Jean Prouvé - Design Masters New York Monday, December 10, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Camion Family, Limoges, France

  • Literature

    Peter Sulzer, Jean Prouvé: Œuvre Complète, Volume 3: 1944–1954, Basel, 2005, pp. 154-55, nos. 1134.3,1-2 including technical drawings
    Galerie Patrick Seguin, Jean Prouvé, Vol. 2, Paris, 2007, pp. 234, 254–59

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1947, Les Ateliers Jean Prouvé revisited their wartime research into the construction of new wood or metal knockdown chair. Because of a continuing shortage of metal or, perhaps, the rapid
    expansion of the private home market, the initial emphasis was on a wooden model that gradually replaced the ‘tout bois’ chair. The arrival of a “do-it-yourself chair” was announced by Jean Prouvé during the Meubles de France competition in 1947. The CB 22 demountable wooden chair comprises two solid wood lateral bases held together by two braces—threaded shanks inside metal tubes—bolted on the outside. One early version was quite complicated to assemble, especially in respect of the mortise and tenon attachment of the molded plywood back and seat to the frame. The definitive model was simpler, and stresses the knockdown character of the chair with metal washers at the assembly points. The front washerswere in some cases extended along the leg by a plate. The back and seat were initially fixed to the frame with screws, then with tapped studs. The tubes protecting the braces are of steel or aluminum. The CB 22 chair, then the chair No 301, symbolically shown disassembled on the cover of the Ateliers Jean Prouvé furniture catalog in 1951, was manufactured until 1953.

  • 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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Rare demountable chair, model no. CB22

Oak, oak-laminated plywood, tubular aluminum, brass.
31 1/2 x 15 3/4 x 18 1/2 in (80 x 40 x 47 cm)
Manufactured by Les Ateliers Jean Prouvé, France.

$25,000 - 45,000 

Sold for $56,250

Design Masters

11 December 2012
New York