Designer’s Alphabet, I is for……………..



is for Paul Iribe (1883 – 1935), a multifaceted and prolific illustrator and designer in the decorative arts. His furniture designs spanned the end of the Art Nouveau and the beginning of the Art Deco movements. This chest above reflects the Art Deco but to my eye something else. Iribe as an illustrator leaned more towards the language of graphic arts. The birth of a trend that still persists today in much contemporary furniture. This is not a judgement on my part just an observation. The carving detail on the upholstered chair below formed a stylized version of a classical volute (actually a spiral and not technically a volute). It’s sort of a metaphor of a metaphor as a classical volute is a stylized depiction of a fiddlehead fern or a nautilus shell. Yet aside from that it’s a bold graphic element, again reflecting his background as an illustrator. He frequently included a rose blossom motif. Note rose blossom capitals that terminate the legs on the small table. What stands out when you look at his work?

George R. Walker


Christie’s Paris 2010

Sotheby's Paris 2010

Sotheby’s Paris 2010

About walkerg

Woodworker and writer
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4 Responses to Designer’s Alphabet, I is for……………..

  1. KMarx says:

    That is a spiral on the chair, but only superficially resembles a nautilus shell – the math is completely different.

  2. Tico Vogt says:

    His work is new to me. I would have chosen the word “bold” if you hadn’t. When I look at furniture it is hard to separate what I’m seeing and how I imagine it would be to live with. Mostly, work like this gives me a sense of interiors that are self consciously aesthetic, masterful though they be.

  3. great use of wood with stylish way, second thing is Christie’s Paris that was awesome art work… and it’s look so stunning.
    good work

  4. ​I must admit I am new to the work of Paul Iribe but his work is breathtaking. The designs are phenomenal!

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