Jean Prouvé, Georges Guyot, Piero Fornasetti… at auction on March 15, 2023

PARIS – Our March 15 auction highlights the design of the second half of the 20th century.

We are starting the sale with an ensemble of works by Jean Prouvé, including several “Standard or Metropole” chairs with folded steel structures, “All Wood” chairs, an amphitheater bench and a bench-bed originally designed for boarding schools or university campuses. Prouvé, who was first and foremost an architect, placed a particular emphasis on building himself his furniture and all the details of their structure. For this reason, he is a major figure in the history of French design in the 1950s. His furniture meet the minimalist needs of the restricted interiors of the post-war period. His methodical mind is obvious in their structure and in the use of the designer’s favourite techniques of balance and simplicity. Thus he proposed a new way of thinking about furniture in France during the reconstruction period.

At the opposite end of the array, there is the fanciful design of the Italian peninsula. A large mirror by Piero Fornasetti, a pair of lamps by Fontana Arte or a floor lamp by Pietro Chiesa made of glass and mirror reflect the Italian designers’ taste for baroque and dramatic creations.

A collection of ceramics from the 1950s and 1960s, which warmly enliven interiors, completes our sale. There are pieces by Mado Jolain created for the garden, earthenware coffee tables by Gilbert Valentin or the Cloutier brothers, and stoneware vases by Scandinavian designer Curt-Magnus Addin.

Finally, we offer a selection of contemporary furniture, designed by young creators, to give bold collectors the desire to discover tomorrow’s designers.

Georges Guyot was born in Paris at the end of the 19th century, at a time when the revival of animal sculpture was in full swing.

He began his apprenticeship with a woodcarver and soon turned to the observation of animals, which he saw in the Jardin des Plantes. He was particularly fascinated by wild animals, which he first drew and painted in order to capture the intensity of their expression. These sketches allowed him to retranscribe the plasticity of the animals on wax models, before casting the metal.

This can be seen in the bronze sculpture presented here, where the feline raising its head is strikingly natural. The strength of its musculature can be seen on the neck and the top of the front leg. The flank is emaciated, drawing the bony arch and the alert tail. All these details give movement and realism.

After the First World War, Guyot moved to Picasso’s former studio at the Bateau-Lavoir, a mecca for modern art in the first half of the 20th century. He remained there until the fire of 1970, which destroyed part of his moulds. He died two years later.

Recognition came rather late, despite exhibitions at Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann’s or large state commissions, such as the one he executed for the 1937 International Exhibition, with the creation of the monumental group “Horses and Dog” in gilded bronze, adorning a fountain in the Trocadero basins.

His work symbolises the French tradition of animal bronze, of which he is a major player in Art Deco.

The “Panther raising its head” is one of the most powerful and majestic sculptures in his repertoire.



Discover in preview some items in our sale:




20th Century Decorative Arts and Design
Wednesday 15 March 2023 at 3 pm
Tajan, 37 rue des Mathurins 75008 Paris



Marie-Cécile Michel
Director of the Decorative Arts & Design Department
T. +33 1 53 30 30 58
[email protected]



Press and Communication Department
Ariane de Miramon
T. +33 1 53 30 30 68
37, rue des Mathurins, 75008 Paris
[email protected]