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  • Provenance

    Christie’s, New York, “Important Art Nouveau and Art Deco,” October 3, 1981, lot 266
    Acquired from the above by the present owners

  • Literature

    Franck Olivier-Vial and François Rateau, Armand Albert Rateau, Paris, 1992, pp. 128, 180-81, 183

  • Catalogue Essay

    At the turn of the 20th century, Armand-Albert Rateau traveled from France to the sites of eighteenth-century archaeological excavations in Pompeii, Italy. This moment, coupled with the excitement over the opening of Tutankhamen’s tomb, resulted in his ultimate taste for classical antiquity that would later make his name in the 1920s. The present ornamental ashtray is a strong illustration of Rateau’s innovative style combining classical art, embellished creatures, and a flair for precious materials. The fanciful ornamentation of butterflies and animals creatively combines fantasy and classicism. His interest in classical art and Egyptian motifs is executed in bronze and brass with both sobriety and exuberance. This distinctive elegance, inspired by stylized nature reminiscent of the East and Antiquity, appealed to the contemporary fashion for exotic themes and luxurious materials. It is fitting, then, that the present model ashtray was displayed at the 1925 Exposition Universelle in Paris and subsequently at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's 1926 exhibition of decorative arts from the exposition.

Property from an Important Private Collection

35

Ashtray, model no. 1901

circa 1925
Patinated bronze, brass.
4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm) high, 8 in. (20.3 cm) diameter
Underside impressed A.A.RATEAU/INVR and further impressed 1901 and 5396.

Estimate
$100,000 - 150,000 

Contact Specialist

[email protected]
212-940-1268

Design

New York Auction 9 June 2021