Gardens

Designer Spotlight: Louis Marjorelle

Louis-Jean-Sylvestre Majorelle, known professionally as Louis Majorelle, was a decorator and furniture designer born September 26, 1859 in Toul, France. He designed and manufactured his own designs in the French tradition of ébéniste (traditional French cabinetry). He was (and remains) one of the most prominent Art Nouveau style furniture designers, and formally served as one of the vice-presidents of the École de Nancy, a museum devoted to the Art Nouveau style.

Louis’ father, Auguste Majorelle, was also a furniture designer and manufacturer. He moved his family from Toul to Nancy when Louis was a boy. Louis completed his initial studies in Nancy before moving to Paris in 1877 to work for two years at the École des Beaux-Arts. When his father passed away, Louis returned to Nancy to take over the family’s manufactories of furniture and faience (a type of glazed pottery). Louis decided to introduce new elements to the family business and began to inlay stems of plants, water lilies, tendrils, and dragonflies into his work. He then added a metalworking atelier to the factory, to produce drawer pulls and mounts that would complement his work.

In 1898, Louis hired architect Henri Sauvage, to build his home, Villa Jika, in Nancy. Louis located his house across the street from his factory on a plot of land gifted to him by his mother-in-law, Madame Kretz. The home was a three-story villa with multiple bow windows, and floral motifs crawling across the outside walls. Louis built his own studio on the third floor with an arched window cobbled together with spandrels that look like the branch of a tree.

In 1914, with the outbreak of World War I, Majorelle continued to build despite his growing financial concerns regarding the war. In an event unrelated to the war, his factory caught fire on November 20, 1916 and burned to the ground. The fire (spurred on by the raw lumber, unfinished furniture, and varnish cans) burned all of his sketches, awards, equipment, molds and archives that documented the fifty-year business’s history.

Louis passed away in 1926. His family, who lost most of the fortune during the war, could no longer afford to live in Villa Jika. The house, its furniture, and the outlying property were sold off and his factories closed in 1931.

Today, the Villa has been acquired by the city of Nancy, which is working to restore the house with a long-term renovation project.

AntiquitiesWeb carries a prized selection of Louis Majorelle pieces. The furniture survived wars, fires, and stands as a symbol of timeless grace, elegance, and craftsmanship. Our Louis Majorelle pieces include:

dressing-table-1

French Art Deco Dressing Table exotic walnut and cherry wood with an oval center mirror, and a small drawer above a cabinet door on both sides of mirror. France circa 1930. Stamped Majorelle Nancy. Part of bedroom suite with Bed & Night Stand FD95, Armoire FD95-1. Circa 1930.

chairs

A pair of walnut arm chairs by Louis Majorelle. Circa 1900.

bed

French Art Deco Bedroom Suite in exotic walnut and cherry wood includes: 1 bed frame with headboard, footboard and 2 wood rails. 1 night stand with 1 drawer above a cabinet 1 armoire with 5 center drawers and 2 side doors with interior shelves. Stamped Majorelle Nancy. France circa 1930. There is also a separate but matching dressing table FD176.

table-and-chairs

French Art Deco table, zebrawood; 6 chairs with original brown leather upholstery. Table signed Majorelle Nancy. Circa 1930.

bedroom-suite-louis-majorelle-2

French Art Deco suite, Macassar ebony and walnut. Armoire with 3 large doors that open to interior shelves, center door is mirrored. Night stand with single drawer, two small cabinet doors and black marble top.Rounded top headboard and footboard with matching side rails. Each piece with maker’s mark “Majorelle Nancy”. Circa 1930.

vitrine-by-louis-majorelle-1

French Art Deco Vitrine by Majorelle – Macassar ebony. Center glass door with floral fabric lined interior. 3 doors with exterior floral marquetry and interior shelves. Manufacturer stamped “Majorelle Nancy”. France circa 1930.

armoire-1-2

French Art Deco Armoire exotic walnut and cherry wood, 5 center drawers and 2 large side doors with interior shelves. Stamped Majorelle Nancy. France circa 1930. Part of suite with Bed & Night Stand FD95, Dressing Table FD176.

night-stand

A single night stand with 1 drawer above cabinet. Stamped “Majorelle Nancy”. Part of bedroom suite FD95. Circa 1930.

table-by-louis-majorelle-1

French Art Nouveau walnut serving table w/removable glass tray; all sides open out as extensions totable. Engraved Majorelle signature. Circa 1930.

If you need to refresh your entire home or add just one special piece, contact AntiquitiesWeb. Our selection of top quality antiques are unique, original, and timelessly beautiful. Whether you are looking for a beautiful serving table or a unique cabinet, AntiquitiesWeb has the piece for you. To see these pieces and more call us at 212-644-4236, contact us, or visit our New York gallery.

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