Majorelle and Daum’s Delicate Blossoms

On 28 June 2021, by Anne Doridou-Heim

A joint Art Nouveau creation by Majorelle and Daum shone out in all its glory, while Art Deco revealed its sober lines and precious materials.

Louis Majorelle (1859-1926) and Daum, Nancy, living room lamp featuring a magnolia branch in flower, base in gilt bronze, flower and bud in slightly opalescent tinted glass, Art Nouveau period, h. 61 cm/24.01 in.
Result: €102,400

As the Musée des Arts Décoratifs is poised to open its completely redesigned Art Nouveau department on July 7, a floor lamp dreamed up by Louis Majorelle and Antonin Daum, working together in Nancy in c. 1902-1904, fetched €102,400. The gilt bronze shaft evokes a magnolia branch and blossoms, while the lime green-tinted glass lampshade simulates the flower and its bud. Art Nouveau’s emphasis on natural shapes is expressed here with great subtlety. The lamp demonstrates the ever-successful collaboration between the Nancy designer and the glass company, which exhibited for the first time at the 1903 Salon de l'Union des Arts Décoratifs. As Antonin Daum realized the need to vary its products and open up to other talents, this led to a whole series of highly naturalistic lamps.

The sale’s Art Deco section included an astonishing Eugene Printz commode in palm veneer with an oxidized brass base. It was pipped at the post by a desk (72 x 210 x 84.5 cm/28.3 x 82.7 x 33.3 in) produced by another key name of the time, Paul Dupré-Lafon (1900-1971). This fetched €147,200. The perfect alliance between functionalism and luxury, this upside-down U-shaped kneehole desk is veneered in Macassar ebony and partly covered with parchment and leather. Another desk (76 x 158 x 98 cm/29.9 x 62.2 x 38.6 in), this one by interior decorator Jean-René Prou (1917-1983), sold for €69,120. Prou made this one-off piece in black lacquered wood and travertine, with four cylindrical legs terminating in nickel-plated brass tips, in 1957 for a house in Neuilly.

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