Art Déco furniture

Picture source: Maurice Dufrene by Alastair Duncan

Jean Badovici once said in reference to Eileen Gray:

"Eileen Gray understood that furniture must be created with geometry and symbols.

Nothing is more repulsive to the mind than the constant and obsessive idea of direct ornamental imitation, whether borrowed from fauna or flora.

This clouds our minds instead of calming them, and tires our senses".

(From: Jean Badovici " L'art d'Eileen Gray".)

Furniture Art Déco

If taste and style are based on social consensus and have significance for their time, then this is also true for the "arts déco": they are not infrequently outstanding, downright inspired and demonstrably continuing to have an effect - but just as often they are not a hand's breadth behind the vanity, sophistication and neuroses of their day. 


In any case, they are interesting as a tangible testimony of an epoch that has left us something significant, from technology to morals.


And if, as they say, a single shard of clay can tell us something about an entire lost culture, how much can a chrome Allegro Negro Cocktail Shaker tell us about just two decades? 


The great furniture designers of Art Déco

Picture source: Maurice Dufrene by Alastair Duncan


Each furniture era lived on the great ebenists and masters of their craft.


Art Déco produced many great names that are extremely important today - if you can attribute furniture to these artists, the value increases much.


 Jean- Jaques Adnet


(*1901), French painter, sculptor and furniture designer.

Member of the Paris "Salon d'Automne". 

Typical for Adnet are his distinctive forms influenced by Cubism.




Marcel Breuer


(b. 1902), German architect of Hungarian descent.


Breuer worked at the Bauhaus until 1928.


His tubular steel furniture ( especially the S-shaped chair "Cantilever" were trend-setting and are still partly in production today.



Pierre Chareau


( 1883-1950), French architect and one of the pioneers of modern architecture in France, who also became known for his austere furniture designs. 

Chareau was a founding member of the " Union des Artistes Modernes" in 1930.



Michel Dufet


(*1888), French cabinetmaker of elegant furniture made of precious materials. Dufet published from 1919 together with Edmont Moussié the magazine 

"Feuillets d'Art".



Maurice Dufrêne


(1876-1955), French designer,who worked in a wide variety of fields: textiles,glass,jewelry,furniture,etc.

Dufrêne founded in 1921 the department

"La Mâtrice" of the Parisian department store "Galeries Lafayette".

The success of this institution caused a rapid popularization of the "Style Moderne" ( around 1925).



Jean Dunand


(1877-1942), French artistic blacksmith and lacquer artist.

Dunand became known for his one-piece metal vessels and their surface treatment, but then especially for his lacquer works made according to Eastern methods.

His large Parisian studio also worked on behalf of other designers.



Paul Follot


(1877-1941), French interior designer, known for his highly ornamental furniture designs.

Follot headed the "Atelier Ponome" from 1923,

a department of the Paris department store "Au Bon Marché" and thus significantly influenced the taste of the time.



René Herbst


(*1891),French architect and the first designer of tubular steel furniture in France.

In 1930, Herbst was a founding member of the 

"Union des Artistes Modernes".