Jean Prouvé - Design / Design Art New York Thursday, December 14, 2006 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Peter Sulzer, Jean Prouvé: Œuvre Complète, Volume 2: 1934-1944, Basel, 2000, p. 284, ill. 886 for a drawing of the table

  • Catalogue Essay

    This possibly unique, fine dining table corresponds to Jean Prouvé’s plan no. 8935 dating from November 1941, illustration no. 886, p. 284 from the book Jean Prouvé: Œuvre Compléte, Volume 2: 1934-1944 by Peter Sulzer. This drawing shows the plan for a model of the present lot, illustrating two ideas for the understructure; a rectangular structure as well as a single beam structure. According to this plan, the rectangular structure evolved to a single beam structure. The present lot is made with the rectangular structure - before the change to the single beam support. Also of note are the sculpted legs which are not made of one piece of machine-bent sheet metal but of two symmetrical handcrafted elements welded together vertically. Therefore, it is possible that the present table is a unique and a forerunner to the structure of the "Granito" table, the structural change taking place in order to accommodate the heavy top.

  • Artist Biography

    Jean Prouvé

    French • 1901 - 1984

    Jean Prouvé believed in design as a vehicle for improvement. His manufactory Les Ateliers Jean Prouvé, located in Nancy, France, produced furniture for schools, factories and municipal projects, both within France and in locations as far flung as the Congo. Though he designed for the masses, pieces such as his "Potence" lamps and "Standard" chairs are among the most iconic fixtures in sophisticated, high-design interiors today. Collectors connect with his utilitarian, austere designs that strip materials down to the bare minimum without compromising on proportion or style.

    Prouvé grew up in Nancy, France, the son of Victor Prouvé, an artist and co-founder of the École de Nancy, and Marie Duhamel, a pianist. He apprenticed to master blacksmiths in Paris and opened a small wrought iron forge in Nancy. However it was sheet steel that ultimately captured Prouvé's imagination, and he ingeniously adapted it to furniture, lighting and even pre-fabricated houses, often collaborating with other design luminaries of the period, such as Robert Mallet-Stevens, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand.

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Important early dining table

ca. 1940
Painted hand-bent and welded steel, oak.
29 1/8 x 64 5/8 x 33 in. (74 x 164.1 x 83.8 cm)
Manufactured by les Ateliers Jean Prouvé, France.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Design / Design Art

14 Dec 2006, 2pm
New York