Eye On Design: Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann and Jean Dunand Chinoise Dressing Table

chinoise dressing table phot by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

The Art Deco movement of the 1920s left an indelible mark on the world of design, epitomizing the perfect balance between modernity and timeless aesthetics. This Chinoise Dressing Table (1927) is a collaborative masterpiece from the partnership of  Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann (one of the most important figures in the Art Deco movement.) and Jean Dunand (the most important lacquer artist of the Art Deco period)  which stands as a testament to their exceptional talent. Recently auctioned at Sotheby’s in New York City, this extraordinary Chinoise Dressing Table shines as a treasured reminder of an opulent past.

Exquisite Craftsmanship: Every detail of the table reflects the meticulous craftsmanship for which Ruhlmann and Dunand were celebrated. Constructed from red-lacquered wood, this piece emanates warmth and elegance, creating an inviting presence in any room. The lacquer technique, a true art form mastered by Dunand, showcases a lustrous and flawlessly smooth surface that feels luxurious to the touch.

chinoise dressing table at angle photo by gail worley

Artistic Fusion: The fusion of Eastern and Western influences is a defining characteristic of the art deco movement, and the Chinoise Dressing Table exemplifies this aesthetic amalgamation. The designers expertly blend elements of traditional Chinese design with the streamlined and geometric motifs typical of art deco. The result is a harmonious union of cultures, evoking a sense of exotic allure and refined sophistication.

Silvered Bronze Accents: Adding a touch of understated contrast to the vibrant red lacquer, the silvered-bronze accents adorning the table (drawer pulls, key plate, mirror frame and table leg caps)  elevate its allure,  complementing the table’s rich color palette, and underscoring its status as a true objet d’art.

Functional Simplicity: While the Chinoise Dressing Table showcases undeniable artistic flair, it remains inherently practical. The three drawers at the front offer ample storage space for one’s essentials, with a key-lock securing the central drawer for added security. This thoughtful design ensures that the table not only captivates the eye but also provides a functional and organized space for personal grooming and indulgence.

chinoise dressing table with reflection photo by gail worley

Captivating Reflection: A centerpiece of the table is its round, suspended vanity mirror. The circular shape of the mirror echoes the table’s overall design and creates a captivating focal point. Framed by the lustrous red lacquer and embellished with delicate silvered bronze accents, this mirror exudes elegance and grants a timeless appeal. Its reflective surface offers a glimpse into a world of glamour and charm, capturing the essence of the Art Deco era.

The Chinoise Dressing Table by Ruhlmann and Dunand is an extraordinary testament to the creativity and artistry of the art deco movement.  As it graced the auction stage at Sotheby’s, its legacy continues to thrive, enchanting collectors and admirers alike. This masterpiece serves as a timeless reminder of the enduring allure of art deco design and the genius of its remarkable creators.

Photographed in Sotheby’s Auction House in Manhattan.

One thought on “Eye On Design: Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann and Jean Dunand Chinoise Dressing Table”

  1. The Chinoise Dressing Table showcased in your article is truly a remarkable piece of art deco design!

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