Skip to content

Gabriel Argy-Rousseau Pâte de Verre "Papyrus" 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 "Papyrus" nightlight is adorned with a frieze of papyrus motifs featuring amethyst and lapis leaves intertwined with vibrant orange blooms, drawing inspiration from the scenes of ancient Egypt, where noble families hunted birds amidst the papyrus thicket, and laborers harvested and processed papyrus for both paper and skiff construction.

Add to Wishlist

  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: YEL-21248
Artist: Gabriel Argy-Rousseau
Country: France
Circa: 1924
Dimensions: 7" height, 3.75" diameter.
Materials: Pâte de verre, translucent glass, Wrought Iron
Signed: G. Argy-Rousseau
Literature: Similar item pictured in, G. Argy-Rousseau: Glassware as Art, by Janine Bloch-Dermant, page 199 (bottom row plate 24.28).

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 Combining historical references and florals epitomized the modernity of Art Deco design, pushing pastiche ornament into the realm of geometric abstraction.