Serge Mouille Big TOTEM Floor Lamp For Sale
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Serge Mouille Big TOTEM Floor Lamp

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Totem floor lamp designed by Serge Mouille / Collection Serge Mouille. Made by hand in Mouille's original workroom - 1000 exemplar of each model per year. The certificate shown on the photo is just an example, each lamp has a personal serial number and a specific "Certificate of Authenticity" when delivered. Serge Mouille (24 December 1922-1988) was a French Industrial designer and goldsmith. He is best known for his light fixture designs. After having worked a few years in the workshop of Gabriel Lacroix, he opened his own workshop in 1945 with the intention of creating silverware utensils. In 1953 he began researching and designing light fixtures. During this period he was also supervising the gold smithing department at l'École des Arts Appliqués. In 1955 he was inducted into the Société des Artistes Décorateurs ("the Interior Decorators' Society"). The following year, Steph Simon opened a design gallery at 145 Bd St Germain in Paris. Displaying the work of Charlotte Perriand and Jean Prouvé, the gallery soon also featured the work of Serge Mouille, Isamu Noguchi and Jean Luce. The designs of these artists soon become more widely known thanks to orders placed by institutions such as, Cité universitaire d’Antony, University of Strasbourg, University of Aix-Marseille and Centre d’essais en vol de Brétigny. Serge Mouille suffered from tuberculosis for many years and in 1959 he was forced to suspend his design activities and undergo treatment. In 1961, thanks to the Société de Création des Modèles, he was able to exhibit his latest light fixture designs at the trade show Salon des arts ménagers. These designs combined the concepts of fluorescence and incandescence. Production of his light fixtures stopped definitively in 1961. Serge Mouille remains famous primarily for his minimalistic designs and use of uniformly black painted metal materials. His wall-mounted spot light fixture with articulated arms is typical for his discrete, yet highly functional designs.

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Dimensions
    H 68.12 in. x Dm 7.88 in.H 173 cm x Dm 20 cm
  • Diameter
    7.88 in. (20 cm)
  • Seller Location
    Barcelona, ES
  • Reference Number
    LU142728503383
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About Serge Mouille (Designer)

Instantly recognizable by their long slender armatures and domed, ovoid shades, the best-known lamps and lighting fixtures of Serge Mouille have become emblems of the organic design of the mid-20th century. Along with Jean Prouvé, Mathieu Matégot and others, Mouille brought a fresh, modern aesthetic to metalwork, one of the most tradition-bound mediums in the decorative arts.


Mouille (pronounced: MWEE) was born to a working Parisian family. At age 15, he took up studies in the metalworking atelier of that École des Arts Appliqués, under the tutelage of the goldsmith and sculptor Gabriel Lacroix. After graduating, in 1941, Mouille worked in Lacroix’s studio and began teaching at the School of Applied Arts four years later. In the early 1950s, bothered by the preponderance of new Italian lamps and chandeliers on the market and consumed with the belief that fixtures by Gino Sarfatti and others were unnecessarily complex, Mouille opened a lighting-design workshop. He quickly won commissions from several French schools and libraries. In 1956, the influential Paris gallerist Steph Simon — who also promoted Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand and Isamu Noguchi — began to show Mouille designs, introducing his work to private collectors. Mouille would continue making handcrafted lighting fixtures at a slow but steady pace until 1964, when he stopped working to begin a long course of treatment for tuberculosis. When it was completed, Mouille returned to teaching at the École des Arts Appliqués for the remainder of his career.


With the biomorphic shades and long armatures of his fixtures, Mouille created one of the most engaging and idiosyncratic lighting aesthetics of his time. Though often described as “insect-like,” his pieces have more in common with the fluid, buoyant forms in the paintings of Jean Arp. (Mouille designed several cylindrical or columnar lamps; though highly collectible, those are interesting outliers in his body of work.) As with Prouvé’s folded metal forms and Matégot’s perforated steel, Mouille brought a novel lightness and energy to metal furnishings. Since Mouille’s designs found renewed popularity in the early 2000s, licensed re-editions of his pieces are being produced. The disparity in price between vintage and current-day Mouille pieces is great. Older works — identification tip: the interior white reflective enameling has a yellowish cast — cost $20,000 to $40,000, and newer pieces go for 10 to 20 percent less than that. As you will see on these pages, Serge Mouille created icons of 20th century design — at once sleek, suave and friendly — that belong in any modern decor.

About the Seller

4.8 / 5
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1stdibs seller since 2015
Located in Barcelona, ES
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