JEAN DUNAND | VASE
1877 - 1942
Lacquered metal, coquille d'œuf
Signed in red lacquer JEAN DUNAND
Height: 7⅞ in.; 20.3 cm
Diameter: 4⅞ in.; 12.1 cm
Overall in very good condition. This piece displays superb eggshell decorations paired with a rich, black lacquer surface. The lacquer presents with some minor and expected signs of gentle handling and age consistent with the natural evolution of the medium. One central area of the main body with very minor crackling to the lacquer in an area measuring approximately 2 inches long, only visible upon close inspection. The eggshell pieces retain their original brightness and complex structure and present with rich and textural tones that range from white and off-white to burnt sienna as pictured in the catalogue photography. The underside of the vase presents with three areas of adhesive residue that can be removed at the client’s discretion. This piece has been inspected under blacklight and shows no apparent evidence of prior restoration.
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.
Adler Picart Tajan, Paris, June 15, 1981, lot 182
Collection of Jacques Mostini, Paris
Private Collection, New York, 1984
Christie's New York, June 20, 2018, lot 1
Félix Marcilhac, Jean Dunand: His Life and Works, London, 1991, p. 308, no. 1020 (for the present lot illustrated)
In addition to the lacquered metal technique that he perfected towards the end of the 1910s, another important technical device attributed to Jean Dunand is his signature use of crushed eggshell as a decorative element, a technique that he introduced and perfected in the early 1920s. The technique consisted of the use of eggshells that were washed and whose inner membranes were removed, after which they were delicately crushed and the fragments sorted according to size. Each particle was then applied to the fresh lacquer using tweezers. Coquille d’oeuf was often combined with lacquered metal, resulting in highly textured pieces with rich geometric presence, producing dramatic contrast against the dark lacquered surface. The instant commercial success of Dunand’s eggshell works prompted the artist to maintain a chicken coop in his workshop’s courtyard to meet the increasing demand. Some of the most striking eggshell works produced by Dunand in the mid-1920s are represented in this tremendous ensemble of unique pieces ranging from a low table (lot 5) to lacquered metal vases (lots 21-25) and a rare lacquered ceramic vase (lot 34). The following vases display bold and abstract motifs created with the minutious precision of an artist at the height of his abilities. This curated selection supports the artist’s reputation as one of the greatest decorative artists of his generation, providing collectors with a rare opportunity to acquire some of the craftsman’s most extraordinary eggshell vases.