Sotheby's Marc du Plantier, Private Collection 5/5/15 Paris
PARIS - Marc du Plantier is unquestionably one of the greatest designers of his time. His exceedingly high standards, combined with his commitment to using exclusively luxurious materials, contribute to why he remains so popular today.
Added to this is the mystery surrounding his atypical and previously little-known career, a desire for the absolute and an elitism that is rare in this business, keeping him on the side lines of fashion, above the trends and which, in his lifetime, contributed to him being misunderstood. Seeking to combine authentic antique simplicity with opulent decor, du Plantier strove to create spaces where the soul, poetry and art could flourish.
His intellectual friendships and the mystery of his exiles evoke rare luxury - the splendour of a now vanished world. All the pieces in this collection were acquired directly from Marc du Plantier by the current owners, or their parents, between the 1950s and the mid-1970s. Marc du Plantier and his wife became close friends with the family after the war. He conducted several large projects for them, including an apartment in Paris, a pied-à-terre in Cannes, a yacht and a weekend residence in the Île-de-France region. He also created pieces for his children, in which he combined his contemporary creations with items specifically designed for this project, such as the coral prism lamp. He also incorporated some pieces of furniture from his personal collection - both old items (a table/desk from his 1935 rue du Belvédère home in Boulogne,) and more recent pieces, such as the pair of gilt ironcandelabras.
At the end of the 1950s, these furnishings were reproduced to create dozens of handcrafted lamps and floor lamps, either as single pieces or in pairs. Du Plantier had not yet begun forging metal, nor positioning the semi-precious stones that he chose with his own hands. Using rose quartz, amethyst, white coral and sulfur crystals, du Plantier created an array of unique shapes – all designed to reflect the beauty of the gems, while staying true to quasi-geometric design. Using a stone as a starting point may seem obvious, but poetically speaking, du Plantier built a prism-like cage around a crystal. The light emphasizes its preciousness, and the austere beauty of nature can be seen within the geometric metal configuration. Following the same principle, he created a floor lamp by installing white coral in a vertical prism.