PAUL DUPRÉ-LAFON | PAIR OF CHESTS OF DRAWERS
PAIR OF CHESTS OF DRAWERS
limed oak, parchment, lacquered and painted wood, gilt bronze
36 x 45¼ x 14½ in. (91.4 x 114.9 x 36.8 cm) each
Overall in good condition. A superb example of Paul Dupré-Lafon’s elegant style, these two cabinets combine luxurious materials which together form a highly sophisticated design. The limed oak surface presents with occasional surface scratches concentrated to the top of each cabinet as well as minor surface checks consistent with age and the natural evolution of the material. The corners and side edges present with scattered abrasions to the wood consistent with age and gentle use. The parchment doors present with light surface scratches, scattered stains and some light darkening to the surface throughout as pictured in the catalogue photography. The lacquered metal elements with minor indentations as well as areas of loss to the lacquer surface concentrated to the side edges, which are consistent with gentle use and not visually distracting. The gilt bronze handles and feet with minor oxidation, partial loss to gilding surface and light corrosion throughout consistent with age. An important and fully functional pair of cabinets by the French designer.
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.
Aguttes, Neuilly-sur-Seine, October 6, 2010, lot 65
Ensembles Mobiliers: Volume VI, Paris, 1945, pl. 47 (for a related writing desk model)
Thierry Couvrat-Desvergnes, Paul Dupré-Lafon: Décorateur des Millionaires, Paris, 1990, pp. 128-129 (for a related sideboard model)
Trained as an architect at the École des Beaux Arts in Marseille, Paul Dupré-Lafon (1900-1971) is best known for the ambitious and luxurious residential interiors that he conceived throughout the 1930s for prominent Parisian clients. Dupré-Lafon worked on private commissions for which he created entire interiors from start to finish, and in which each object played a key role in the room for which it was originally intended. His designs maintained a consistency of function paired with a simple elegance from juxtaposed materials, including the finest leathers from Hermès, crisp limed oaks and industrial hardware. As critic Bernard Champigneulle stated in 1929, Dupré-Lafon’s designs “satisfy both the spirit and sense of comfort while maintaining perfect elegance.”
The present two chests are statement-making pieces that embody the essence of his style, namely linearity, purity of form, harmonious proportions and the use of luxurious materials. The door handles that simultaneously serve as door locks are a playful device that epitomize the designer’s concern for elegant functionality. Many of his finest furniture pieces rely on a similar uncluttered construction and superior craftsmanship. While the commission history for these works is unknown, it is reasonable to believe they were created as part of a specific interior scheme. The notion of contextual design, a key concept in Dupré-Lafon’s work, is perfectly illustrated in Marc Jacobs’ downstairs living room where the cabinets were placed against an elegant limed oak wall matching their outer cases.