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A fine pair of patinated iron and leather side tables designed by Jean-Michel Frank.Commissioned by the Berardi family from Comte, Buenos Aires, circa 1940.By descent to A. Daniel BerardiPublished M.A. Teitelbaum 'The Stylemakers', Philip Wilson Publishing, 2010 page 236With a certificate of authenticity from the Comité Jean-Michel Frank.Argentina
These tables form part of an important sub-set of furniture that the French designer Jean-Michel Frank (1895-1941) first envisioned in the mid 1920's, and produced through Chanaux et Cie in France, and Comte in Argentina, for the following 15 or so years.
Frank created the first of tables for Nancy Cunard's seventeenth-century apartment on the Ile Saint Louis in Paris in 1923, and at around the same time similar pieces for the Vicomte and Vicomtesse de Noailles at the Hotel Bischoffsheim on the Place des Etats-Unis. These included the iconic matching chairs to these tables which share the same tapering patinated iron legs and pale brown leather.
Of all Frank's designs this series of severely beautiful, minimalist, neo-classically inspired furniture are his most avant-garde creations. A direct contrast to the larger scale pieces, often in unusual and expensive materials, such as he would continue to create through his career, these are Frank's most profound celebration of the Louis XVI style.
Created for some of the wealthiest patrons of the day both Cunard and the de Noailles families, amongst notable others, rejected the opulence of their inherited collections and instead worked with Frank to edit their surroundings to the bare minimum of decoration. The purity of these pieces and the historical tradition of their design appealed to both the intellectual rigour of these highly knowledgeable collectors, and also to the prevailing modernist aesthetic.
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