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Prouve Direction

Jean Prouvé Compas Direction Desk in Natural Oak and Black Metal for Vitra
By Vitra, Jean Prouvé
Located in Glendale, CA
Jean Prouvé compas direction desk in natural oak and black metal for Vitra. Originally designed in 1953, Prouvé's iconic desk is based the design on the structural principles for whi...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Mid-Century Modern Desks and Writin...

Materials

Steel

Recent Sales

Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction
By Jean Prouvé
Located in Dronten, NL
Limited edition Fauteuil Direction designed by Jean Prouvé and made by Vitra in collaboration with G-Star. This wonderful chair is from the rare limited first edition, with the low ...
Category

2010s French Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Steel

  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction
  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction
  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction
  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction
H 32.68 in. W 25.6 in. D 23.63 in.
Vitra Fauteuil Direction by Jean Prouvé
By Vitra, Jean Prouvé
Located in Los Angeles, CA
wonderful compact armchairs Fauteuil Direction designed in 1951 by Jean Prouvé, produced by Vitra, in cognac colored twill on a black frame with solid oak armrests, floor models, lab...
Category

2010s Swiss Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Metal

  • Vitra Fauteuil Direction by Jean Prouvé
  • Vitra Fauteuil Direction by Jean Prouvé
  • Vitra Fauteuil Direction by Jean Prouvé
  • Vitra Fauteuil Direction by Jean Prouvé
H 32 in. W 25.5 in. L 32 in.
Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction Chair by Vitra
By Jean Prouvé, Vitra
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Chair designed by Jean Prouvé in 1951. Manufactured by Vitra, Switzerland. Fauteuil Direction is a comfortable armchair especially suited for dining room seating. Its design exem...
Category

2010s Swiss Mid-Century Modern Office Chairs and Desk Chairs

Materials

Steel

  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction Chair by Vitra
  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction Chair by Vitra
  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction Chair by Vitra
  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction Chair by Vitra
H 32.09 in. W 25.6 in. L 32.09 in.
Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction Pivotant Office Chair by Vitra
By Jean Prouvé, Vitra
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Chair designed by Jean Prouvé in 1951. Manufactured by Vitra, Switzerland. The swivel seat of Fauteuil Direction Pivotant is height adjustable, and the backward tilt mechanism ca...
Category

2010s Swiss Mid-Century Modern Office Chairs and Desk Chairs

Materials

Steel

Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction in White and Grey wool by Vitra
By Jean Prouvé, Vitra
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Iconic Fauteuil Direction designed by Jean Prouvé in 1951 and manufactured by Vitra in 2019. White powder-coated frame with cushions in dark en medium grey wool. Excellent new condit...
Category

Vintage 1950s German Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Steel

Jean Prouvé, Fauteuil Direction Pivotant 1951 Limited RAW Office Edit, Chair
By Vitra, Jean Prouvé
Located in Munster, NRW
The Dutch fashion manufacturer G-star RAW has the expression of its identity found in the designs of Jean Prouvé - technical objects, which are characterized by structural necessity,...
Category

Vintage 1950s German Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Steel

Jean Prouvé, Fauteuil Direction Pivotant 1951 Limited RAW Office Edit, Chair
By Vitra, Jean Prouvé
Located in Munster, NRW
The Dutch fashion manufacturer G-star RAW has the expression of its identity found in the designs of Jean Prouvé - technical objects, which are characterized by structural necessity,...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Steel

Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction 1951
Located in Dronten, NL
Limited edition dining/desk/conference chair made by Vitra in collaboration with G-Star. More available for a limited time.
Category

Vintage 1950s French Armchairs

  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction 1951
  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction 1951
  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction 1951
  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction 1951
H 35.44 in. W 25.6 in. D 25.6 in.
Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction, Japanese Red
By Jean Prouvé
Located in Dronten, NL
Fauteuil Direction designed by Jean Prouvé in 1951 and made by Vitra. The Fauteuil Direction is especially suited for dining room seating or as an armchair in home offices. The des...
Category

Vintage 1950s French Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Steel

  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction, Japanese Red
  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction, Japanese Red
  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction, Japanese Red
  • Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction, Japanese Red
H 35.44 in. W 25.6 in. D 25.6 in.
Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction Pivotant, G-Star Raw Edition by Vitra
By Jean Prouvé
Located in Dronten, NL
Limited edition desk chair from the G-Star raw edition made by Vitra. G-Star ordered these chairs for their new Headquarters in Amsterdam by the architect Rem Koolhaas. They where a...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary French Mid-Century Modern Office Chairs an...

Materials

Sheet Metal

Jean Prouvé Fauteuil Direction in White and Grey Wool by Vitra
By Vitra, Jean Prouvé
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Iconic Fauteuil Direction designed by Jean Prouvé in 1951 and manufactured by Vitra in 2019. White powder-coated frame with cushions in dark en medium grey wool. Excellent new condit...
Category

Vintage 1950s German Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Steel

Jean Prouvé, Fauteuil Direction Pivotant 1951 Limited RAW Office Edit, Chair
By Vitra, Jean Prouvé
Located in Munster, NRW
The Dutch fashion manufacturer G-Star RAW has the expression of its identity found in the designs of Jean Prouvé - technical objects, which are characterized by structural necessity,...
Category

Vintage 1950s German Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Steel

Jean Prouvé, Fauteuil Direction Pivotant 1951 Limited RAW Office Edit, Chair
By Vitra, Jean Prouvé
Located in Munster, NRW
The Dutch fashion manufacturer G-Star RAW has the expression of its identity found in the designs of Jean Prouvé - technical objects, which are characterized by structural necessity,...
Category

Vintage 1950s German Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Steel

Jean Prouvé, Fauteuil Direction Pivotant 1951 Limited RAW Office Edit, Chair
By Vitra
Located in Munster, NRW
The Dutch fashion manufacturer G-star RAW has the expression of its identity found in the designs of Jean Prouvé - technical objects, which are characterized by structural necessity,...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Modern Armchairs

Materials

Steel

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Prouve Direction For Sale on 1stDibs

With a vast inventory of beautiful furniture at 1stDibs, we’ve got just the prouve direction you’re looking for. A prouve direction — often made from metal, steel and fabric — can elevate any home. Find 7 options for an antique or vintage prouve direction now, or shop our selection of 5 modern versions for a more contemporary example of this long-cherished piece. You’ve searched high and low for the perfect prouve direction — we have versions that date back to the 20th Century alongside those produced as recently as the 21st Century are available. A prouve direction is a generally popular piece of furniture, but those created in Mid-Century Modern and Modern styles are sought with frequency. Jean Prouvé and Vitra each produced at least one beautiful prouve direction that is worth considering.

How Much is a Prouve Direction?

A prouve direction can differ in price owing to various characteristics — the average selling price 1stDibs is $3,562, while the lowest priced sells for $1,360 and the highest can go for as much as $5,131.

Jean Prouvé Biography and Important Works

Engineer and metalsmith, self-taught designer and architect, manufacturer and teacher, Jean Prouvé was a key force in the evolution of 20th-century French design, introducing a style that combined economy of means and stylistic chic. Along with his frequent client and collaborator Le Corbusier and others, Prouvé, using his practical skills and his understanding of industrial materials, steered French modernism onto a path that fostered principled, democratic approaches to architecture and design.

Prouvé was born in Nancy, a city with a deep association with the decorative arts. (It is home, for example, to the famed Daum crystal manufactory.) His father, Victor Prouvé, was a ceramist and a friend and co-worker of such stars of the Art Nouveau era as glass artist Émile Gallé and furniture maker Louis Majorelle. Jean Prouvé apprenticed to a blacksmith, studied engineering, and produced ironwork for such greats of French modernism as the architect Robert Mallet-Stevens. In 1931, he opened the firm Atelier Prouvé. There, he perfected techniques in folded metal that resulted in his Standard chair (1934) and other designs aimed at institutions such as schools and hospitals.

During World War II, Prouvé was a member of the French Resistance, and his first postwar efforts were devoted to designing metal pre-fab housing for those left homeless by the conflict. In the 1950s, Prouvé would unite with Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret (Le Corbusier’s cousin) on numerous design projects. In 1952, he and Perriand and artist Sonia Delaunay created pieces for the Cité Internationale Universitaire foundation in Paris, which included the colorful, segmented bookshelves that are likely Prouvé’s and Perriand’s best-known designs. The pair also collaborated on 1954’s Antony line of furniture, which again, like the works on 1stDibs, demonstrated a facility for combining material strength with lightness of form.

Prouvé spent his latter decades mostly as a teacher. His work has recently won new appreciation: in 2008 the hotelier Andre Balazs purchased at auction (hammer price: just under $5 million) the Maison Tropicale, a 1951 architectural prototype house that could be shipped flat-packed, and was meant for use by Air France employees in the Congo. Other current Prouvé collectors include Brad Pitt, Larry Gagosian, Martha Stewart and the fashion designer Marc Jacobs. The rediscovery of Jean Prouvé — given not only the aesthetic and practical power of his designs, but also the social conscience his work represents — marks one of the signal “good” aspects of collecting vintage 20th century design. An appreciation of Jean Prouvé is an appreciation of human decency.

A Close Look at Mid-Century Modern Furniture

Organically shaped, clean-lined and elegantly simple are three terms that well describe vintage mid-century modern American furniture. The style, which emerged primarily in the years following World War II, is characterized by pieces that were conceived and made in an energetic, optimistic spirit by creators who believed that good design was an essential part of good living.

Postwar American architects and designers were animated by new ideas and new technology. The lean, functionalist “International Style” architecture of Le Corbusier and Bauhaus eminences such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius had been promoted in the United States during the ’30s by Philip Johnson and others. New building techniques, such as “post-and-beam” construction, allowed the International-style schemes to be realized on a small scale, in open-plan houses with long walls of glass.

Materials developed for wartime use became available for domestic goods and were incorporated into mid-century modern furniture designs. Charles and Ray Eames and Eero Saarinen, who had experimented extensively with molded plywood, eagerly embraced fiberglass for, respectively, pieces such as the La Chaise and the Womb chair. George Nelson and his design team created Bubble lamp shades using a new translucent polymer skin. Harry Bertoia and Isamu Noguchi devised chairs and tables built of wire mesh and wire struts. Materials were re-purposed: the Danish-born designer Jens Risom created a line of chairs that used surplus parachute straps for webbed seats and backrests. The Risom lounge chair was among the first pieces of furniture commissioned and produced by legendary manufacturer Knoll, a chief influence in the rise of modern design in the United States thanks to the work of Florence Knoll, the pioneering architect and designer who made the firm a leader in its field.

As the demand for casual, uncluttered furnishings grew, more mid-century designers caught the spirit.

Classically-oriented creators such as Edward Wormley, house designer for Dunbar Inc., offered such pieces as the sinuous Listen to Me chaise; the British expatriate T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings switched gears, creating items such as the tiered, biomorphic Mesa table. There were Young Turks such as Paul McCobb — who designed holistic groups of sleek, blonde-wood furniture — and Milo Baughman, who espoused a West Coast aesthetic in lushly upholstered chairs and sofas with angular steel frames.

As the collection of vintage mid-century modern chairs, dressers, coffee tables and other furniture on 1stDibs demonstrates, this period saw one of the most delightful and dramatic flowerings of creativity in design history.

Finding the Right seating for You

With entire areas of our homes reserved for “sitting rooms,” the value of quality antique and vintage seating cannot be overstated.

Fortunately, the design of side chairs, armchairs and other lounge furniture — since what were, quite literally, the early perches of our ancestors — has evolved considerably.

Among the earliest standard seating furniture were stools. Egyptian stools, for example, designed for one person with no seat back, were x-shaped and typically folded to be tucked away. These rudimentary chairs informed the design of Greek and Roman stools, all of which were a long way from Sori Yanagi's Butterfly stool or Alvar Aalto's Stool 60. In the 18th century and earlier, seats with backs and armrests were largely reserved for high nobility.

The seating of today is more inclusive but the style and placement of chairs can still make a statement. Antique desk chairs and armchairs designed in the style of Louis XV, which eventually included painted furniture and were often made of rare woods, feature prominently curved legs as well as Chinese themes and varied ornaments. Much like the thrones of fairy tales and the regency, elegant lounges crafted in the Louis XV style convey wealth and prestige. In the kitchen, the dining chair placed at the head of the table is typically reserved for the head of the household or a revered guest.

Of course, with luxurious vintage or antique furnishings, every chair can seem like the best seat in the house. Whether your preference is stretching out on a plush sofa, such as the Serpentine, designed by Vladimir Kagan, or cozying up in a vintage wingback chair, there is likely to be a comfy classic or contemporary gem for you on 1stDibs.

With respect to the latest obsessions in design, cane seating has been cropping up everywhere, from sleek armchairs to lounge chairs, while bouclé fabric, a staple of modern furniture design, can be seen in mid-century modern, Scandinavian modern and Hollywood Regency furniture styles.

Admirers of the sophisticated craftsmanship and dark woods frequently associated with mid-century modern seating can find timeless furnishings in our expansive collection of lounge chairs, dining chairs and other items — whether they’re vintage editions or alluring official reproductions of iconic designs from the likes of Hans Wegner or from Charles and Ray Eames. Shop our inventory of Egg chairs, designed in 1958 by Arne Jacobsen, the Florence Knoll lounge chair and more.

No matter your style, the collection of antique, new and vintage seating on 1stDibs is surely worthy of a standing ovation.