Armand Albert Rateau was a French Art Deco designer and decorator who created stunning pieces of furniture, lighting, and decorative objects during the 1920s and 1930s. Among his most iconic works are a pair of gilt swan sconces, known as the “Col de Cygne,” that he designed in the early 1920s. These sconces are notable not only for their exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail but also for the fact that they are often paired with Louis Comfort Tiffany shades, which further enhance their beauty and elegance.
The “Col de Cygne” sconces are named after the French term for “swan neck,” which is an apt description of their graceful and sinuous form. Each sconce features a pair of stylized gilt bronze swans that curve gracefully upward, their wings extended as if in flight. The swans’ necks twist and turn to form the arms of the sconces, which hold the Tiffany shades in place.
The gilt bronze used in the creation of the sconces is of the highest quality, with a rich, warm tone and a luminous sheen that catches the light beautifully. The swans themselves are intricately detailed, with every feather and curve of their bodies carefully rendered to capture their natural beauty and elegance. The sconces are designed to be mounted on a wall, and their size and proportions make them a stunning focal point in any room.
What really sets the “Col de Cygne” sconces apart, however, are the Louis Comfort Tiffany shades that are often paired with them. Tiffany was one of the most famous and influential American designers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, known for his innovative use of colored glass and his ability to create stunning works of art in the form of lamps, windows, and other decorative objects. The shades that he designed to be used with the “Col de Cygne” sconces are no exception, with their intricate patterns of colored glass that create a warm, inviting glow when the sconces are lit.
Together, the “Col de Cygne” sconces and Tiffany shades create a stunning example of Art Deco design at its best. The combination of graceful form, exquisite craftsmanship, and rich materials makes these sconces a true masterpiece of decorative art, and a testament to the enduring beauty and elegance of the Art Deco style. Whether displayed in a grand foyer, a stylish living room, or a cozy bedroom, the “Col de Cygne” sconces are sure to impress and delight all who see them.
A fine example of “Col de Cygne” sconces are currently up for auction at Hill auction gallery on April 26th, 2023. View more details and place your bids here: