Desnet and René Nauny
La Maison Desny, manufacturer
Centerpiece Coupé, c. 1927-1928

H. 6 x W. 10 x D. 10 3/8 in.

The confusion surrounding the history of La Maison Desny has persisted longer than that of any other individual designer or design firm of the interwar years. Information on the Paris company continues to remain vague, but it is believed to have been established by two designers, Desnet and René Nauny from whose names the contraction of Desny was derived. Early on the two earned pocket money as quick-sketch artists for the circus, eventually forming a business partnership.

If the firm's background remains uncertain, the quality of its modernist designs does not. Increasingly, as the progressive design schools and movements of this century's pioneering years are analyzed--especially the Wiener Werkstätte, Bauhaus and American Art Moderne--to determine the roots of machine-age industrial design, the works of La Maison Desny demand applause for their rigorous geometric configurations which appear avant-garde even by today's standards. The crisp symmetry and uniformity in the composition of this coupe recalls the interlocking planes and circles found also in Russian Constructivism.