Jean Royère - Design New York Tuesday, December 17, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Madame Lebon
    Galerie Jacques Lacoste and Galerie Patrick Seguin, Paris
    Private collection, New York
    Phillips de Pury & Company, New York, "Design Masters," December 13, 2011, lot 24
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Literature

    Mobilier et Décoration, no. 4, May 1961, p. 27 for a drawing
    Pierre-Emmanuel Martin-Vivier, Jean Royère, Paris, 2002, illustrated p. 258
    Galerie Jacques Lacoste and Galerie Patrick Seguin, Jean Royère, Volume 1, Paris, 2012, illustrated p. 119
    Galerie Jacques Lacoste and Galerie Patrick Seguin, Jean Royère, Volume 2, Paris, 2012, illustrated p. 74

  • Catalogue Essay

    Taking the Œuf chair as a point of departure, Jean Royère created a range of related Œuf furniture that included the present lot as well as a sofa, a tabouret, a bed, bedside tables, and a coiffeuse. In each example a soft upholstered shell envelops the inner structure, in this case, a chest of six drawers. Royère designed the Œuf chair in 1954 and it became a regular fixture in his interiors. The other Œuf furniture, however, is much less ubiquitous, documented in only a few places. The November 1958 issue of Mobilier et Décoration illustrated the bedroom suite, noting the “voluptuous rotundity” of the armchairs and bed and the “energetic contrast” of the two-toned upholstery.

  • Artist Biography

    Jean Royère

    French • 1902 - 1981

    Jean Royère took on the mantle of the great artistes décorateurs of 1940s France and ran with it into the second half of the twentieth century. Often perceived as outside of the modernist trajectory ascribed to twentieth-century design, Royère was nonetheless informed by and enormously influential to his peers. Having opened a store in Paris in 1943 before the war had ended, he was one of the first to promote a new way of life through interior decoration, and his lively approach found an international audience early on in his career.

    In addition to commissions in Europe and South America, Royère had a strong business in the Middle East where he famously designed homes for the Shah of Iran, King Farouk of Egypt and King Hussein of Jordan. The surrealist humor and artist's thoughtful restraint that he brought to his furniture designs continue to draw admiration to this day.

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Property from an Important Private Collection


Rare “Œuf” chest of drawers

circa 1956
Ash, ash-veneered wood, fabric, brass.
37 7/8 x 59 3/4 x 20 in. (96.2 x 151.8 x 50.8 cm)

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $187,500

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New York Auction 17 December 2019