Cabinet and commode by Jules Leleu
Leleu Art Deco Feux d’artifice (Fireworks) pattern rosewood and marquetry cabinet (right) and commode (left) sold to a New York dealer for £35,000 and £44,000 at Sworders.

You have 2 more free articles remaining

The 10 lots were consigned by the Greek descendants of Celestine Galani, the wife of shipping magnate John Galani.

Arriving in Stansted Mountfitchet from the Mediterranean just before Christmas, they included a spectacular Art Deco Feux d’artifice (Fireworks) pattern rosewood and marquetry cabinet and commode.

These sold to a New York dealer bidding online via Sworders’ website at £35,000 and £44,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium). They had been estimated at up to £15,000 and £30,000 respectively.

Born into a family of artisans and artists in Boulogne-sur-Mer in northern France, Jules Leleu was one of the fathers of French Art Deco. He exhibited at the Exposition des Arts Decoratifs in 1925 and designed the chairs for the Grand Salon and the Music Room.

His commissions included the ocean liners Ile de France and Normandie plus a dining room for the Elysée Palace, and the Grand Salon des Ambassadeurs at La Societé des Nations in Geneva, called the Salon Leleu.

John and Celestine Galani had been friends with Leleu and commissioned him to decorate their Paris apartment at 81 Avenue Marceau in the 1940s.

The auction took place on January 26.