Our obsession with all things art deco here at Canonbury Antiques is very well known – and perhaps our preferred artist working out of that epoch has to be Max Le Verrier (1891 to 1973). More than any other artist, Le Verrier perhaps defined the 1920s and era with his creations of the idealised female in figural form. Le Verrier studied hard at the Ecole des Beau-Arts in Geneva where he also met the famous art deco artists Pierre Le Faguays and Marcel Bouraine who he worked with during his life.
After studying and then serving in the Ist World War Le Verrier returned to Paris and founded his own studio. He exhibited at the 1925 Paris L’Exposition des Arts Decoratives et Industriels – from where the term art deco got its name. He actually got a gold medal at the Exposition for one of his works and he carried on defining the 1920s with his works. Other artists who used his foundry at the time include Bouraine, Denis, Charles and Janle.
Perhaps Le Verrier’s most famous work is the era defining Clarte (also sometimes referred to as the Biba Girl). Clarte is just the classic art deco lamp, the lithe semi nude female stands with her arms outstretched and holds aloft the light bulb. It’s such a classica and enduring piece, much copied throughout the ages. There are various sizes to this piece, anything from 8 inches tall to lifesize versions are available. Love this Biba girl statue, one of my favourite works of the period.
(Above – if there’s a more era defining statue than Le Verrier’s Clarte then I’ve yet to see it)
The Le Verrier foundry continued to cast amazing art deco bronzes throughout the era. You can see the original foundry mark on the original works which will be stamped ‘Le Verrier Paris’. Le Verrier also worked under various other pseudonyms including Guerbe, Fayral and Faguays. A lot of the original works will have the green bronze patina which only improves with age. They are enduring design classics that only increase in value with time and are hence highly sought after and collectable.
Some of Le Verrier’s classic works include ‘Espagna A L’Eventail’ which is such a gorgeous lamp, showing an athletic nymph like lady with the red fan from behind which the light emits making it a great table lamp. ‘Amazone au Javelot’ is also another gorgeous piece depicting a classic Amazonian women with her javellin. Le Verrier was definitely successful in capturing the form and beauty of the ideal 1920s woman. His ‘Nausica’ is another classic work which also functions as a table lamp, again classic female form beauty in symmetrical form.
We have a whole range of other art deco bronzes, including works by Chiparus, Preiss, Bruno Zach, Bouraine and other classic art deco sculpturists. Many are on display in our Canonbury Antiques Hertfordshire showroom conveniently located just 20 minutes north of London right where the A1 meets the M25. Please come and pay us a visit or let us know what you’re looking for.