Saturday, March 20, 2010

Jean-Charles Moreux: poetic, not pc

At the risk of displeasing those who fight for animal's rights, I have to say I'm wild about this hunter's repair decorated in 1935 by the architect, landscape architect, decorator, designer, historian, museographer, astronomer, naturalist - in short, by the Renaissance man, Jean-Charles Moreux.  Often inspired by Ledoux and Palladio, his mission here was not to achieve a stately palace interior, but to express his client's  passion for hunting in an smart Paris studio. The  classical sobriety in the arrangement of these objets insolites speaks also of the architect and his love of collections, encouraged to tweek the curious side of things by the surealist leanings of his colaborator, Bolette Natanson.

Let's look at the some of the details: Among the traditional huntsman's trophies, in the right upper corner, a floor lamp made from a towering urn and a crocodile skin; placed centrally, a table top left in its irregular shape - is it wood, stone?  Elephant ear! Walls are covered with untreated cork, the floor with sisal providing a rugged but warm framework for the owner's collection.

The top of this elephant foot lifts up to reveal glasses, decanters, and bottles -
single malt whisky would seem suitable.

The entrance doors are covered with bark cloth or another African textile; an upward turned tortoise shell forms the bowl top of another striking light; door handles are made of horn; a bamboo ladder leads to a mezzanine with carved guardians and walls covered in black shantung. 
All right, I'm not sure it was shantung. 
My source says black silk, but wouldn't black shantung be perfect? 

The bedroom is an alcove covered with straw mats which receives light from the living room through bamboo bars. The recessed ceiling was decorated with Bolette Natanson using various pressed leaves, dried butterflies and insects.

Stylé !
This is a very personal home or pied à terre.
Yesterday's souvenirs of adventures have become today's forbidden pleasures.

All photos Plaisir de France, Atelier Sougez


  1. Highly offensively but conflictingly desirable bedcover.

  2. i do. i hate to admit it but i have adored elephant feet forever.
    i once almost bought one for a small side table.
    i think someone should create them again out of resin.
    then i would be sure to use them in my work.
    oh yes.....resin elephant tusk too.

  3. Where is Tony Duquette when we need him? I understand resin was one of his go to materials. I like the form in the animals. I just don't want to live with dead ones. Don't even want to think about the mites in them!

  4. I love this period. Do you remember the "Les Docorateurs des annees 40" in 1998? That was an eye opening exhibition.
    It was there I first learned about Jean Charles-Moreux. His furniture and garden designs. His flora and fauna.

  5. Your blog ..... it's amazing and soooo inspiring. Nice to find you!

    A small footprint from Agneta & Sweden

    Ps. I have an ongoing jewelry contest on my blog. Welcome! Ds

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  7. I think all these things can now be spring boards for reinterpretations in other materials as long as textures and sheens are kept in mind.

    DH I first learned of Moreux through work archives. Moreux = harmony.I think his interiors had the balance of his jardins à la francaises. Flora and fauna are never fussy and dusty.

    Sinnlighet/Agneta - Thank you! Nice of you to drop in and comment.