Jean Dunand - Design London Wednesday, September 25, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Madame Agnès, Paris, 1926
    Private collection, Paris
    Galerie Jacques Lacoste, Paris

  • Literature

    Pierre Olmer and Henri Bouché-Leclercq, L’Art Décoratif Français, Paris, 1929 illustrated p. 53
    Yvonne Brunhammer and Suzanne Tise, French Decorative Arts - The Société des Artistes Décorateurs 1900-1942, Paris, 1990, pp. 156-57, p. 182, fig. 220 for a similar example
    Felix Marcilhac, Jean Dunand: His Life and Works, New York, 1991, illustrated p. 320

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot was made for the renowned Parisian milliner Madame Agnès in 1926 and is one of six psychés recorded in Felix Marcilhac’s Jean Dunand: His Life and Works. Of the other five, there is one example with a floral motif, another three of them (‘Fish’, 1925; ‘Mirror’ and ‘Bathing girl’, 1927) were exhibited at Galerie Georges Petit, Paris between 1925 and 1927, one further example was shown at the Societé des Artistes Décorateurs in 1930.

    Jean Dunand frst established his relationship with Madame Agnès at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes where he exhibited his Smoking Room in the Pavillon de la Société des Artistes Décorateurs. He called her ‘a woman of taste and level-headedness’ in a Vogue article of that same year and in 1926 she contracted him to design an office interior in her new salon on the
    Rue Saint-Florentin (fg. 1). It was the perfect commission that allowed Dunand to showcase his talents to her sophisticated and afluent client base. The present lot was located in this room, which was as much in homage to its proprietor as it was a marketing tool for both Dunand and Agnès. Dunand transformed the space with lacquered walls, a flattering lighting system and furnishings he designed and produced himself.

    The psyché was mounted to the wood-panelled wall across from a display of small accessories. It is a triptych composed of two lacquered panels, mirrored on the reverse, which fold onto each other to conceal the central mirror. The proper right side of the psyché illustrates a female fgure embracing a sheep in delicately inlaid ivory, mother of pearl and eggshell mosaic. In reference to the room’s occupant the
    scene is reminiscent of old master depictions of St. Agnes of Rome. In contrast the second panel is a cubist arrangement of geometric forms.


Important and unique illuminated triptych psyché, designed for Madame Agnès, Salon de le Rue Saint-Florentin, Paris

Lacquered wood inlaid with ivory, mother of pearl and eggshell, mirrored glass, brass, painted wood.
191 x 64.2 x 7.5 cm (75 1/4 x 25 1/4 x 2 7/8 in.)
Both front and interior doors incised with JEAN DUNAND.

£120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for £170,500

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London 26 September 2013