Glass Settee Prototype by René Coulon (1908-1997) for Saint-Gobain


Glass Settee by René Coulon (1908-1997) for Saint-Gobain at an important upcoming auction of Christie’s in Paris.

Tempered glass settee, with blue cloth upholstery and walnut frame, by René Coulon (1908-1997) for the Saint-Gobain glassworks, conceived for the Exposition Internationale, 1937, signed with the designer’s patent stamps.

Estimate €50,000 – €70,000 ($70,367 – $98,514)

About René Coulon

René Coulon (Coulon & Cie), was an architect and glass furniture designer during the height of the Arte Deco period in Paris, France. The last International Fair before World War II was the 1937 International Arts and technics fair in Paris. Pavillon Saint-Gobain was designed by René Coulon.

The term ‘Art Deco’ only came to general use in the 1960s, but it refers back to the Great Exhibition of Arts Decoratifs held in Paris in 1925 which presented to the world a dazzling new style that was to be the successor of Art Nouveau, the style of modernism, of the jazz age, ocean liners, cinemas and of sky scrapers.

The Art Deco movement – with its emphasis on up-to-date individuality combined with good taste, fine materials and exquisite workmanship – became all the rage in France.
Other countries including the USA, Britain and Germany produced their own often equally successful versions of the style. In furniture especially, the French predominated: the world had not seen such creative design for 125 years. On the one hand, the virtuoso cabinet-making of Ruhlmann and Primavera, on the other the brilliant originality of Gray and Jean Royere.

The Art Deco period of the 1920s and 1930s saw a clear partnership develop between architects, designers and craftsmen in the production of decorative schemes for the interior of the new Modernist and Art Deco-style buildings and apartments. Interior design employed furniture manufacturers, metal workers, ceramic factories and the textile industry to produce individual items which, when placed together, would create an overall coherent scheme for a room or building.

Retailers such as Boucheron, Chaumet, Coulon & Cie and Le Maison Aucoc in Paris who retained their own private workshops, supplied royal households as well as the nouveau riche of the day.

René Coulon designed the Saint-Gobain Pavillion at the Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne.

Displaying arts from the Art Deco period, the landmark Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (Art and Technology in Modern Life) opened May 25, 1937, after 8 years of turbulent preparation. It was the last world exhibition to take place in Paris before World War II. The Coulon Pavillion of 1937 was historic.

In 2006, the Musee d’Orsay staged a major exhibition of the history of Saint Gobain (Compagnie des Glaces founded in 1665 by the Jean-Baptiste Colbert, a visionary French politician, Controller-General of Finance under Louis XIV). In the d’Orsay’s publicity they wrote: The wealth of the Company’s archives enable the display to include a surprising variety of objects: watercolours, drawings, mirrors, blocks of glass… images of Versailles, the extraordinary “glass house” and the stunning Coulhon (Coulon) pavillion of 1937. The Pavillon Saint-Gobain was sponsored by Saint-Gobain, the only survivor of a group of private manufacturers founded in 1665, today a multi-billion dollar company.

Furniture designed by René Coulon for Saint-Gobain occasionally comes up for auction.
Tajan, Paris. June 12, 2007, lot 75 RENE COULON (1908-1997) & Saint-Gobain.

Est 120,000 / 150,000 Euros.

Sold for € 196 418

Via Vered Art Gallery (website discontinued)

So I’m curious whether end March 2011 will see results coming back to pre financial crises levels….

Last edited by Guido J. van den Elshout on November 16, 2011 at 11:09 AM

One thought on “Glass Settee Prototype by René Coulon (1908-1997) for Saint-Gobain”

  1. That was a great post. I always see the pieces but never knew anything about the René Coulon. I think there is also lots of contemporary that I now know were based on his work. tu!

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