Pierre Legrain (French, Levallois-Perret 1889–1929 Paris)
Dyed and tooled leather, gold leaf
3 1/8 x 2 1/2 x 1 1/8in. (7.9 x 6.4 x 2.9cm)
Gift of Mrs. Germain Seligman, 1979
Not on view
Legrain understood the principals and aesthetics of both modern and African art to a degree that most other designers of the period did not— perhaps the result of spending considerable time with his patron, the couturier Jacques Doucet, and his collection (which included Picasso’s masterpiece Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, several important Cubist works, and a group of African sculptures). These cigarette cases employ the same vocabulary as his book bindings, only in miniature.
Inscription: Signed (on inner box, stamped in gold): PIERRE LEGRAIN
Mrs. Germain Seligman, New York (until 1979; her gift to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Century of Design, Part ll: 1925-1950," May 9–October 29, 2000, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art Deco Paris," June 8, 2004–February 6, 2005, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of French Art Deco," August 4, 2009–January 23, 2011, no catalogue.
Jared Goss. French Art Deco. New York, 2014, pp. 130, 134–35, 258, no. 35b, ill. (color, overall and detail).