Duchess of Alba Art Deco collection to auction

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2015-06-26 10:55:16

Duchess of Alba Art Deco collection to auction

The furniture collection of the Duchess of Alba, comprising numerous stunning Art Deco designs by Armand Albert Rateau, will go up for auction at Christie’s Paris on May 23.

Rateau designed the pieces specifically for the Duchess’ lavish private apartments in Madrid, commissioned by her husband Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart y Falco between 1920 and 1921.

They became some of the most famous and celebrated creations of the designer, and were one of three commissions that launched his career after he became independent.

Around the same time, Rateau was commissioned to create bronze pieces for the Blumenthal swimming pool in New York, and was asked to manage the interior of renowned fashion design Jeanne Lanvin’s Paris apartment and Le Vesinet houses.

The House of Alba is an important Castilian high nobility family, their origins dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries. The furniture has not left the Madrid Liria Palace since it was first placed there.

Armand Albert Rateau’s designs combine early 1900s hedonism with Classical styles. His friends and influences included jewellery designer Cartier, and Egyptologist Howard Carter.

The items to be presented at Christie’s include a pair of aux oiseaux floor lamps, a low table with black marble top, a dressing table, an aux cols de cygnet gilt carved wood sofa, a carved and gilt wood adjustable day bed with carved drapery pattern and bronze tassels, and a white Carrara marble bathtub.

 

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