Jean Royère France, 1902-1981

  • Jean Royère, “Horace” Illuminated Room Divider with Plant Holders, c. 1948
    Jean Royère
    “Horace” Illuminated Room Divider with Plant Holders, c. 1948
    Painted tubular metal, painted metal and painted wood
    280 by 70 by 25 cm (110¼ by 27½ by 9⅞ in.)
    Jean Royère, “Horace” Illuminated Room Divider with Plant Holders, c. 1948
  • Jean Royère, Cache-radiateur “Tour Eiffel”, c. 1950s
    Jean Royère
    Cache-radiateur “Tour Eiffel”, c. 1950s
    Wrought iron patinated frame with brass fixations and a marble top
    87 by 100 by 28 cm (34¼ by 39⅜ by 11⅛ in.)

Jean Royère (b. 1902, Paris, France; d. 1981, Pennsylvania) was a French designer known for his playful, whimsical furniture creations. In 1931, with no formal education in design, Royère left the import-export trade to become an apprentice at Faubourg Saint-Antoine, a cabinetmaking workshop in Paris. After only a few years in the industry, Royère won a competition to design the Brasserie Carlton on the Champs-Élysées, which catapulted the designer’s career. It was through this competition that Royère was discovered by the established French furniture designer Pierre Gouffé, who hired Royère to create and run the contemporary line for his workshop. In the following years, Royère exhibited his groundbreaking designs at several major shows including the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Décorateurs. Royère quickly expanded his design work to include an international audience; the designer operated several showrooms in Middle Eastern and South American cities including Beirut, Tehran, Lima and São Paulo. There, Royère worked on several large-scale projects for royalty and government officials. Royère utilized uncommon materials for his designs such as metal tubing, Bakelite (the first plastic made from synthetic components), raffia, rattan, ponyskin, and zebrawood. While his style was largely decorative in the beginning, the designer developed a minimalist aesthetic in the later stages of his career. Royère produced his biomorphic and sleek designs on a small scale, making his work both rare and highly prized within the market of interior design. His work has been collected by such notable figures as Jennifer Anniston and Kanye West and is held in important museums including the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.