Monday, December 10, 2012

Chareau and his Furniture

Chareau's furniture can be distinguished from the work of his contemporaries because it was always executed from unusual combinations of materials, such as rich mahogany, unpolished metal, and lightly hammered surfaces. Parallel to the design and executions in material for La Maison de Verre, his furniture designs emphasized three main traits: honesty of materials, variable transparency of forms and juxtaposition of "industrial" materials and fixtures with a more traditional style of home decor. The sculptural designs were as unusual as the materials employed: pivoting or expanded fan-shaped configurations were among the hallmark of his designs. 

Fan-style table with three tabletops,
 one with a fixed top, the two others swivelling

Alabastar table lamp

His chair designs of the early 1920s show a preference for undecorated ample rounded forms, executed in highly polished woods - mahogany, walnut, oak, ash or maple - with rich upholstery.

Desk chair designed for the 1925 Expo, 
made in mahogany or mahogany tinted 
rosewood and reupholstered with leather
Walnut chair and macassar ebony inlay, 
leather upholstered seat

With the later of his works in metal frames for public commissions such as bars, hotels and clubs. 

Black metal frame chair with
 leather upholstered seat

Stool with base on block feet legs 
in macassar ebony, rosewood, 
mahogany, sycamore or walnut

His designs for chairs, stools, tables and cupboards in wood and metal received much praise from contemporary publications for their functional approach and combination of elegance and technical ingenuity. 

Interesting fact: The majority of vintage Pierre Chareau furniture items sell for very high prices at auctions, however, Chareau's walnut and wrought iron "L" desks are considered to be the most rare and valuable among collectors.

Wrought iron L desk



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