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Sotheby's Paris to offer masterpieces of 20th century decorative arts from the collection of Félix Marcilhac
Jean Dunand and Jean Goulden, A unique black and polychrome lacquered cabinet, with bird's-eye maple interior by Jean Dunand and Jean Goulden, 1921. Signed by both artists. ©Art Digital Studio.

PARIS.- Sotheby’s, in association with Artcurial, will offer for sale the Private Collection of the great dealer, expert, art historian and Art Nouveau/Art Deco pioneer Félix Marcilhac on 11/12 March 2014. The sale will be held at Sotheby’s Paris and conducted respectively by Sotheby’s auctioneers and François Tajan.

Félix Marcilhac has enjoyed an exceptional career. He counts among the world's top dealers in the field of 20th Century Decorative Arts and, having devoted much of his activity to writing and research, stands out for his academic background and art historian's approach. His monographs have contributed to the rediscovery of many artists.

His instinctive approach to works of art, and the artistic sensitivity with which he built up his private collection, are equally exceptional. This unique ensemble, assembled over forty years, features a series of Art Deco masterpieces not seen in public for decades. Félix Marcilhac has lived amongst these objects on a day-to-day basis, with his collection accessible only to family and close friends. The provenance of many items is highly prestigious, including such illustrious names as Jacques Doucet, Marie-Laure de Noailles, Elsa Schiaparelli, Jeanne Lanvin, and Paul Cocteau. Other previous owners, such as Jacques André, may now be less familiar to us but were important figures in their own era.

The collection runs to over 300 lots, with a host of differing creative techniques represented: Glass by Emile Gallé, Maurice Marinot, François Decorchemont and Henri Navarre; Ceramics by Dalpayrat and Henri Simmen; Sculpture by artists from Eastern Europe like Josef Csaky, Gustav Miklos and Ossip Zadkine… Alongside Orientalist works by Jacques Majorelle and François-Louis Schmied, can be found luxurious rock crystal; Jean Dunand's taste for warm-toned lacquer; Jean-Michel Frank's use of shagreen to underline purity of form; the Modernism of a Pierre Legrain console and designs by Pierre Chareau; the Cubist aesthetic of a Marcel
Coard armchair and many sculptures; the modernity of Jean Goulden, the freshness of Jean Lambert-Rucki and, time and again, the Human Figure in all its glory. These
multifaceted juxtapositions lend the collection the status of a Work of Art in its own
right, pieced together with passion and character.

The catalogue of this exceptional sale will be accompanied by an art book by Jean- Louis Gaillemin (published by Editions Le Passage) charting Félix Marcilhac's career and taste, and containing interviews with Monsieur Marcilhac and key figures from the worlds of fashion and decoration who count among his friends and clients.

Félix Marcilhac, Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, enjoys a worldwide reputation for his expertise in the fields of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. His passion for 20th century Decorative Arts began when he bought a sculpture by Gustave Miklos in Paris in
1967. Two years later he opened his gallery at 8 rue Bonaparte in Paris (now run by his son, Félix-Félix Marcilhac). Félix Marcilhac helped launch the René Lalique Museum in Suwa, Japan, and has officiated as Expert for countless important auctions – organizing the sales of a number of high-profile private collections,
including those of Karl Lagerfeld in 1975, Marcel Tessier (devoted to Art Nouveau) in 1978, Madeleine Vionnet in 1985 and Nouran Manoukian in 1993. His clients have included Hélène Rochas, Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint-Laurent, Pierre Bergé, Andy Warhol, Catherine Deneuve and Alain Delon along with prominent French public figures.

Félix Marcilhac has also written a host of authoritative reference works on inter-war painters, sculptors and architect-decorators, including René Lalique, Edouard Sandoz, Chana Orloff, Joseph Csaky, Gustave Miklos, Jean Dunand, Paul Jouve, Jacques Majorelle, André Groult and the design firm Dominique. This Autumn sees the publication of his catalogue raisonné of the celebrated glass-maker Maurice Marinot.

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