Art Nouveau ‘Dying Swan’ piano emerges in Paris auction

Baby grand marquetry piano by Louis Majorelle and Victor Prouvé to be offered for sale by Tajan on May 16.

The upcoming Decorative Arts sale to be held by Tajan in Paris includes a number of pieces by one of the master craftsmen of the Art Nouveau movement – Louis Majorelle.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Anne Crane

The highlight is a mahogany baby grand piano. It is a collaboration between Majorelle and another Art Nouveau artist also from Nancy – Victor Prouvé – who provided the marquetry design themed around the story of La Mort du Cygne(The Dying Swan).

Four versions of the ‘Dying Swan’ piano are known. This one, which is signed V Prouvé, dated 1903 and marked Erard 88354 to the mechanism, was commissioned from Majorelle by Charles Masson at the same time that his brother-in-law Eugene Corbin ordered another version, from 1905, signed by Prouvé and numbered Erard 88353 to the mechanism.

That example is now the Ecole de Nancy Museum as part of a larger Corbin family legacy.

Tajan’s piano, which was more recently in the Garden Museum in Japan, comes with a later piano stool and is estimated at €250,000-350,000 in the auction to be held on May 16.