Louis Louis Louis!


Interior of the new combined 59th street gallery. Photo courtesy of R. Louis Bofferding.

R. Louis Bofferding and the Chinese Porcelain Company are now together under one roof on 59th Street in New York. Here Bofferding shares his passion and his insight in this generous and extensive interview.

  1.  Why and when did you switch from dealing in contemporary art to decorative art ?

It wasn’t exactly a switch, since I was winding down as a contemporary art dealer in 1988, and didn’t start dealing in the decorative arts until 1994. In between I lived extravagantly, squandering the money I’d made in the boom years, but I can’t say I regret it. Anyway, I distanced myself from the art world because the escalating hype made it increasingly difficult to figure out what I believed in and didn’t.

In the 1980s and early 90s I was buying furniture for my apartment, which included Italian 18th-century things, Jean-Michel Frank, and Jasper Morrison. But I didn’t think of dealing in it until one day in 1993 in Naples when I found myself leaving the Capodimonte museum. I was traveling in Italy looking at Baroque painting, and saved this superb collection for last. But I spent the entire day looking at the furniture. I flew to Paris that evening, and went to dinner that night with Pierre Le-Tan, the artist and collector. I threw out, almost as a dare, the idea I’d hatched on the plane of becoming an antiques dealer. Pierre, who knows me well, approved. The rest, you might say, is history.

2.   In what periods/materials do you specialize or have the greatest passion for in decorative arts?

I’m a generalist, not a specialist. I like what’s best of kind and unusual. I don’t favor an ormolu-mounted commode over a painted provincial one, or one in Perspex from the 1970s. That said, my areas of expertise include European furniture from the 17th to the 19th century, Western furniture from the 1920s to the ‘40s, and furniture designed by, made for, or passed through the hands of significant 20th-century interior designers, like Jean-Michel Frank, Georges Geffroy, and Billy Baldwin. My take is very personal. Quite frankly, I think masterpiece collections make a home look institutional – they’re better when cut with approachable works by petites maîtres.

As for materials, I love objects made from precious ones – ebony, ivory, coral, rock crystal, mother-of-pearl, lacquer, and silk-velvet. But they look best when offset by humble oak, cotton upholstery, and paper lampshades.


Interior of the new combined 59th street gallery. Photo courtesy of R. Louis Bofferding.

3.  How has the market in your field changed since you started dealing? Perhaps you could name three things that were popular purchases when you started and three objects that people like to collect now ?

These days you can’t give away 18th-century French, or brown English furniture. And the hardstone objects – like rock crystal and porphyry – which were the status symbols of kings and popes, are relatively affordable now.   Today people want mid-century modern, and contemporary artist-designed furniture. I like that too, but let’s face it, the old things are now undervalued, new things are overvalued, and we don’t know if they’ll stand up over time. It’s important to keep in mind that the marketplace at any given moment reflects fashion, not eternal verities.

As for three things that were popular when I started out – well, in the ‘90s I was among the first to show Jansen, Baguès, and Syrie Maugham, which became very popular. They were then unappreciated, and dismissed as historicist. But I was interested in how the civilized world embraced nostalgia in the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s, when besieged by the Depression, fascism, a world war, the cold war, and the specter of nuclear annihilation.

As to what’s collected now, everyone wants Gio Ponti, the Lalannes, and Marc Newson. But they aren’t particularly interested in Ponti from the 1920s and ‘30s, just his work from the ‘50s and ‘60s. The Lalanne’s work is charming, but of questionable importance, and the high prices cast a pall over their charm. Newson’s Lockheed Lounge is a tour de force, but they’re not unique, and they keep coming up at auction, where they’re knocked down for a million plus. That says more about how much money the buyer has, than anything about the buyer’s taste and personal style.


Interior of the new combined 59th street gallery. Photo courtesy of R. Louis Bofferding.

4.   Is the historial narrative an important part of your purchase decision? Likewise, are your clients interested in the story behind the pieces? The provenance and the quality of the craftsmanship ?

The historical narrative – who made something, who they made it for, who owned it, and how highly or lowly it was valued subsequently — does inform my decision. But in the end, the thing’s the thing, and I won’t spring for anything unless I find it compelling visually. What anyone else thinks of it doesn’t enter into the picture. Which is to say I buy as a collector would, not as a dealer should.

I’d have to say that clients are less interested in history, and less open to something they don’t already know and like, than they once were. Taste has always steamrolled anything that isn’t popular into the ground, but since I’ve gotten into the picture, what’s popular has never been so limited. The upside is that buying opportunities increase when entire categories of collecting go unnoticed.

Provenance interests me greatly – Mario Buatta calls my business “The House of Provenance” — and it’s not about being snobbish. A distinguished provenance is a good reason to give something that isn’t current taste, or a showstopper, a second look. An important provenance means someone who knew something saw merit in that object.

And yes, fine craftsmanship is a sign of worthiness. Something second rate is rarely made with extreme care. But something really good, like a Franz Kline painting, can appear slapdash when it isn’t. But no sooner does one say that a particular quality indicates worthiness than its opposite presents itself as equally true. These subtleties are what make dealing and collecting infinitely interesting.

5.  We believe that what we choose to live with is a personal statement and engages one’s hopes dreams and aspirations. Can you comment on this with the way you see people buying from you?

Collecting and decorating as a personal statement is increasingly rare. In the past, the middle class buyers, who were drawn from all walks of life, have pretty much disappeared. Now they’re fewer in number, come from the business world, and are much richer. They’re more likely to buy online at a celebrity auction, without having seen what they’re buying, than they are to spend a month traveling, visiting museums, and making the rounds of dealers. Now everything has to be a quick study, but it’s the prolonged gaze, and uninterrupted contemplation, that makes a collector.


Interior of the new combined 59th street gallery. Photo courtesy of R. Louis Bofferding.

6.   What are three important traits you look for when acquiring a piece of furniture?

I’ll give you five: “good, better, best, superior, masterpiece.” Those were the categories outlined by Albert Sack, an important dealer in American furniture, in his 1950 book that was the bible for dealers and collectors in the field. The categories apply just as well to antiquities and contemporary art. Making distinctions about quality is what connoisseurship is about, a process that many find elitist now. I say get over it.

7.  What are three of your most exciting purchases as a dealer? And why ?

In an antiques shop in Atlanta I came across a pair of table-top-sized tree sculptures of coral and glass by Misia Sert. She was a Polish-born concert pianist, a muse of poets, composers, and painters like Satie, Marllarmé, and Bonnard, and later on Diaghilev and Coco Chanel. But when her third marriage broke up she started making these charming, jeweled trees. Anyway, I recognized them from a 1927 article in Art et Industrie, and have bought and sold many since.

There was also a fantastic Louis XVI giltwood sofa that I bought out of the rue du Cherche-Midi apartment of Andy Warhol’s right-hand-man Fred Hughes, who had one of the best eyes of his generation. It had once been in the collection of Baron Alexis de Redé, who had one of the best eyes of his.

But I’m most proud of having recently discovered a five-foot-tall mirror made by Venini in 1928. It came up unidentified in a New York auction, but I recognized it from an archival photo in Anna Venini’s book on her father’s work. Instinct told me it was designed by Ponti, and after months of research I found it was one of four made for his redesign of the rotunda of the Venice Biennale. It created quite a stir when I presented it — the New York Times did a story, and it has since appeared in a Venini book published by the new glass museum in Venice.

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Gio Ponti Mirror produced by Venini for the Rotunda of the Venice Biennale.

Photo courtesy of R. Louis Bofferding.


Interior of the new combined 59th street gallery. Photo courtesy of R. Louis Bofferding.

8.   Which work have you been sorriest to part with? And why ?

When I first began I thought it would be difficult to part with the furniture I’d lived with. It wasn’t. That’s because I learned a hard lesson at the time of my opening. A friend, who should have been there, wasn’t because he had AIDS, and went back to Texas to die that week. That put everything into perspective. Things are just things, after all.

  1. Do you collect yourself?

Only books. I have a large research library, and I wouldn’t part with a single volume.

10.   Can you share some exciting and enriching life experiences, (people you have met and places you have travelled to) that have resulted from your passion for decorative arts.

I’ve had mentors, like Pierre Le-Tan in Paris, who brings to collecting an artist’s eye and a connoisseur’s knowledge. Another was Garrick Stephenson, a patrician who became an antiques dealer in the ‘50s. I met him when I became one some years after he sold his inventory, and the furniture he lived with, to collect 20th-century design. I saw a lot of him, and stayed with him and his wife in Southampton and Palm Beach. His collection’s coming up at Christie’s in December in a single-owner sale, for which I wrote the catalog’s introduction.

As for places, I’ve never suffered from Stendhal Syndrome, but I’ve come close. The first time in the Philibert de l’Orme chape lon the grounds of the chateau of Anet that was built in the 16th century. It’s an architectural vortex, with swirling coffers in the dome that are reflected in the black-and-white marble flooring. The result is as unhinging as it is beautiful.

And then in Ravenna, a city that gleams with Byzantine gold mosaics, there’s a very simple one that brought me to tears. It shows a woman in a tower, waiving farewell to a crusader sailing to the Holy Land — a scene that’s reenacted whenever a soldier flies off to Afghanistan, or, less dramatically, when anyone leaves a loved one behind. The maker of this humble mosaic would have been of low stature, but his ability to communicate across the centuries to me elevates him to, if not above, the level of his contemporaries working in gold tesserae.


Interior of the new combined 59th street gallery. Photo courtesy of R. Louis Bofferding.

11.    And finally, what do you see for the future for collectors and the decorative arts ?

In the last twenty years, collectors have sold their 18th and 19th century antiques to buy mid-century-modern and artist-designed furniture. But now that those collecting areas have become the status quo, the next generation of collectors will have to look elsewhere to make their mark. Maybe that’s why I’m finding young people less doctrinaire in approach than their parents, and more wide-ranging in their interests. And there, in my opinion, lies the hope for the future.


Visit bofferdingnewyork.com or better yet visit the gallery in NY:  Louis Bofferding Decorative & Fine Art, 232 East 59th Street, New York

Architectural Digest’s Mitchell Owen’s wrote an article on this new combined  gallery here.







Interview with Jacques Jarrige

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Fiori chandelier, 1998
Photo courtesy of Valerie Goodman Gallery
Jacques Jarrige is a thinker. Reflection plays a major part in his creative process.  In his work what attracts and fascinates us is the deeply thoughtful and artistic element which encompasses furniture design, sculpture and art. Therein lies its uniqueness.
Sculpted LEDA lamp in wood
Leda wood-sculpted standing lamp, 1998.  This is one of the pieces Jarrige is perhaps most attached to as it is emblematic to him of the ‘form pleine’, of volume.
Photo courtesy of Valerie Goodman Gallery
Pair of armchairs, 1998
Pair of armchairs, 1998
Photo courtesy of Valerie Goodman Gallery
The early days of Jarrige’s career take us back to the 1980s in Paris and the dawn of the avant-gardist ‘En Attendant les Barbares’ gallery. Having completed architectural studies, Jarrige explained to us that at the time he was questioning his place in the creative world, knowing he wanted to be a sculptor and to create…..when the perfect solution presented itself in the form of the renowned avant-garde gallery. Exhibiting alongside artists like Elisabeth Garouste, Mattia Bonetti and Eric Schmitt, Jarrige was encouraged by the gallery’s founder, Federic de Luca  to express himself with the new artistic vocabulary using brut materials and creating furniture with a deeply sculptural nature and starting point.
“The Arts Decoratifs started at that time to move in a new direction thanks to the gallery and I found myself exactly where I wanted to be”, says Jarrige.  “If not for them, my work would have taken a very different turn, a different destination I’m sure. At the time there were, in my opinion, two dominant approaches in France – artists who worked from drawings (‘”le dessin”) and those whose work relied more on the physical gest, a closeness with the material and the conflict between space and volume. Like a metal-forger.  A more sculptural approach. Now of course there are 35 or more different directions that have been taken!”
Desk by Jacques Jarrige
Unique writing desk cabinet, 2006
Photo courtesy of Valerie Goodman Gallery
Pair of consoles with drawers, 2011
Pair of consoles with drawers, 2011
Photo courtesy of Valerie Goodman Gallery

Pair of hand sculpted stools

 Pair of hand-sculpted stools, 2013
Photo courtesy of Valerie Goodman Gallery
Green Cloud tabouret
Hand lacquered ‘Cloud’ table, 2015
Photo courtesy of Valerie Goodman Gallery
Jarrige still ponders the question “Do I create sculpture…..or furniture….or both?”, He glides between the two, exploring the universe of form, meandering lines, void and volume, space and solid forms and the dialogue between them. However he is clear that he is not a ‘designer’ in the sense that “I do not create collection after collection but move with my inspiration, an approach which Federic de Luca encouraged in my early days. For me it is not possible to work within a vocabulary of ‘collections’, to move from one day to the next in the creative sense and categorise my work into ordered collections. For me it is a pleasure to accept commissions to make my pieces from years back. I never have the feeling when I look at my earlier pieces that they are old, that they are part of a series or collection”.
Affinities exhibition, Sebastien & Barquet, NYC
‘Affinities’ exhibition, 2013, Sebastien & Barquet. Curated by Valerie Goodman and Helen Barquet. You can see Jarrige’s ‘Dance Screen’ 2011 in the left foreground
 Photo courtesy of Valerie Goodman Gallery
He has been working with the Valerie Goodman gallery in New York since 2010 and loves the fresh and open outlook of the American market. The ‘Affinities’ exhibition at the Sebastien + Barquet gallery curated by Goodman and Helen Barquet in 2013 was sensational, daring and dynamic. They showed Jarrige’s work alongside that of such design greats as Gio Ponti, Charlotte Perriand, George Nakashima and Jean Royere, mixing the timeless quality of the classic European style of the 1940s, 50s and 60s with Jarrige’s dynamic contemporary pieces.  “Nakashima was the one I felt most affinity with – the one who for me was closest to his material” says Jarrige.  This choice is not surprising when you understand the sculptural elements underpinning Jarrige’s work. There is indeed a strong sculptural quality to Nakashima’s work and a purity of line and direct connection with the material.
 Unique Osselet stool 2006 Unique Osselet stool, 2006. 
This piece was exhibited in the excellent ‘Oracles du Design’ exhibition at the Gaieté Lyrique in Paris this year. Exhibition curated by Lidewij Edelkoort.  Click here for our earlier post for coverage of that exhibition. 
Bureau, Jacques Jarrige
Photo courtesy of Jacques Jarrige
This beautiful and whimsical desk (above) with its swirling but controlled arcs was first inspired by the enthusiasm of the present owner of the desk who moved Jarrige with her energy and spirit and the interchange it provoked. This is the very essence of the artist – his desire for human interchange and dialogue, and his exploration in turn of the dialogue between space, line and material in his work.
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Mobile, Jacques Jarrige
 Photos courtesy of Jacques Jarrige
In his exploration of the very nature of creativity, Jarrige has been inspired and influenced by the atelier he has run in a Paris psychiatric hospital for 25 years. “I have found my work with the patients has illuminated for me a form of natural expression and a freedom of gest that is unforced and pure. It has freed my work. Moving closer to his sculptural roots and a redefinition of space, Jarrige will be exhibiting an aluminum mobile (above) this December in the Sofitel in Miami to coincide with Design Miami. This work with its meandering swirl of aluminum shows Jarrige delineating space not through lines but through material. “I want to sculpt in space where space is inhabited and becomes part of the piece so a sort of balance is achieved and a dialogue is formed between the two”.

His work is in the collections of Mobilier National and the Musée des Beaux Arts in Orléans.


MAD (Museum of Art and Design) in New York recently held an exhibition of Jarrige’s sculptural bijoux, called
 What an incredible creative journey so far. We have a feeling there’s a lot more to come from Jacques Jarrige.  Watch this space!

Michael Anastassiades Lighting


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We are big fans of London-based Cypriot-born designer Michael Anastassiades. His newest presentation of lights balances glowing opaline glass spheres, balloons and teardrops of light within impossibly slender geometric metal frames.  The exaggerated metal structures suggest movement sometimes and boldly mark the space to experience their form. Inspired by and in homage to the likes of Alexander Calder, Carl Jacob Jucker and Wilhelm Wagenfeld.

Most of his work can be obtained directly through his website.


Bob, rod version


Mobile Chandelier 10


Mobile Chandelier 7

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‘Paulin, Paulin, Paulin’ at Galerie Perrotin

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“I am what you could call a para-artist. Someone somewhere between the artistic and the technical spheres. And this only works if it excels in both”. Pierre Paulin.
FullSizeRender copy 10‘Cathedral Table’, 1981 in lacquered aluminum and glass by Paulin, Edition 2014;  ‘Square Ruple’ oil on canvas 2015 by Mike Bouchet; ‘Expansion no 9’ in polyester, 1970, in fibreglass and white lacquer by César 

The ‘Paulin Paulin Paulin’ exhibition at the Galerie Perrotin in Paris is magnificent. It is named after the firm founded in 2008 by Pierre Paulin’s family which produces limited editions of his designs that were never produced, remained at the prototype stage or that were made as a single edition for special commissions. Perrotin creates a powerful dialogue between Paulin’s limited editions produced by the family firm, and the work of contemporary artists, some of whom have used Paulin’s pieces in their work or made reference to it.


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‘Ensemble Dune’ 1970 by Paulin; ‘Juliette’ in polychromed oil polyvinyl and natural hair by John de Andrea
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‘Tapis Siege’ 1970 by Paulin; Reclining Nude mannequin by John de Andrea
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‘Silver Fan’ mirror in stainless steel. You can see the John de Andreas reclining mannequin and man reading reflected in the splintered sheets of steel. A very powerful image
Paulin was at the vanguard of the new society being created in France in the 1960s with the profound cultural and technological changes it brought about. His furniture, incorporating groundbreaking new materials such as flexible jersey material and polyutherane foam, valued the comfort of the user above all and created flexibility and individuality of choice in its use. The modules of his ensembles ‘Dune’ and ‘Tapis Siège’, both commissioned by The Hermann Miller Company in the 1970s, could be put together in any way the user wished and so effectively making him the architect of his own interior space. Perrotin has placed John De Anddrea’s super-realistic naked mannequins on the ‘Jardin à la Française’ carpet and ‘Tapis Siège’.
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‘Declive’ reclining seat, 1966 by Paulin; ‘Walt Disney Productions n 13’ by Bertrand Lavier
The sensual modular curves of the ‘Déclive’ seating, of which the production halted at the creation of just two prototypes (one of which is in the Musée National d’Art Moderne), is testament to the importance Paulin placed on the three-pronged aims of technical excellence, innovation and comfort – combined goals which were radical at the time. Here seen echoing the curves of Bertrand Lavier’s ‘Walt Disney Productions n.13’.
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 Performance Art: Man reclining on a Paulin chair
Performance art also has its place in the exhibition. A naked young man is reclining here in a Paulin  fauteuil reading and listening to music on headphones, seemingly oblivious to the curious stares of visitors. This echoes Elmgreen & Dragset’s 2009 performance at the Venice Biennale in which a young man reads peacefully in the Paulin chair.
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‘Musée du Louvre Paris I’ 2005 C-print by Candida Hofer
Candida Hofer’s starck photograph of the deserted Great Gallery in “Musée du Louvre Paris ” focuses the viewer on Paulin’s ‘Borne’ seating (1968), leading us back to the depths of the image via the line of Paulin seats. This becomes the subject of the image.
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Paulin’s ‘Fauteuil Iena’ and ‘Jardin à la française’ carpet
Paulin’s work is valued here as a potent symbol of modernity, and the sheer brilliance of his vision creates a rich and thought-provoking dialogue with the contemporary art.
Well worth a visit.
Galerie Perrotin, 76 rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris

Aurelie Hoegy’s Dancers

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Here we are – this is the place where the mindset for investing in design merges with that of contemporary art. These ‘chairs’ are arresting, provocative and demand our attention; particularly when viewed amongst traditional functional objects. What is their purpose and the designers intention?

Aurelie Hoegy is a young French designer who we met at Paris Design Week in September. The implied movement of her “Dancers’ creates a very strong tension. We were compelled to understand this work and were not disappointed.

dancers haute resolution Each Dancer is a formalized romantic interpretation of the unique architecture that is temporarily created by the complex energy exchanged between a body, the space and an object – in this case a chair.
The energy exchanged is different every time the space, the body and the object ‘dance’ due to the ever- changing nature of the conscious and subconscious, active and  passive energy brought to this interaction.
Consequently, each resulting ‘Dancer’ is unique trace architecture.

Four pieces were made for the original series and specific pieces can be made on demand.
Aurélie Hoegy sept 2015_108 Aurélie Hoegy sept 2015_068 Aurélie Hoegy sept 2015_075 Aurélie Hoegy sept 2015_405


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The macguffin lamp, another design experience Hoegy created, is a latex dark blue lampshade attached to 700 meters cable in one piece.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 9.12.30 PMIts conception originated from a series of drawings and short movies that were meant to explore and play with the concept of daily rituals. The MacGuffin Lamp is an object that intends to challenge the concept of normality; one could see it more as a tool to stimulate situations and behaviors. It is a catalyst to experiment with the spontaneous and perhaps with a touch of madness.

Artecase: Can you tell us what you mean by the border of normality and abnormality as it pertains to our daily life?

Everything around us is complex enough to create a vocabulary of enigma. Ordinary objects can create their own language and they can take us to another reality.

My work is to trigger individuals to go beyond the usual, safe regularity, to see and explore the rituals of everyday life from another perspective. My aim is to introduce ourselves to the realm of the unbalanced, to find space for this liberty of expression and appreciate the true value within. Behind the veneer of normality every person has a mysterious side that is waiting to surface. Everyone is full of life, passion and madness, whether it be visible or suppressed. How often do we mask our actions or reactions because of social rules and the fear of becoming a misfit? I trust we need this craziness! We need these moments of alienation, dreams and explosion to survive within society. I believe design can help to liberate, express and bring about these moments, abandoning its norm of disciplining and shaping behaviour; seeking out the so-called ‘fringes of society’ such as madness and alienation.

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This light is produced in a limited edition of 36 and is available in two sizes.

The larger size is seen above is about 3000 Euros.  The smaller model ranges from 300- 500 Euros.)





Art Elysées – Art & Design 2015

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‘Lyre’ table lamp by Philippe Cuny

We were excited to visit the latest edition of ‘Art Elysées – Art and Design’ – which opened to the public on 22 October and runs through to 26th.  At the vernissage earlier in the week there was a definite feeling of optimism and several vendors told us that they had already sold some important pieces. So a joyous start to the Fair!

There was a wide range of work to see this year. Of the 11 galleries exhibiting, the majority were French, with one American gallery – 1950 Gallery from New York. Along with beautiful French mid century lighting and furniture, we spied a superb fractal resin table, a sofa and chairs in real undyed black sheepskin fur (anyone got a black sheep in their family!),  work by Philippe Hiquilly, Guillaume Piéchaud, Serge Mouille……! See our images below.

FullSizeRender copy 3Tabourets ‘Requin’, Guillaume Piéchaud. 

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‘Architectural’ desk and chair 1956 by Marino de Teana


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‘Anenome’ table, ‘Talon Aiguille’ chairs by Guillaume Piéchaud; and Standing light by Philippe Hiquily (image above). ‘Armoire Sorcière’ in polished inbox by Atelier La Case d’Art (image below)

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Fauteuil (one of a pair) by Genevieve Dangles. 1955. The base is a fabulous cross shape which you can just see in this image.


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Stunning pair of lacquered metal lights ‘Brasilia’, 1974 by Michel Boyer

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Tripod’ light, 1954, Serge Mouille


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Black (undyed) sheepskin upholstered sofa

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And the fauteuils to go with the ‘Black Sheep’ sofas above!


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Fauteuil by Viggo Boesen, 1935 (one of a pair)

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‘Stalagmite’ table (1969) by Paul Evans

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Fractal resin low table by Marie-Claude de Fouquières

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‘President’ fauteuils 1952, by Carl Gustav Hort

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‘Totem’ standing light by Angelo Lelli


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Valléeblanche” recliner, by Pierre Guariche. éd.LesHuchers-Minvielle, 1962 

And last but definitely not least…..For the Fair this year Galerie Alexander Guillemain (Artefact) has mounted an exhibition of very rare Pierre Guariche chairs dated between 1951 and 1965 is spectacular and well worth a visit. The exhibition, called ‘Pierre Guariche seats – The Untraceable’  will continue on at the Alexandre Guillemain gallery from November 5th to 20th.  Some of the examples on exhibit here are the sole known examples, while others have not appeared on the market for a considerable time. Either way, these are very rare chairs! We loved the undulating shape of this recliner ‘Valléeblanche’, 1962. There is one in the permanent collection at the Centre Pompidou and the last other known example was sold in New York over 7 years ago.

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The ‘Demeter’ cabinet by Antoine Vignault of OAK


This ‘Demeter’ cabinet was commissioned from Antoine Vignault by a French collector of fine and precious perfumes as a way to showcase their precious collection. Vignault’s inspiration for the piece is the Eleusinian Mysteries, a secret group which dates back to the Mycenean period (c1600-1100BC) and is based on the cult of Demeter and Persephone. Demeter is the goddess of the harvest who presided over the fertility of the earth and the eternal rebirth of plant life, echoing the plant base of perfume.



Vignault explains that the bee is a powerful solar symbol of resurrection and immortality, and as such, is here used as a symbol to “host and transmit the treasures collected over generations”.  Honey was the main component of Hydromel, one of the first alcoholic drinks known to Man (dating from c7000BC). The bee is deeply symbolic here as it is fed by flowers which references the floral base of perfumes. Strong and inspiring connections.



With these beautiful floating circular glass trays, Vignault has created a wondrous image of evanescent honeycombs in an upward movement, “like a golden stairway to the heavens”.

Our regular readers will know that we have posted before about the work of Antoine Vignault. We are constantly inspired by his approach and the deeply symbolic connections he makes to the eternal tales and mythology of our collective ancient history. Click here and here for our previous posts.

Demeter Cabinet’
Limited edition of 8 pieces + 1 Prototype + 2 Artist’s Pieces per model.
The pieces are signed and numbered.

OAK – One of a Kind 

Puces du Design Fall 2015

We were back at Puces du Design for the opening yesterday and it was full of great finds. This is really one of the best places to shop Modernism in Paris.FullSizeRender

I spy! A pair of original Pierre Jeanneret armchairs in need of some serious love.

The good news is that the price is one to love as well.

Committee Chair model in solid Teak with “Compass” type side leg. This model is known to have been made for the administrative buildings of Chandigarh (The project in India that Jenneret worked on with Le Corbusier)

And as a little inspiration … Here is a photo of a pair of the same chairs that are in the collection of the Swiss National Museum in Zurich.


A few other fun finds include:


A pair of large candelabras by Gunnar Ander for Ystad Metall, Sweden c. 1950, in black painted metal with gilt brass details.


Danish Standing Lamp from the 1960s by Jo Hammerborg. Close up of the legs below.




This walnut chair covered in sheepskin was designed for Roasted & Relling in Norway in 1952.



Another beautiful Danish Standing lamp from the 1960s as well. Detail shot of the fine details below.



A set of iconic Verner Panton Cone chairs from 1958.

“Most people spend their lives living in dreary, beige conformity, mortally afraid of using colors. The main purpose of my work is to provoke people into using their imagination and make their surroundings more exciting.” -Verner Panton

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A pair of limited production Dutch armchairs designed along with a sofa (all three pieces shown together below) and produced in 1964.


Inquiries … you know where to find us!

Contact@arte-case.com and +33 6 47 25 09 66

Hommage to Philippe Hiquily – Galerie Yves Gastou

After the model created in 1968 commissioned by Louise de Vilmorin and André Malraux which is in the Chateau de Verrières-les-Buisson, France. 
The exhibition, ‘Hommage’ at the Yves Gastou gallery shines the spotlight on the work of the late great sculptor and designer, Philippe Hiquilly (1925-2013). He is one of our design heroes so we were excited to attend the vernissage…and to say it exceeded our high expectations is an understatement!
Pedestal table commissioned by Viscountess Marie-Laure de Noailles and standing lamp for Henri Samuel.
Having seen the pedestal table Viscountess Marie-Laure de Noailles had commissioned from Hiquilly in 1964, Henri Samuel (the renowned interior designer) went on to commission several pieces for his major clients during the 1960s and 70s.  The list is impressive:  Henri van Zuylan, Robert Haas, the Rothschilds, Jacqueline Delubac, the Princess de Broglie, André Malraux and Louise de Vilmorin were some of his illustrious private clients. Following the joint exhibition in 2005 of “Furniture” at the Galerie Yves Gastou  and “Bronze” at Galerie Patrice Trigano, this present exhibition allows us to see the privately commissioned works long since disappeared into private collections and now produced in small limited editions by Galerie Yves Gastou.
Group of three ‘quilles’ tables after the model created in 1975 for Henri Samuel. Base in brushed iron, top in fossilized wood. 
What is so inspiring was Hiquily’s noble adherence to his art and skilled craftsmanship, despite the many lean years he spent without recognition. Beginning with sculpture and moving on to furniture design incorporating his sculptural forms, he said: “I was starting out with a piece metal and I ended up making a sculpture, it was giving birth in a way. Even if I wasn’t selling, I was doing what I wanted, it was for me the best way to go”.
Low table after the model created  for Edmond de Rothschild in 1965; and chair by Hiquily in hammered brass.
Ironically, Hiquily’s status as one of the great sculptors of the 20th Century is due in large part to the acclaim he has received for his furniture. The Musée des Arts Decoratives recently acquired a 1976 table.
Chandelier in hammered brass after a model created in 1977 for a private collection.
Combining aesthetics and functionality, the glowing bronze is worked into sensuous abstract forms and erotic volumes without a direct figurative element.
Console table with two levels, after a drawing from the 1970s. Base in hammered brass and tops in fossilized wood.
All images courtesy of Galerie Yves Gastou