Private Collection of Lillian Nassau, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2003
Louis Majorelle, a leading member of the École de Nancy and proponent of the Art Nouveau style, forged an important collaboration in the early 1890s with Daum glassworks to produce lighting fixtures after botanical motifs. This commercial venture, which ultimately spanned the course of three decades, resulted in some of the most spectacular and iconic expressions of the Art Nouveau style. The inspiration for Majorelle's lamps designs came from numerous indigenous plants. The bases, composed of bronze or wrought-iron, were naturalistically sculpted in the form of slender stems or branches to support a variety of floriform glass shades. Electric wires were conspicuously concealed within the hollow-cast bases to avoid any interruption with the naturalistic designs.
An illustration in the firm's sales catalogue promotes electric table lamps fitted with different floriform glass shades supplied by Daum, including a water lily, dandelion, pitcher plant and magnolia. Majorelle exhibited these lamps as both individual statements alongside furniture at the salons, and as integral elements within room ensembles unified by botanical themes. The "magnolia" lamp presently offered is today celebrated as one of the top icons of the Art Nouveau movement and one of Majorelle's most successful lighting designs. The impressive model was designed for the Exposition de l'École de Nancy in 1903, and appears in numerous interiors featured in the firm's sales catalogues.
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