Jean Dunand (French (born Switzerland), Lancy 1877–1942 Paris)
Lacquered metal (probably steel), eggshell
Height 6 in. (15.2 cm), diameter 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm)
Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift, 1923
Not on view
A fascination with Oriental lacquered metalwork sparked Dunand's interest in working with natural lacquer, a material that differs substantially from the imitation lacquer varnishes that had been produced in Europe since the seventeenth century. Dunand initially used transparent lacquer to protect the delicate patinas of his dinanderie wares but soon experimented with the decorative possibilities of more advanced lacquer techniques. A particular specialty was the production of eggshell lacquer, an ancient Japanese technique traditionally used for small-scale objects. The painstaking process involved placing tiny particles of crushed eggshell, piece by piece, into a layer of fresh lacquer. This aspect of his business became so successful that Dunand maintained his own flock of chickens to provide eggshells of suitable quality and color.
[Galerie Georges Rouard, Paris, 1923; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Jean Dunand: Master of Art Deco," May 23–October 28, 1998, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Century of Design, Part I: 1900–1925," December 14, 1999–March 26, 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. "Modern Design," March 30–December 3, 2006, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Modern Design: Selections from the Collection," May 30–October 5, 2008, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of French Art Deco," August 4, 2009–January 23, 2011, no catalogue.
Joseph Breck. "Modern Decorative Arts." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 18 (November 1923), p. 246.
Jared Goss. French Art Deco. New York, 2014, pp. 76, 78, 255, no. 18b, ill. (color).