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André Sornay

French, 1902-2000

Although he is among the least known of the like-minded French Art Deco furniture designers of his era, André Sornay introduced innovative fabrication techniques and a unique decorative style to his modernist seating, case pieces and other creations.

Sornay was born in Lyon in 1902, and graduated from École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Lyon in 1918. His career as a furniture designer began in 1919 when he was appointed head of his family’s furniture company after his father’s death. 

In the early 1920s — inspired by the Bauhaus and De Stijl as well as his friends and fellow French avant-garde designers Francis Jourdain and Pierre Chareau — Sornay shifted the company’s focus from manufacturing period reproductions to creating contemporary designs.

Sornay’s work fused tradition with modernism. He preferred to work with metals, exotic woods such as mahogany and rosewood, rubber and Duco lacquer for a range of cabinets, desks, chairs and mirrors. Sornay’s pieces featured sleek brass drawer pulls and sharply geometric lines, and the distinctive mode that he worked in was known throughout Lyon as “Le Style Sornay.”

Sornay was also recognized for his inventive design methods that were not only decorative but functional. In 1932, he patented the cloudage technique — studding the perimeter of veneered furniture panels with uniform brass nails. Sornay integrated this technique into his wardrobes, side tables and the armchairs he designed, which were frequently defined by clean lines and  sharp angles. In the early 1950s, he also patented a technique called the “Tigette,” which allowed for quick and easy assembly or disassembly of modular furniture — a forerunner to IKEA’s flat-packed furniture.

While Sornay isn’t as well known as other European modernists like Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, he attracted modest attention at exhibitions of the day, such as the 1923 Salon d’Automne and the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris, the design fair that brought the Art Deco style to the world. He was awarded the bronze medal at Paris’s Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in 1937.

In the late 1950s, Sornay ceded control of his furniture design company to his children, remaining as an advisor until production ceased in 1999. He died the following year. 

On 1stDibs, discover a range of vintage André Sornay case pieces and storage cabinets, seating and tables.

Average Sold Price
$9,632
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Materials
Related Creators
Wooden Dining Table and Chairs Set by André Sornay, France 1930s
By Andre Sornay
Located in Paris, FR
An exquisite set of six dining chairs and table set from the 1930s by notable french designer André Sornay, meticulously restored to their original splendor. Made out of rich walnu...
Category

1930s French Mid-Century Modern Vintage André Sornay

Materials

Leather, Wood, Walnut

Wardrobe by Andre Sornay original, 1960
By Andre Sornay
Located in JASSANS-RIOTTIER, FR
Wardrobe made by French cabinetmaker Andre Sornay in the sixties Structure in mahogany with a tigette system Panels in beige lacquer, from origin Shelves inside
Category

Mid-20th Century French André Sornay

Materials

Mahogany, Lacquer

Wardrobe by Andre Sornay original, 1960
Wardrobe by Andre Sornay original, 1960
H 82.29 in W 41.34 in D 23.63 in
Cabinet by Andre Sornay blue door, 1960
By Andre Sornay
Located in JASSANS-RIOTTIER, FR
Large cabinet made by French cabinetmaker Andre Sornay in the sixties Structure in mahogany with a tigette system Panels in beige and blue lacquer Shelves inside
Category

Mid-20th Century French André Sornay

Materials

Mahogany, Lacquer

Cabinet by Andre Sornay blue door, 1960
Cabinet by Andre Sornay blue door, 1960
H 61.42 in W 75.2 in D 20.48 in
Cabinet by Andre Sornay black door, 1960
By Andre Sornay
Located in JASSANS-RIOTTIER, FR
Large cabinet made by French cabinetmaker Andre Sornay in the sixties Structure in mahogany with a tigette system Panels in beige and black lacquer Shelves inside
Category

Mid-20th Century French André Sornay

Materials

Mahogany, Lacquer

Cabinet by Andre Sornay black door, 1960
Cabinet by Andre Sornay black door, 1960
H 61.42 in W 75.2 in D 20.48 in
André Sornay Armchair, circa 1920
By Andre Sornay
Located in Saint-Ouen, FR
André Sornay (1902-2000). Furniture designer from Lyon (France) of the 20th century. He owes his recognition to his modernist vision of the furniture, including in particular, the u...
Category

1920s French Vintage André Sornay

Materials

Mahogany, Upholstery

André Sornay Armchair, circa 1920
André Sornay Armchair, circa 1920
H 33.47 in W 25.6 in D 29.53 in
André Sornay Ashtray
By Andre Sornay
Located in London, GB
A rare piece by renowned French designer of the early 20th C. André Sornay. Solid Walnut with removable brass ashtray. Likely very early 1930s.
Category

1930s French Vintage André Sornay

Materials

Brass

André Sornay Ashtray
André Sornay Ashtray
Free Shipping
H 22.41 in W 7.72 in D 7.72 in
Pair of André Sornay Armchairs in Sapele Mahogany and Bouclé, France, 1950s
By Andre Sornay
Located in The Hague, NL
This rare pair of armchairs was designed by André Sornay and produced by his workshop in Lyon in the early 1950s. High, angled backrest in sapele mahogany with upholstered cushions. ...
Category

1950s French Modern Vintage André Sornay

Materials

Fabric, Bouclé, Chenille, Upholstery, Wood, Mahogany

Set of 2 Low chairs by Andre Sornay, 1960
By Andre Sornay
Located in JASSANS-RIOTTIER, FR
Set of 2 low chairs designed by French cabinetmaker: Andre Sornay during the 60s in France Structure with four feet in mahogany completed with white laminate panels (back)- connected...
Category

Mid-20th Century French André Sornay

Materials

Fabric, Foam, Mahogany

Set of 2 Low chairs by Andre Sornay, 1960
Set of 2 Low chairs by Andre Sornay, 1960
H 28.75 in W 23.63 in D 24.02 in
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André Sornay furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

André Sornay furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wood and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of André Sornay furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original furniture by André Sornay were created in the mid-century modern style in europe during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Joseph-André Motte, Olivier Mourgue, and Rene Gabriel. Prices for André Sornay furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $534 and can go as high as $47,710, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $4,926.

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