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Pair of "Diabolo" Gouged Oak Occasional Table by Jean-Michel Frank


Pair of Diabolo X-form tables with gouged surface texture by Jean-Michel Frank (1895-1941), in stained oak, Comte, circa 1940. Onenumbered “8432.” (c.f.: Pierre-Emmanuel Martin-Vivier, Jean-Michel Frank: The Strange and Subtle Luxury of the Parisian Haute-Monde in the Art Deco Period, New York, 2008, pg. 134; Léopold Diego Sanchez, Jean-Michel Frank: Adolphe Channaux, Paris, 1997, pgs. 154, 205)


  • Creator
  • Dimensions
    Height: 20.5 in. (52.07 cm)Width: 21.5 in. (54.61 cm)Depth: 16.5 in. (41.91 cm)
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Style
    Art Deco (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    Late 1930s
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Excellent condition. Restored with wax finish. One repair to corner of numbered table.
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU91411821452

About the Designer

Jean-Michel Frank

For French interior and furniture designer Jean-Michel Frank (1895–1941), history always had a great allure. He once wrote, “The noble frames that came to us from the past can receive today’s creations.” His career celebrated heritage while promoting new modes of 20th-century design, and it flourished between the World Wars when Frank designed interiors that tastefully mixed extravagance with sophisticated simplicity, often featuring pieces he made with his business partner, cabinetmaker Adolphe Chanaux.It took personal tragedy for Frank to realize his calling. Frank had been exempted from the World War I draft due to his physical frailty but his brothers both served and died on the front. When his German father applied for French naturalization, he was rejected and placed under house arrest, killing himself shortly after. His mother went into a deep depression and began undergoing psychiatric treatment and died a few years later.With his large inheritance, Frank joined the Paris culture crowd and there got his start in the burgeoning field of interior design. His signature style, which became known as “luxe pauvre” — “impoverished luxury” — was characterized by clean lines, mixed materials and hard-to-miss details. His interiors for clients including Nelson Rockefeller and Elsa Schiaparelli featured artwork by modern creators like Diego and Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Favoring the color white, he would consider each element of his spartan rooms as part of the whole, from bronze doors to plush antique furnishings, always tastefully rich yet never decadent. He worked on furniture with Chanaux that reinforced this austere style. Some of his most well-known furniture pieces, including the Croisillon table lamps, the Parsons table, brass tripod gueridons and the leather Comfortable chairs that used the Hermès saddle stitch, are extremely simple in their elegant appearance. This attention to refined details, simple luxury and the cohesion of design in a room made him one of the leading tastemakers of 1930s Paris.After fleeing the Nazi occupation of France (he was part of a Jewish family that included his distant cousin, the diarist Anne Frank), Frank arrived in New York where he killed himself at the age of 46. His commitment to creating home interiors where comfort and fine art could merge and styles could mix in harmony remains influential in design.Browse Jean-Michel Frank furniture on 1stDibs.

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