Louis Majorelle early Art Deco cabinet (#1387)

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Majorelle 1923 Cabinet 1.jpg
Majorelle 1923 Cabinet 2.jpg
Majorelle 1923 Cabinet 3.jpg
Majorelle 1923 Cabinet 4.jpg
Majorelle 1923 Cabinet 5.jpg
Majorelle 1923 Cabinet Doc.jpg
Majorelle 1923 Cabinet 6.jpg
sc0001e586.jpg

Louis Majorelle early Art Deco cabinet (#1387)

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Early Classic French Art Deco cabinet by Louis Majorelle. Executed in purpleheart, ebony, crotch mahogany, and bronze. Marquetry in exotic hardwoods and silvered metal, abalone and mother-of-pearl. 81" long x 20" deep x 53.5" high. Exhibited in 1923. Also exhibited 1926 in the Majorelle retrospective following the designer's death that year. Minor restoration needed but overall in very good original condition. Documented. See photos.

The drawers are lined with chamois and some are outfitted with dividers as it was originally a silver cabinet. Please note that the marquetry in each corner of the front (around the drawers) is different. This cabinet is a masterpiece and is likely from the last great suite of furniture produced by Majorelle in this style.

LOUIS MAJORELLE

(1859-1926)

Originally, the young Louis Majorelle planned to become an artist. He studied painting in Nancy and at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, under Jean Millet. However, upon the death of his father, in 1879,  he left Paris to return to Nancy to oversee the family furniture factory and pottery production. 

In the late 1880s, he began to design “modern” furniture, quite a departure from the historical classicism that the Majorelle firm had previously issued. By mechanizing his factory he produced quantitites of highly decorated commercial furniture and more elaborate pieces using expensive materials such as mahogany, burled walnut, and ormolu. The firm’s catalog included a wide range of furniture models in both historical and Art Nouveau styles. Influenced by the glass and furniture of his fellow Nancy artist, Emile Galle, Majorelle was inspired to take his furniture production in a new direction. He became the most dynamic practitioner of the School of Nancy - his Art Nouveau furniture was designed from nature – plant stems, foliage, tendrils, dragonflies, tree roots – and often decorated with beautiful marquetry in exotic woods. He became known for his “unconventional” furniture and designed pianos, desks, armchairs, dining and bedroom suites and, when he later added a metalworking capability to his workshop, wrought iron banisters, iron mounts, lighting, and ormolu.

Majorelle exhibited exquisite pieces of furniture at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris and in 1901 he became vice-president of trhe Ecole de Nancy.  Majorelle’s studios were heavily damaged during the bombings in World War I and much historical information was lost. After World War I Majorelle moved into the early Art Deco idiom with more severe forms and restricted ornamentation. He died in 1926 and a retrospective of his pioneering works were organized. The firm continued into the mid 1930s, managed by Alfred Levy, its artistic and technical director.