Armand-Albert Rateau (French, Paris 1882–1938 Paris)
Bronze, ivory, mirror glass
L.12-1/2, W. 5-1/2 in. (31.8 x 14.0 cm)
Gift of the artist, 1925
Not on view
Antiquity provided the inspiration for this dressing table and hand mirror by Armand-Albert Rateau, who borrowed both its form and decoration from Pompeiian models (though the bird motif may also derive from Persian miniatures). Rateau conceived the model for a sumptuous bathroom (now destroyed) that he designed in 1921 for the Duchess of Alba at the Palacio Liria in Madrid. He later included a version as part of his décor for the Pavilion de l’Élégance at the 1925 Paris exposition, which housed displays of the couturiers Jeanne Lanvin, Jenny, Callot Soeurs, and Worth and the jeweler Cartier. The Metropolitan purchased the table directly from Rateau; in gratitude, the designer offered the hand mirror to the Museum as a gift.
Inscription: Stamped (reverse of frame at top of handle): A.A. RATEAU / INVR
the designer, Paris (until 1925; his gift to MMA)
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. "Metropolitan Vanities: The History of the Dressing Table," December 17, 2013–April 13, 2014, not in Bulletin.
Joseph Breck. "Modern Decorative Arts: Some Recent Purchases." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 21 (February 1926), p. 38.
Penelope Hunter. "Art Déco: The Last Hurrah." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 30 (June–July 1972), p. 263.
Alastair Duncan. A. A. Rateau. Exh. cat., DeLorenzo Gallery. New York, , pp. 24, 32.
Jared Goss. French Art Deco. New York, 2014, pp. 179–80, 261, no. 50b, ill. (color, overall and detail).