1877 - 1942
Offered together with the original key and a later ébène de Macassar stand
Signed in black lacquer JEAN DUNAND
5¾ x 16⅝ x 9⅜ in.; 14.6 x 42.1 x 23.8 cm
Overall in very good condition. When viewed in person, the coffret displays strong decorative elements and a juxtaposition of rich and textural lacquered surfaces. Offered with its original key, which is pictured in the catalogue photography, this piece is a superb example of a collaboration between Jean Dunand and Paul Jouve, who designed the panther motif. The coffret is fully functional and opens and closes easily. The lacquer presents with some occasional very light scattered scratches and very minor scattered dark spots concentrated to the lid. The upper edges of the lid with crackling and minor losses to the lacquered surface along the edges, the longest area of concentrated loss measuring approximately 3 inches long. One small area on one lower edge of the coffret with loss to the lacquered surface measuring approximately 1/4 inch long. The coffret is presented with a later ébène de Macassar stand which serves as a very elegant presentation piece for the coffret. The stand presents with rich hues and contrast to the wood figuring, perfectly complementing the coffret. The veneered surfaces presents with scratches, crackling to the veneer, occasional and very minor scattered losses and areas of abrasion throughout, allconsistent with age and gentle use. The upper rail on the stand with two small restorations to the veneer each measuring approximately 1/2 x 1/4 inch. One corner presents with a minor crease to the wood measuring approximately 5 1/2 inches long. An exemplary work by Dunand showing the artist’s mastery in the lacquer technique and treatment of complex visual motifs.
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.
Collection of Félix Marcilhac, Paris
Private Collection, New York
Sotheby’s Monaco, October 8, 1977, lot 84
Collection of Marsha Miro, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Christie's New York, December 9, 2014, lot 538
Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 1922
Félix Marcilhac, Jean Dunand: His Life and Works, London, 1991, p. 107, no. 99; p. 268, no. 605
Throughout his prolific career, Jean Dunand maintained close professional relationships with many of his contemporaries, such as Jean Goulden, Jean Lambert-Rucki and Gustave Miklos. He also collaborated with furniture designers on the creation of specially-commissioned decorative panels in lacquered wood and metal for such established figures as Eugène Printz and Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, attesting to his strong reputation as an artist in his own right. The present lot, an extraordinary coffret in lacquered wood incorporating rich layers of gold, silver and red lacquer, was created in partnership with the painter and sculptor Paul Jouve, one of Dunand’s closest friends and collaborators. Jouve, an animalier best known for his dramatic and expressive depictions of exotic animals informed by his travels to Western Asia and the Far East (see lot 15), designed the superb panther featured on the cover of the coffret. Jouve and Dunand exhibited together for over a decade at the Galerie Georges Petit in Paris, which exulted their creative collaboration and resulted in the creation of what are now perceived as some of the most iconic pieces of decorative arts from the 1920s. Such pieces include decorative panels and monumental screens, where Jouve’s majestic big cats were prominently placed against deep black backgrounds. The present lot displays Dunand’s magnificent use of bright red lacquer, which provides a striking background for the stunning animal. The panther’s skin, adorned with intricate abstract motifs, shimmers in black, gold and silver lacquer. A later base made with highly textural ébène de Macassar complements the coffret, further elevating its powerful visual presentation as a work of art.