Raphaël - Design New York Tuesday, June 9, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Barry Friedman Ltd., New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1997

  • Literature

    Guy Bloch-Champfort, Raphaël: décorateur, Paris, 2002, p. 59

  • Catalogue Essay

    Raphaël Raffel, best known as Raphaël, was born in Paris in 1912. Much like some of his contemporaries André Arbus, Jacques Adnet and Jules Leleu, Raphaël found inspiration in the décor of the eighteenth century. In the 1940s, his work became synonymous with the status of the “ensembliers-décorateurs,” or a true designer of an interior space in its totality. In this way, Raphaël was not only a creator of singular items of furniture, but he controlled the decoration of walls, the lighting, and every other element on display within an interior space. By the 1950s Raphaël was well-established as a collaborator with other French designers. In 1952, his work was shown alongside designs by Georges Jouve in the Salon des Arts Ménagers, and in the same year he and André Arbus were given the joint task of decorating a portion of the grand ocean liner, Le Bretagne. Beyond this Raphaël also became known in his own right for elegant combinations of lacquer, distinctive coloring, glasswork and gilt bronze. His use of refined materials and impeccable execution recall the Louis XVI period. The present sideboard epitomizes this sense of elegance through the use of “laque de Béka,” a technique that was created as an imitation of the lacquer work of China and Japan, and which reproduces the unique colors that were specific to only this type of lacquer. The present lot beautifully pairs a black lacquer with a cloudy green lacquer above polished bronze legs. The development of the laque de Béka technique, in combination with the designer’s shift to a post-war style that echoed the popular forms of contemporary Italian furniture, marks the emergence of the distinctive style for which Raphaël became renowned.




circa 1954
Lacquered wood, bronze, steel.
37 x 98 3/8 x 19 5/8 in. (94 x 249.9 x 49.8 cm)

$30,000 - 50,000 

Sold for $62,500

Contact Specialist
Meaghan Roddy
Head of Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1266


New York Auction 9 June 2015 2pm