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Gabriel Argy-Rousseau Pâte de Verre "Feuillage Moderne" Night Light

Argy-Rousseau's near-unique ability to gracefully soften the starkness of Art Deco design without ever sacrificing the strength of the design is on full display in this remarkable, petite masterpiece. The design of the night light was influenced by the intricate buds and fruit of the European plane tree during the winter season. In winter, the leaves transform into protective scales, safeguarding the buds for the approaching spring. The spiky fruit of the plane tree became a well-liked motif in the Art Nouveau movement, with both Lalique and Philipe Wolfers featuring them in their jewelry designs. These plane trees are a common sight along French city streets, and no autumn is truly complete without the satisfying crunch of the plane tree's fruit underfoot.

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  • Curator's Notes

Item #: YEL-21258
Artist: Gabriel Argy-Rousseau
Country: France
Circa: 1925
Dimensions: 6.575" height.
Materials: Pâte de verre, translucent glass, Wrought Iron
Signed: "G. Argy Rousseau" and "FRANCE"
Literature: Janine Bloch-Dermant, G. Argy-Rousseau, Catalogue Raisonné, London 1990, no. 25.04

The shape of this nightlight was based on Egyptian head cones, perfumed cones of beeswax originally believed to slowly melt and perfume the hair of elite Egyptian women. Argy Rousseau was fascinated with ancient Egyptian aesthetics and the history of perfume. Early in his career, Argy Rousseau designed perfume bottles for Maison Franck. Additionally, he marketed many of his night lights as perfume-burning night lights. Combining historical references and florals epitomized the modernity of Art Deco design, pushing pastiche ornament into the realm of geometric abstraction.