March 29 '11
Palais de Tokyo
Tomorrow, March 29 '11, the first day of the sale of Les Collections du Château de Gourdon begins at 7 pm at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. This day focuses on the chief 20th century works from this collection.
One finds many rare objects from notorious designers amongst the 78 lots offered in this portion of the three day sale.
One which stands out from the collection is Emile-Jacques Ruhlman's Chaise-longue 'aux skis' dite du 'Maharadjah' made in 1929 estimated at €2,000,000 - €3,000,000. Firstly Ruhlman has consistently graced the Top 10 designers of DeTnk's Top 100 in the past 6 years - collectors are always eager to add to their another Ruhlman to their collection.
Secondly this specific edition of the chaise lounge is the only recorded example made in wood.
this chaise longue is most likely from a suite in black Duco lacquer and chromed metal designed by Ruhlmann for a 'Studio-Chambre du prince héritier d'un vice-roi des Indes à la Cité universitaire', presented at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs in 1929 (cf. lot 14, the 'Tardieu' desk). Ruhlmann applied this same highly functional principle of chromed 'skis' to other pieces, notably a bar and a deep wing armchair. While the Maharaja of Indore did in fact commission a desk and chair and storage units to the exhibited design, he did not order a version of this chaise longue. A period photograph confirms the existence of a version in wood, but its whereabouts are unknown, making this the only recorded extant example.
Beyond the rarity of objects, Tuesday's sale also offers some of the best work from the period.
Philippe Garner, International Head of 20th Century Decorative Art & Design at Christie's explains in an interview:
The collection has its own logic; like a jigsaw puzzle image coming into focus. Perhaps the most remarkable work is the lacquer room created by Jean Dunand, Les Palmiers. It is one of the finest Art Deco rooms ever created. I can imagine that for a client or architect working on a new build this would make a spectacular centrepiece of stunning quality and breathtaking elegance.
Dunand's Les Palmiers is estimated at €2,000,000 - €3,000,000 .
Check back tomorrow for continued coverage of this sale.