Pair of Porcelain, Wood and Gold Leaf Lamps, Arturo Pani, Mexico, circa 1960

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About

For the execution of his designs, Arturo Pani always employed the talents of the best of Mexico's craftsmen. Artisan potters, carpenters, cabinet makers, upholsterers, weavers, and blacksmiths worked to create pieces of the finest quality--and these lamps are a wonderful example of just this.

The two magnificent pineapples (the image of which is known worldwide as a sign of welcome and good cheer) that form the lamps' core were created by the craftsmen at the Porcelain Factory of Cuernavaca, which flourished in the 1960's and executed various commissions throughout Mexico and indeed the world. Wisely, Pani chose to display or "set off" these important artisan pieces by mounting them on carved wooden bases covered in gold leaf--the result of which speaks for itself.

These two particular lamps were part of an interior that Arturo Pani created for a good friend's clothing boutique located on the ground floor of a landmark building his brother, Mario Pani, built on Paseo de la Reforma at Lancaster Street here in Mexico City. The only other pair of lamps used in Arturo Pani's design, also of Porcelana de Cuernavaca, were sold by us two years ago.

Both lamps are in pristine condition. The reconditioned shades are of gold leaf.

Details

    Dimensions
    35.4 in. H
    90 cm H
  • Diameter
    9
  • Seller Location
    Mexico City, Mexico
  • Number of Items
    2
  • Reference Number
    LU145328144673

About Arturo Pani (Designer)

Arturo Pani has been called the Jean Royère of Mexico. Like the adored French master of the mid-20th century, Pani won an upper-class clientele who appreciated the vivacity and exuberance he brought to interiors. His specialty was using new materials to reinterpret traditional stylings — the sensuous curves and arabesques of the Rococo; stately neoclassical motifs — for a modern context. Pani ‘s work is a thing apart: at once theatrical and distinguished, playful and grand.

     Pani was born to splendid settings. His father was Mexico’s ambassador to France, and both Pani and his brother Mario, a noted architect of the International Style, would study at the prestigious École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Pani made his name in the late 1930s by designing lavish interiors that belied the austere facade of his brother’s new Hotel Reforma in Mexico City. Mexico’s affluent class welcomed Pani’s technique for juxtaposing Mario’s sleek modernist architectural envelope with voluptuous decor. His style became known as the “Acapulco look” in the 1930s, when Pani became the blossoming Pacific resort’s decorator of choice to the jet set. Pani’s own Acapulco villa would become a favorite backdrop for the society photographer Slim Aarons.

     Though Pani frequently designed furniture along strict, geometric modernist lines — and did, on occasion, produce pieces with wildly flowing futuristic lines — his signature designs were those that offered an idiosyncratic, spare-yet-sumptuous take on historical forms. Pani’s favorite material was wrought iron, usually gilded. With it, he produced tables with elaborate sheaf-of-wheat bases, or scrolling baroque supports; chairs with frames made of iron rods bent to suggest the sinuous seatbacks and cabriole legs of Louis XV pieces; or — jumping a stylistic generation forward — designs with Louis XVI elements such as arrows and chevrons. Pani’s work has again become chic. As you will see on these pages, like few others, Arturo Pani had a true sense of drama. Virtually everything he designed is a showstopper.

About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2015

Typical response time: 12 hours

Located in Mexico City, Cuauhtemoc

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