Jean-Michel Frank - Design Evening New York Thursday, December 13, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, acquired from the designer
    Thence by descent
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Literature

    Léopold Diego Sanchez, Jean-Michel Frank, Paris, 1980, p. 178
    Pierre-Emmanuel Martin-Vivier, Jean-Michel Frank: un décorateur dans le Paris des années 30, Paris, 2009, front cover
    Pierre-Emmanuel Martin-Vivier, Jean-Michel Frank: The Strange and Subtle Luxury of the Parisian Haute-Monde in the Art Deco Period, New York, 2012, pp. 40, 319

  • Catalogue Essay

    Terracotta was perhaps the most subversive in Jean-Michel Frank’s repertoire of provocative materials. Also known as red earthenware, terracotta is traditionally associated with building materials such as bricks and tiles, and, if used in decoration, the clay body is covered with a colorful glaze, as is the case with faience. However Frank introduced terracotta into his interiors in its raw, unglazed state, which created a startling effect in his highly refined interiors. Terracotta is also related to Frank’s collaborations with Alberto Giacometti, who favored the material in his sculptures and decorative objects in this period, which evoke archaeological relics. The “X” lamp was also made in metal and in wood, but the present terracotta version, which is extraordinarily rare in this material, is arguably the most powerful.

  • Artist Biography

    Jean-Michel Frank

    French • 1895 - 1941

    Working in Paris, New York and Argentina, Jean-Michel Frank designed subtle, exquisitely proportioned furniture and lighting for sophisticated interiors. His elite roster of patrons included the vicomte Charles de Noailles, the businessman and politician Nelson A. Rockefeller, the couturier Elsa Schiaparelli and the perfumer Guerlain, among many others. Against the backdrop of the interwar period, Frank designed calm, subdued interiors that offered refuge from the chaotic world. His furniture, which was often clad in vellum, bleached leather or shagreen, featured clean lines and served to complement the art collections of his clients, which included works by Picasso, Léger and Matisse.

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Property of a Private European Collector


Large "X" table lamp

circa 1928
Terracotta, leather, paper shade.
Height of terracotta base: 9 in. (23 cm)
Produced by Chanaux & Pelletier, Paris, France. Underside impressed J.M.FRANK/MADE IN FRANCE/CP. Together with a certificate of authenticity from the Comité Jean-Michel Frank.

$30,000 - 40,000 

Sold for $40,000

Contact Specialist
+1 212 940 1265

Design Evening

New York Auction 13 December 2018