JEAN ROYÈRE | "FLAQUE" COFFEE TABLE
Property from a Distinguished Private Collection
"FLAQUE" COFFEE TABLE
gilt brass, black opaline glass, wood
11½ x 49¾ x 26½ in. (29.2 x 126.3 x 67.3 cm)
Overall in good condition. This particularly rare coffee table model by the French designer is stable and fully functional, and displays expected signs of age. As pictured in the catalogue photography, the gilt surface presents with surface scratches, scattered areas of light discoloration throughout, as well as very minor tarnishing and oxidation concentrated to the recessed areas of the perforated feet, all of which are consistent with age and gentle use. The original opaline tabletop presents with a bright and reflective surface with mesmerizing effect when seen in person, and presents with surface scratches throughout consistent with use. This lot provides a rare opportunity for collectors of mid-century design to acquire an iconic masterwork by the artist with superb sculptural presence.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Audap & Mirabaud, November 25, 2011, lot 210 bis
Acquired from the above by the present owner
"Sous les tropiques," Le Décor d’Aujourd’hui, October 1953, p. 124
Pierre Kjellberg, Le Mobilier du XXeme Siècle, Paris, 1994, p. 558
Jean Royère: décorateur à Paris, exh. cat., Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 1999, p. 161
Galerie Jacques Lacoste and Galerie Patrick Seguin, eds., Jean Royère: Volume 1, Paris, 2012, p. 240
Galerie Jacques Lacoste and Galerie Patrick Seguin, eds., Jean Royère: Volume 2, Paris, 2012, pp. 58 and 299
“As a decorator I am against decoration, in the sense that everything that is strictly decorative is what goes out of style the fastest. When you’ve got a well-designed piece of furniture, the form and volume live on,” said Jean Royère in a 1963 interview for the Revue de l’Ameublement magazine. Royère, a self-taught designer with international reach, achieved tremendous popularity in the mid-20th century for his avant-garde and playful approach to furniture design. Using bright colors, sinuous contours and noble materials, Royère contributed to defining our contemporary understanding of a creative and international mid-century style. His use of free forms especially was revolutionary in many regards, drawing inspiration from the curves of Art Nouveau architecture and the simplicity of contemporary Scandinavian design. An emblematic example of Royère’s free-spirited approach to his craft is the decoration of the apartment he occupied on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in the late 1940s. Immortalized in a photograph from 1947, the living room featured a “Boule” sofa coexisting with a variant of the “Flaque” low table with three perforated metal feet and an opaline glass top. Together, these two iconic works formed a central focal point in the room and participated in the creation of a particularly harmonious interior defined by wavy lines and gentle curves that embody the essence of the designer’s timeless style. The low table was first presented to the public at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs in 1949. A rapid commercial success, the table became one of Royère’s most iconic and influential designs, and a blueprint for future versions in different sizes, colors and materials. Four years later, he designed a variant of the model with undulating, gilt-iron feet and ball-shaped decorations; and in 1954, introduced a version in marquetry that he presented at the Salon des Arts Ménagers. The model is now particularly rare and highly prized amongst collectors of mid-century French design. Another version of the model is held in the permanent collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.