Gazette Drouot logo print

Paul Dupré-Lafon, a Discreet But Coveted Decorator

Published on , by Andrew Ayers
Auction on 24 May 2024 - 14:00 (CEST) - Salle 1-7 - Hôtel Drouot - 75009

Unseen on the market since 1987, and kept out of sight in a Neuilly collection, a rare set of furniture by the "decorator/ensemblier" is set to go up for auction.

Paul Dupré-Lafon (1900-1971), quarter-circle desk in black relacquered wood, fawn... Paul Dupré-Lafon, a Discreet But Coveted Decorator

Paul Dupré-Lafon (1900-1971), quarter-circle desk in black relacquered wood, fawn leather, mahogany veneer and renickelled metal, opening with three drawers, niches on the visitor's side, a drawer in the waistband and two trap doors with sliding shutters, one with removable pencil holder, c. 1930, 79 x 137 x 73 cm/ 2.59 x 4.49 x 2.39 ft.
Estimate: €50,000/80,000

If there's one word that defines him, it's "discretion". A relative discretion, however, that in no way rhymes with modesty. For even if the decorator/ensemblier (designer-decorator) Paul Dupré-Lafon—born in 1900, died in 1971—was and remains highly selective, his creations are so masterfully crafted that even the smallest of his objects is imbued with an immediately recognizable monumentality and scale. The son of Edmond Dupré, descendant of a line of industrialists and merchants, and his wife Valentine Lafon, the young Paul grew up in Marseille, where he was educated by the Jesuits, before studying at the city's Ecole des Beaux-Arts in the aftermath of the Great War. In 1923, he moved to Paris, where he quickly became active, thanks in part to his fellow student at the school, the painter Georges Willameur, who introduced him to his first clients. From then on, Paul Dupré-Lafon worked for a very select circle of wealthy but reserved clients, for whom he acted as a sort of mirror. The muted luxury of his furniture and interiors is stripped of the slightest embellishment, allowing the quality of their craftsmanship and materials to shine through. As for…
This article is for subscribers only
You still have 85% left to read.
To discover more, Subscribe
Gazette Drouot logo
Already a subscriber?
Log in
Friday 24 May 2024 - 14:00 (CEST) - Live
Salle 1-7 - Hôtel Drouot - 75009 Paris