Max Ingrand, ‘Rare chandelier’, circa 1958, Phillips

76.5 cm. (30 1/8 in.) drop, 53 cm. (20 7/8 in.) diameter

From the Catalogue:
Succeeding Pietro Chiesa, Max Ingrand was appointed as the artistic director of Fontana Arte in 1954. Ingrand, who had achieved international recognition for his stained glass designs, was nominated for the position by Gio Ponti, with who the French designer would develop a great mutual esteem through their collaboration. Guided by Ingrand’s innovative spirit, Fontana Arte established a semi-industrial production model, whilst maintaining the company’s strong tradition of exquisite craftsmanship. Fontana Arte introduced new lighting solutions to the market, and upon the encouragement of Ponti, developed the use of coloured glass in their designs, all of which reflected Ingrand’s interest in the study of light and its effects within an architectural space.

Modernising the traditional form of the chandelier, the present lot features individual pieces of profiled clear glass surrounding a central light source of opaque glass, creating a composition that articulates and diffuses the light. Whilst giving prominence to the expert craftsmanship of the glasswork, Ingrand also incorporated industrial materials, such as painted tubular steel, elegantly combining the modern with the traditional. In his monograph of the designer, Pierre-Emmanuel Martin-Vivier describes Ingrand’s lighting as ‘transcending its purely functional purpose to become an iconic object boundless of time and fashion’. Moreover, through his approach to materials, such as the use of coloured glass as illustrated in the delicate coloured glass ‘petals’ of the ‘Dahlia’ series (see Lot 53), Ingrand demonstrated the potential for artificial lighting to be as resplendent as natural light.
Courtesy of Phillips

Manufacturer: Fontana Arte, Milan, Italy

Vitrium, no. 147, February 1965, pp. 30, 33
Franco Deboni, Fontana Arte: Gio Ponti, Pietro Chiesa, Max Ingrand, Turin, 2012, fig. 326 for a similar example

Private Collection, Italy

About Max Ingrand

Creating forward-thinking and innovative pieces of furniture years before his time, French stained glass designer and decorator Max Ingrand created design classics such as the Fontana table lamp, a bulbous white-painted metal frame with a satin white blown glass shade and globe. The Italian contemporary lighting company FontanaArte, of which he was the Art Director, produced many of his iconic works. Greatly inspired by the Middle Ages, Ingrand’s designs were reminiscent of the past yet relevant to the present, using modern materials such as metal and glass. Besides furniture designs, he also produced stained glass panels for religious buildings, hotels, and public spaces, including the Nôtre Dame du Pré cathedral at Le Mans and the Chenonceau Castle.

French, 1908-1969, Bressuire, France, based in Paris, France