MONUMENTAL PORCELAIN & SILVERED BRONZE LAMP

by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933) & Sevres
France, 1927


Height of Lamp on Plinth: 6'4"
Lamp: 44 1/2" high; 29 1/2" wide

This monumental porcelain lamp was executed by Sѐvres for the First Class Salon of the ocean liner Ile de France. The upper section is in white porcelain raised on a silvered bronze scrolled base. This is thought to be one of only two of these lamps which survived.

Incised SEVRES/ 1928 on side and S 1927 DN within a rectangular line/ MADE IN FRANCE inside.

Provenance:
Ocean liner Ile de France
DeLorenzo Gallery, New York
Galerie Vallois, Paris

Literature:
Florence Camard, "Ruhlmann: Master of Art Deco", Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1984, p. 131 illus.

History of the SS Ile de France:
The SS Ile de France was the first major ocean liner built after the conclusion of World War I and was the first liner ever decorated with Art Deco designs. She was neither the largest ship nor the fastest ship, but she was considered the most beautifully decorated ship built by the French Line.

The construction of the Ile de France was part of the agreement between the French Line and the French government dating back to November, 1912. This agreement called for the construction of four passenger-mail ships, with the first ship called Paris and the second, Ile de France. World War I delayed construction until the 1920's, with the Paris being launched in 1921 and the Ile de France in 1927.

The ship was involved in extensive trooping during World War Two. Returned to the French Line in 1947, she underwent a massive two-year reconstruction which modified her profile with the removal of one funnel, giving her a more modern appearance. She was also given some of the furnishings of the Normandie, which had been destroyed by fire in 1942.

The SS Ile de France played a major role in the rescue operation after the collision of the passenger liners SS Andrea Doria and SS Stockholm in 1956.

After being sold to Japanese scrappers, the Ile de France was used as a floating prop for the 1950's disaster film The Last Voyage, as the SS Claridon, where she was partially sunk, explosive devices were set off in her interior, and her forward funnel was sent crashing into the deckhouse. The French Line took the filmmakers to court, and succeeded in obtaining an order to have the funnels repainted, and barring the use of the Ile de France name.

The ninth floor restaurant in Eaton's Department Store, Montreal, Canada was styled after the first class restaurant on board the ship. The store's owner's wife had just travelled transatlantic on the liner and when asked what style the new ninth floor restaurant should adopt, she requested in the style of the Ile de France. You can still dine at the restaurant today to gain an idea of fine dining on the high seas in the heyday of the ocean liner.

$2,000,000. - Inv. #2