Pierre-Paul Montagnac Modernist Piano For Sale
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Pierre-Paul Montagnac Modernist Piano


French Modernist Art Deco piano and bench by Pierre-Paul Montagnac, a variant of the model used in one of the luxe apartments, the Caen, on the great French oceanliner Normandie in 1935. Created in rosewood and sycamore, and carefully and correctly restored, including the fine Erard (#127208) instrument. 56” wide x 60” deep. Documented in numerous sources, including the July 1935 issue of Art et Decoration. Pierre-Paul Montagnac (1883-1961) Born in Saint-Denis, France on 9 May 1883, Pierre-Paul Montagnac was equally talented as a fine artist and a decorative artist. He was educated in both disciplines, studying with Eugene Carriére as well as at the Académie de la Grande Chaumiére, both in Paris. His inaugural exhibition was at the 1912 Salons – and at the 1920 Salon d’Automne he received a traveling scholarship. In 1918 he began working in the firm of André Mare and from 1922 collaborated with Maurice Dufrene at La Maîtrise, the famous design studio of Galeries Lafayette. From 1921 he exhibited at the Salons of la Société des Artistes Décorateurs, Salon des Architectes Modernes, and internationally, in Barcelona and Leipzig. He designed suites on the grand French oceanliners, l’Atlantique, Normandie and Pasteur. At the 1925 Paris International Exposition his work was in a standout class. At the 1937 Exhibition he organized the pavillion of the Artistes Decorateurs and personally won a Grand Prix. For the New York Exhibition in 1938, he was a member of the international jury, organized the group of Decorators, and, as architect, organized the exhibitions of jewelry and perfumes. He became a member of the Society of Modern Architects and executed important and numerous architecture and decorating projects including the luxury apartments on the great French oceanliners l’Atlantique, Pasteur, and Normandie. Vice President and then President of the Societe des Artistes Decorateurs from 1930-1938, he was also President of the Salon d’Automne and Vice President of the Committee of the Exhibition of Arts and Embellishments of Life; member of the steering committee of C.T.I. and Artistic Property, member of the Board of Directors of the Central Union of Decorative Arts. He was also an Officer of the Legion of Honor and received the Cross of War. MONTAGNAC was the son of an engineer and he had a taste for geometry and science that predisposed him to the rigors of architectural laws. Multi-talented, he worked independently as a painter – who had paintings acquired by the French government – while also working in the related fields of architecture and decoration. His work included homes, apartments, galleries, luxury shops, banks and the aforesaid oceanliners. As a designer/decorater, Montagnac had the taste for quality, luxurious furniture, using precious woods, bronze extensions, ivory inlays, mother-of-pearl, metal and coral. He advocated for a resolutely modern style and, free of all pastiches, focused on beautiful cabinetry, the challenges of furniture design, particularly from 1940 to 1945, captured all his attention. The tireless activity of Montagnac, whose varied works are represented in official museums and residences, was also recognized from a professional and social point of view. He was a remarkable organizer, devoted to the cause of art, to the defense of the trade and his colleagues. It was Montagnac who, in 1939, with Anatole de Monzie, took the initiative to found the ENTRAIDE to Artists (which provides support to talented young French artists). MOBILIER ET DECORATION, September/October 1953 ERARD An illustrious piano manufacturer, Sebastien Erard began building superior harpsichords in Paris in the mid-1700s, produced pianos for the French Court, and received a multitude of patents, many of which are still in use in piano manufacturing. Erard pianos were marketed as the finest pianos in the world and were owned by Queen Victoria, Franz Liszt, Chopin, Verdi, Ravel, and Felix Mendelssohn among many others. They continued to enjoy international success well into the 20th century. They were known for their unique sound quality, similar to the American square grand piano of the 19th century.  


  • Creator
    Pierre-Paul Montagnac (Designer)
  • Of the Period
  • Place of Origin
  • Condition
  • Dimensions
    H 50 in. x W 56 in. x D 60 in.H 127 cm x W 142.24 cm x D 152.4 cm
  • Seller Location
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Seller Reference Number
  • Reference Number
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About the Seller

5 / 5
Associations: 20th Century Specialists
1stdibs seller since 2008
Typical response time: 1 hour
Located in Philadelphia, PA
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