The sculptor fell into oblivion after the success of Les Artisans de Marolles in the 1950s-1960s. This spring, a book and two exhibitions in Paris will bring him back to life—and provide an opportunity to see how his prices have trended.
Les Artisans de Marolles et du Loir-et-Cher, under the artistic direction of Jean Touret (1916-2004), c. 1960, light oak rectangular enfilade, wrought iron handles, stamped "Marolles" twice with the elephant, 98.5 x 199.5 x 50 cm/38.78 x 78.54 x 19.68 cm. Tours, November 20, 2021. Hôtel des ventes Giraudeau OVV.
Result: €29 760
No man is a prophet in his own country. Jean Touret was resoundingly successful in the immediate postwar decades but, caring little about fame, fell into relative oblivion, along with his singular furniture—until recently. After seven years of work and research, two Parisian galleries will host exhibitions this spring, while the é ditions de l'Amateur is about to publish a monograph on his career, a major first. “He had fallen off the art world’s radar screen, and a reference book was needed,” says antique dealer Victor Gastou, who helped engineer the rediscovery with François Touret, one of the designer’s seven children. The Call of the Wild Touret was born in Mayenne in 1916, a time when France was still mostly rural. He grew up in a religious, somewhat austere family, with the countryside and nature always within reach. Touret took evening painting classes with the director of the Le Mans School of Applied Arts. But two bereavements brutally marked his young life. First, his father died prematurely. A few years later, war broke out. His brother Pierre was killed at Dunkirk. Jean was taken prisoner and sent to Germany as part of the forced labor of the Compulsory Work Service. But this difficult period far from home was an eye-opener. On the border with Czechoslovakia, he worked hard as a lumberjack and met rough…
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