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Jules Leleu, Large Lacquered Walnut Cabinet, France, 1933



Unique and important Art Deco four-door cabinet in walnut with lacquered doors and nickel-plated details. Lacquer work by Katsu Hamanaka (1895-1982). Provenance: This cabinet was specially designed for Mr. & Mrs Goy and the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs,1933, where it was the centrepiece of Leleu’s display.


  • Creator
    Jules Leleu (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 68.25 in. (173.36 cm)Width: 108.25 in. (274.96 cm)Depth: 17.5 in. (44.45 cm)
  • Style
    Art Deco (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Refinished. Wood and lacquer polished, metal cleaned.
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    Seller: LELEU 1081stDibs: 12021678131219

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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About Jules Leleu (Designer)

A designer and ensemblier, Jules Leleu was one of the key authors of the Art Deco movement. While he did not win the fame of such contemporaries as Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann and Jean-Michel Frank, Leleu had a longer career and was easily their peer in the conception of trim, refined furniture forms and in the use of the opulent materials — from lacquer and ivory to sharkskin and exotic woods — that were a keynote of haute Art Deco design.

     Leleu was born into a family of artisans and decorators. Their firm, Maison Leleu, had existed since the 18th century and Jules would guide it through much of the 20th. (The business lasted until 1973, headed at the end by Jules's children.) He studied architecture, served as an aviator in World War I, and after the conflict took up design full-time. Leleu presented work at the 1925 exposition in Paris that gave us the term Art Deco, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York purchased a burl amboyna wood commode by Leleu directly from the show.

     As the furniture presented here shows, Leleu was a stickler for precision craft and preferred to let his materials do the talking — his furniture is generally spare and sleek; its presence is established by figuring (or patterning/graining) in the wood and the occasional marquetry medallion. He had a keen eye for currents in design, and an adaptable sensibility. Maison Leleu would embrace many of the starker forms of modernism after the 1940s, as well as new materials such as artificial lacquer and plastics (then considered cutting-edge rather than cheap). Jules Leleu is a guiding light of 20th-century modernism: a man whose work represents both a devotion to traditional handiwork and an appreciation for the next wave in design.

About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in New York, NY
Recognized Seller
This designation is for sellers whose items consistently exemplify the best of 1stDibs.
Established in 1974
1stDibs seller since 2003
97 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 14 hours
The Art and Antique Dealers League of America20th Century SpecialistsAntiques Associations Members
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