As a decorator I’m against decoration, in the sense that everything that is strictly “decorative” is what goes out of style the fastest. When you’ve got a well designed piece of furniture, the form and volume live on; but in most cases the stuff that’s added on is doomed to oblivion.

Jean Royère

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.

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