Above photo: Glass and rosewood desk with comfort chair (1960, 1964). Photo: jousee-enterprise.com
Minimal, spare, and elegant the works of Antoine Philippon and Jacqueline Lecoq is renowned for its purity of style with a clear respect for the materials. Shunning extraneous decoration the designs of Philippon and Lecoq demonstrate the beauty of an object when its purpose is as clear as the thought behind it. Their goal as designers was to create furniture, in large numbers, without making concessions to aesthetics or function.
Antoine Philippon was studying at the École Boulle when he first met Jacqueline Lecoq, herself a student at L’École nationale supérieure des arts decoratifs in 1954. Soon after they began exhibiting together. Through the 1950’s and 1960’s they presented regularly, having their work shown at the Salon des Art menagers and at the Salon des artistes décorateurs. As well as the Salon exhibitions their designs were showcased at two world’s fairs, Brussels in 1958 and Montreal in 1967. Their extraordinary collaboration would last until Philippon’s death in 1995. Having worked with design and architecture luminaries such as Prouvé, Mouille, Perriand, Le Corbusier, Aalto and Niemeyer, it is unusual that Philippon and Lecoq are not better known today. Their designs combined minimalism with a sense of architectural refinement and elegance that resulted in stunning pieces that clearly demonstrated a mastery of their craft.
With laminated exotic woods like rosewood and mahogany Philipon and Lecoq designed chairs for companies such as Airborne, Huchers Minvielle as well as commissions for private clients.
Perhaps one of the best known desks designed by Philippon and Lecoq is the ‘Presidents’ desk. Their desks are very architectural in style and again utilize exotic woods like Rosewood and Macassar complimented by industrial materials like steel and glass.
One of the most recognizable and beautiful pieces of design from Philippon and Lecoq are the ‘Point de Diamant’ case pieces produced by Behr of Germany in 1962.
Minimalism is like a need. We need food, water, shelter and – stringently speaking – all else are merely frivolous wants. But all needs must be met. Minimalism does away with frivolity and leaves nothing but what is needed. And the needs, laid bare, are beautiful things indeed.