Attributed to Jules Leleu (French, 1883–1961)
Rosewood and brass coffee table. Circa 1930. Height: 50 cm. Diameter: 67 cm.
Notes: It has no attribution mark but it is accompanied with a receipt of purchase from Jean Karajan Gallery, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, New York, date 2-1-91 purchase price: $2,500 described as “Coffee table by Jules Leleu 1930 Roswood – Brass”.
Jules Leleu was a French furniture designer famous for tempering Modernism with classical lines. He remains best known for designs featuring simplified shapes, exotic woods, marquetry, and ivory inlays. He was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, a suburb of Paris, on June 17, 1883 and after studying decorative painting he took over his father’s painting business at the age of 26 with his brother, Marcel. He fought in the air force during World War I and then returned home to open a gallery, Maison Leleu, and devoted himself to furniture-making. A year later in 1925, he exhibited at the Exposition Industrielle et Arts Decoratifs where he won the grand prize. His fame grew steadily thereafter, and he went on to design the ocean liners SS Ile de France and SS Normandie, along with several French Embassies around the world and the Grand Salon of the Ambassadors at the Society of Nations in Geneva. After his death on July 11, 1961 in Paris, France, his sons, André and Jean, and his daughter, Paule, took over the family business.