A rendering by Jean Royère of the Projet pour la salle de cinéma privée pour le Shah, late 1950s, illustrating circular motif

Patronage and Design

The circular motifs cut out along the wooden edge of the bar and the adjoining shelf are evocative of designs Royère illustrated in the late 1950s for room ensembles.

Jean Royère, the interior decorator of Paris’ elite in the postwar period, approached design with a focus on luxe materials, richly hued colors, and an inventive formal language of elegance and whimsy. This bar, designed in 1955 displays an attention to texture and proportion through its metal and wood construction, ornamented simply with circular perforations that complement the precise, reductionist triangular construction supporting the bar top. The design combines curvilinear and geometric elements in a sophisticated way, modernizing the traditional bar construction seen in other Parisian interiors of the period. The circular motifs cut out along the wooden edge of the bar and the adjoining shelf are evocative of designs Royère illustrated in the late 1950s for room ensembles, notably an illustrated project for a private cinema for the Shah (Projet pour la salle de cinéma privée pour le Shah), illustrated in the collection of the Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, 1956-1958, which includes an architectural divider with a similar circular perforated design.

This bar originally belonged to the French educator Gaston Louis Eugène Dutilleul, who commissioned Royère to design furnishings for his numerous personal and professional establishments in the 1950s. Dutilleul was inspired by Royère’s highly modern and innovative approach to interior design, and was impressed by the designer’s gallery when it first opened in the Rue de Dutilleul and Faubourg Saint-Honoré in 1949. The modernist International Style facade of the gallery signaled a new postwar movement excited by the exploration ofnew modern interiors, and re-envisioning the modern interior as a space of aesthetic experience and pleasure. This idea was further embodied in the gallery’s furnishings, which highlighted the luxury and beauty of essential form by eschewing historical ornamentation for inventive, often playful forms executed in the highest quality of craftsmanship. Dutilleul and Royère established a professional relationship designing for Dutilleul’s commissions, and they fostered a long term friendship.

Dutilleul and Royère established a professional relationship designing for Dutilleul’s commissions, and they fostered a long term friendship.

Dutilleul commissioned Royère to design a vast number of objects for his residences and the townhouse that would become his school in the 1950s. Many of Dutilleul’s residences housed some of Royère’s most famous furnishing including the Ours Polaire armchairs and sofa Trèfle chairs, a Flaque coffee table, as well as numerous examples of Royère’s finest lighting designs such as his Hérisson and Serpentine wall lamps.

Dutilleul is undoubtedly an important patron of Royère’s work, and their professional relationship shows that while the designer was primarily producing commissioned couture furnishings, these high-style pieces were also present within spaces other than the luxurious private interior, such as Dutilleul’s school for underprivileged children.

Jean Royère 1902–1981

At the age of twenty-nine, Jean Royère left his comfortable position as a banker with a law degree to pursue his long-held passion for design. He immersed himself in the every aspect of the trade, studying cabinet making in the workshops of the Faubourg Saint Antoine in Paris and making furniture for family and friends in his spare time. In 1934 he took on his first important commission designing a new layout for the Brasserie Carlton on the Champs Elysée and he exhibited at the famed Salon d’Automne. In 1937, Royère exhibited his designs at the Société des Artistes Décorateurs officially launching his career as designer and he opened his own firm in 1943. Favoring strong lines and organic forms, Royère designed each piece of furniture to contribute to the overall interior, but his use of rich materials and luxurious forms made for designs that could also stand alone. His lush creations were favored by a variety of high profile clients across Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. His agency in Cairo, opened in 1946, attracted wealthy and powerful patrons including King Farouk, King Hussein of Jordan and the Shah of Iran. While the aftershock of the war caused many consumers to desire an old-world aesthetic, Royère stayed true to his modern sensibilities and he continued to design works to suit elegant interiors. His long and celebrated career was marked with a major show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in 1999, eighteen years after his death in 1981.

Auction Results Jean Royère

JEAN ROYÈRE, Rare floor lamp | Wright20.com

Jean Royère

Rare floor lamp
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $191,000

JEAN ROYÈRE, Custom bar for Gaston Dutilleul, Paris | Wright20.com

Jean Royère

Custom bar for Gaston Dutilleul, Paris
estimate: $100,000–150,000
result: $100,000

JEAN ROYÈRE, Bouquet sconces, pair | Wright20.com

Jean Royère

Bouquet sconces, pair
estimate: $80,000–100,000
result: $100,000

JEAN ROYÈRE, chair from l'Exposition Internationale of 1937 | Wright20.com

Jean Royère

chair from l'Exposition Internationale of 1937
estimate: $70,000–90,000
result: $96,000

JEAN ROYÈRE, chairs, set of four | Wright20.com

Jean Royère

chairs, set of four
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $75,000

JEAN ROYÈRE, Oeuf Grande lounge chair | Wright20.com

Jean Royère

Oeuf Grande lounge chair
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $68,500

JEAN ROYÈRE, cabinet from the Majdalini Residence, Lebanon | Wright20.com

Jean Royère

cabinet from the Majdalini Residence, Lebanon
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $67,300

JEAN ROYERE, mirror | Wright20.com

Jean Royere

mirror
estimate: $40,000–50,000
result: $66,000

JEAN ROYERE, Ski floor lamp | Wright20.com

Jean Royere

Ski floor lamp
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $48,000

JEAN ROYÈRE, Créneaux nesting tables, set of three | Wright20.com

Jean Royère

Créneaux nesting tables, set of three
estimate: $40,000–60,000
result: $47,500

JEAN ROYÈRE, Guitare coffee table | Wright20.com

Jean Royère

Guitare coffee table
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $43,750

JEAN ROYERE, Tour Eiffel stools, pair | Wright20.com

Jean Royere

Tour Eiffel stools, pair
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $43,200

JEAN ROYERE, Ski floor lamp | Wright20.com

Jean Royere

Ski floor lamp
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $38,400

JEAN ROYERE, coffee table | Wright20.com

Jean Royere

coffee table
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $38,400

JEAN ROYÈRE, dining chairs, set of eight | Wright20.com

Jean Royère

dining chairs, set of eight
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $37,500

JEAN ROYÈRE, lounge chairs, pair | Wright20.com

Jean Royère

lounge chairs, pair
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $35,560

JEAN ROYERE, candelabrum | Wright20.com

Jean Royere

candelabrum
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $34,800

JEAN ROYERE, firedog | Wright20.com

Jean Royere

firedog
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $34,220

JEAN ROYÈRE, cabinet | Wright20.com

Jean Royère

cabinet
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $32,500

JEAN ROYÈRE, Herbier queen-size bed | Wright20.com

Jean Royère

Herbier queen-size bed
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $30,000

JEAN ROYÈRE, ATTRIBUTION, sconces, pair | Wright20.com

Jean Royère, attribution

sconces, pair
estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $27,500

JEAN ROYÈRE, console from the Majdalini Residence, Lebanon | Wright20.com

Jean Royère

console from the Majdalini Residence, Lebanon
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $27,500

JEAN ROYÈRE, Yo-Yo stools | Wright20.com

Jean Royère

Yo-Yo stools
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $27,500

JEAN ROYERE, Sculpture dining table | Wright20.com

Jean Royere

Sculpture dining table
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $26,400