in this interior at La Banane Hotel in St Barts add a strong aesthetic statement to the space, giving us a glimpse of the artist’s cutting edge creative thinking in bridging Art Deco and Modernism.  Impossible to ignore without being domineering, the strong angular lines of the chairs contribute to the stylistic dialogue in the room creating a marvellous energy.  Just think what pieces like this could add to your home!
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This wonderfully sculptural chair (1950s) in oak is one of a pair by Rene Gabriel. They  look good from every angle! A specialist in ‘meubles de series’, Gabriel was Influential in the development of 20th century design in France and the ‘Rene Gabriel award’ is to this day, highly prestigious for emerging designers. There is a feeling of freedom and you sense the sheer joy of designing in this piece. Just imagine the statement it would make in your interior!
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This elegant 1950s table lamp in leather and brass is by Jacques Adnet. The base is covered in beautifully stitched leather interspersed with brass. It would impart a warm and elegant glow to any room.
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We were excited to find this chic and highly covetable late-1950s Leleu Deshays desk in rosewood and leather.  It would look equally stunning in a traditional book-lined study or in a more minimalist room. Magnifique!
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This restrained and beautiful early 1950s desk is Austrian. In stainless steel and black lacquer, we love the uniform line of the large number of simple drawer handles standing out against the richness of the smooth lacquer.
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This pair of wicker chairs by Abrahams & Rolls (end of the 1950s) are not only beautiful and technically brilliant but they are also really comfortable!
Inquiries about any of these objects:
contact@artecase.com or 06 47 25 09 66

Friday Finds!

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Treasure hunting in Paris on a beautiful fall day.

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This is one of a pair of ‘Pipe Line Series 2’ chairs (1983) in lucite and chrome by Jeff Messerschmidt. With a small production of just 75 chairs, they were an exciting find! Each chair has an incised signature and number on a back leg and has been reupholstered. Price for the pair is €2,200.

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The visually light yet sturdy ‘Grasshopper’ chair was the first chair Eero Saarinen designed in a series of sculptural chairs created for Knoll throughout the 1940s and 1950s. We spotted this re-edition produced by the German company Lange at the end of the 1990s. The leather is original and the chair is in great condition with beautiful leather-wrapped armrests. €6,000. 

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We loved this fabulous round marble table with elegant stainless steel base (1972) by British designer Richard Young. 
D147cm. Price €5,000.

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This eye-catching Italian standing light by Mazzega in murano glass and brass dates from the 1960s. The glass is amber-tinted giving off a beautiful golden glow of light. H 155cm. Price €1,800.

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The Seconda 601-602 chair was designed by Mario Botta for Alias in the 1980s in Italy. In black enameled steel with an upholstered padded backrest and seat pad, we found this stunning pair which have the original upholstery. They are very architectural and rigorous in design and wonderfully comfortable. Use your imagination – these could be gorgeous with beautiful horsehair cushions! H73cm x W52cm x D58cm.  €700 for the pair.


 

Several mid century classic chairs. Choose your color!

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