Although the great majority of Dunand's clients were French, one of his most important design projects was realized in America: a penthouse apartment in San Francisco designed for Templeton Crocker (1884-1948), the millionaire grandson of the founder of the Union Pacific Railroad Company. Completed in 1928, the apartment contained a master bedroom, dining room, and breakfast room by Dunand; other rooms were designed by Jean-Michel Frank, Pierre Legrain, and Madame Lipska. The apartment was dismantled and sold in 1959. The "sponged" surface of the table is characteristic of lacque arraché, a technique Dunard favored, wherein a final coat of lacquer is applied over a roughened layer-in this case, metallic gray over black. By polishing the entire surface, the raised peaks of the black lacquer are revealed, creating a mottled yet smooth effect.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Marking: Branded (three times on underside): JEAN DUNAND / 72 RUE HALLÉ / PARIS / MADE IN FRANCE
Templeton Crocker, San Francisco (1928–d. 1948); his heirs, San Francisco (1948–72; sold in 1972 to Brant); Mr. and Mrs. Peter M. Brant, Greenwich, Conn. (1972–77; their gift 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. "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.
Mary Ashe Miller. "A Twentieth Century Apartment." Vogue 74 (August 3, 1929), pp. 30–35, 94.
Félix Marcilhac. Jean Dunand: His Life and Works. New York, 1991, p. 324, no. 1163.
Mechthild Baumeister. "Jean Dunand—A Master of Art Déco Lacquer." Ostasiatische und europäische Lacktechniken. East Asian and European Lacquer Techniques. Ed. Michael Kühlenthal. Munich, 2000, pp. 209, 211, figs. 4 (installation photo), 5, 6 (cross section).
Jared Goss. French Art Deco. New York, 2014, pp. 85, 87, 89, 238, 256, no. 21g, ill. pp. 85 (installation photo, Templeton Crocker residende ca. 1927) , 86 (color), 238 (color).