No two of Jean Royère’s creations look alike—quite a feat given the designer’s prolific output in every genre, including the Liane lamp.
Jean Royère (1902-1981), Liane wall lamp with five branches, c. 1960, metal with a golden patina, 231 x 178 x 14 cm (90.94 x 70.07 x 5.54 in).
The wishes or requirements of whoever commissioned this lamp around 1960 are unknown. In any case, it has been kept in the Paris area by his family. The undulating vines and the color of the patina are the designer’s trademarks, although they are more seldom seen with a golden patina, black being a more common color.
The son of a senior civil servant, Jean Royère studied law in Paris and Cambridge before, at age 29, giving in to his calling as a designer, which he had kept a secret until then. in the 1930s, in addition to metal lamps Royère started designing furniture with simple, functional shapes and in economical materials for mass production (housing projects, schools, etc.) as well as in rare, precious materials for wealthy clients (Boutros-Ghali, Henri Salvador, etc.) and official commissions (universal exhibitions, embassies in the Middle East, etc.). He was soon deemed one of the most creative, innovative designers of his time. His pieces often feature startling colors, lattice, herring-bone and ball motifs and organic and plant-based shapes—the Éléphanteau and Œuf armchairs, Trèfle table, Champignon lamp, Ours polaire sofa—which critics dubbed "fairground baroque". Beneath a deceptively simple appearance, they are all witty, elegant and sophisticated. An example is the Liane lamp from the early 1950s, which, like a climbing plant, goes beyond its function.