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When A-Gent of Style started working for Veere Grenney a few years ago, the learned decorator told him one day as they were sourcing lamps together that “this lamp was one of the most iconic lamps of the 20th century. Make sure you know it”. Ignorant and arrogant, A-Gent immediately disregarded his master’s pronouncement, probably with a with the raise of an eyebrow, as he had never seen this lighting fixture before, and carried on looking at other lamps.

by David Collins

by David Collins Studio


Within a few weeks of flicking through magazines, books, auction catalogues and online searches, it turned out that “this lamp” was everywhere to be seen, ubiquitous and almost omnipresent in many photos of inspiring interiors, and also that vintage, original versions of this lamp were the prized objects of many collectors, antique dealers and auction houses. Needless to say A-Gent of Style learned a lesson of humility that day.

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1UWV is the real name of “that lamp” which was created in 1966 by American designer Cedric Hartman. It was an instant hit and it has now reached iconic status. As it is very much the case with design classics, the 1UWV floor lamp is the masterful result of simplicity, purity and functionality.

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It is an all metallic slim tubular floor lamp with a rectangular counterweight base, triangular shade, spherical dimmer, adjustable height and directional light that disappears in the background, that very often unpretentiously and discreetly peeks over the back of an armchair, a chaise longue or a sofa. At the time of its creation, the look of 1UWV and its down lighting were quite revolutionary, and the antithesis then of the more fashionable fringy, chintzy lampshades with their heavy bases that casted an ambient glow rather than a focalised floodlight.


The architectural yet elegant object nowadays comes in different finishes such as stainless steel, aluminium, nickel-plated, metal gun but the most famous finish (and chicest I think) is in brass. Over his illustrious career, the 85-year-old Hartman has designed and developed other models of lights as well as furniture such as tables, chairs and sofas but the 1UWV lamp is still is best-known work. Two of his lamps have permanent resident at MOMA in New York. Unlike his masterpiece, Hartman has always shied away from the limelight but he is still working today on new prototypes, LEDs in particular.


Here is a selection of images of 1UWV, its creator and their appearances in striking interiors over the decades. Can you spot them all??



cedric hartman

by Douglas Mackie

by Douglas Mackie

House in London by Veere Grenney in the 1980s that had been built for film director Richard Lester in the ’60s and decorated by David Hicks

House in London by Veere Grenney in the 1980s that had been built for film director Richard Lester in the 1960s and decorated by David Hicks


by Michael S.Smith

by Michael S.Smith


Bear-Hill Interiors

Bear-Hill Interiors


by Douglas Mackie

by Douglas Mackie


By Rita Konig

By Rita Konig

The Manhattan living room of Stanley Barrows

The Manhattan living room of Stanley Barrows


by Dering Hall via Randy Heller Design

by Dering Hall via randyhellerdesign instagram


by Mario Buatta

by Mario Buatta


by Pamplemousse Design

by Pamplemousse Design


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by Douglas Mackie


by Francois Catroux

by Francois Catroux


By Nate Berkus

By Nate Berkus


by Michael S.Smith

by Michael S.Smith


Eickes’ store, Sag Harbor

The Eickes’ store, Sag Harbor


by Sasha Bikoff

by Sasha Bikoff


by Jacques Grange

by Jacques Grange


by Peter Dunham

by Peter Dunham




Markham Roberts

Markham Roberts


by Melissa Rufty. Photo by Francois Halard courtesy of The New York Times

by Melissa Rufty. Photo by Francois Halard courtesy of The New York Times


by BHDM Design

by BHDM Design


by Jorge Elias via graciousopulence's instagram

by Jorge Elias via graciousopulence’s instagram




by Carrier & Co

by Carrier & Co


Mark Hampton

Mark Hampton


at Liz O'Brien

at Liz O’Brien



by Christopher Burns

by Christopher Burns




by Douglas Mackie

by Douglas Mackie


 by Lee Ledbetter & Assoc.

by Lee Ledbetter & Assoc.


Bunny Mellon's Virginia Farm's Oak Spring Garden Library

Bunny Mellon’s Virginia Farm’s Oak Spring Garden Library



by Jacobsen Architecture

by Jacobsen Architecture


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by Francois Catroux

by Francois Catroux


by Jacobsen Architecture

by Jacobsen Architecture


via Mark D Sikes' instagram

via Mark D Sikes’ instagram



by Billy Baldwin

by Billy Baldwin


by Robert Stiln

by Robert Stilin


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by Lauren Coburn LLC 

by Guillaume Excoffier

by Guillaume Excoffier

by Mario Buatta

by Mario Buatta



-all images courtesy of the decorator mentioned –


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Over the last couple of years, A-Gent of Style has covered many a sale specialising on 20th C design on this blog, and the relevance and importance today of this speciality is showing no sign of dwindling. On the contrary.

So when you think the auction design market could not get anymore saturated with antique and vintage pieces, cometh a new (-ish) player on the scene who comes up trump with new acquisitions and collectibles.

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Enters Paris-based auction house Piasa Auctions who is currently dedicating a sale and accompanying exhibiton in its Left Bank space to an important selection of objets by Scandinavian masters in dialogue with equally iconic American and Brazilian designers. This group of architects and designers frequently collaborated and merged the modernist vernacular popular in Europe and the USA with traditional Brazilian techniques and indigenous materials such as rosewood.

Today’s auction focuses on the relationship between these three important regions in furniture design gathering stellar designers such as George Nakashima, Flemming Lassen, Arne Jacobsen, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Kaare Klint, Poul Henningsen, Hans Wegner, Axel-Einar Hjorth, Edward Wormley, Paul Evans, Jorge Zalszupin, Joaquim Tenreiro, Sergio Rodrigues, José Zanine Caldas.

After considerable success in 2013 and 2014, this evening’s sale will be Piasa’s fifth in this genre and will be grouped under 294 different lots showcasing a selection of sought-after pieces with a pre-estimate of 1.5 million euros.

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Piasa will concurrently offer a large section of the sale focusing on 40 important pieces by Axel Salto with important private provenance such as Raf Simon’s private collection. 

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In preparation for the imminent and eminent sale, 
A-Gent of Style  spoke to Cédric Morisset, Head of the Design Department at Piasa.


Why the timing of this sale? why is it relevant today?

We anticipate the general international auction schedule. It is important for us to open the new season.

What do you attribute the importance and relevance of these designers to today?

Scandinavian design can be seen as the most looked-after design by high level collectors. Brazilian and American design are the next big thing according to me, although the rarity of Brazilian design doesn’t allow the market to bloom. I have more hopes on American design by Paul Laszlo, Paul Frankl, Paul Evans,
G. Nakashima,T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings etc…

Is there a mix of provenance? do the pieces come from private collectors, antique dealers, museums? 

It’s always a mix of provenances. Always a lot of private collectors.

Is there a common denominator between these designers and these pieces?

There are a lot of historical and style connections between Brazilian, American and Scandinavian design. A few examples:  a lot of Scandinavian designers have worked in the USA (Eero Saarinen for instance for Herman Miller). Also, most of the Brazilian designers were migrants coming from Europe and inspired by the Scandinavian taste that they have adapted to local materials and workshops. Finally, most of the Danish and Swedish designers were using a lot of precious Brazilian woods such as rosewood.

What makes a piece ‘timeless’ or ‘iconic’?

It’s a tough question to answer, but a ‘design classic’ is a  manufactured object with timeless aesthetic value. It serves as a standard of its kind and, despite the year in which it was designed, is still up to date. What makes it timeless is its innovation, its simple elegant shapes, balanced and pure. Maybe also its perfect conception.

Are there any pieces in the sale that are rare and that have not been ‘seen’ in any sale in a long time?

Several vases by Axel Salto, rare and unseen, notably big with a beautiful enamel. Also a fantastic desk by Larsen and Bender Madsen (lot 83), only piece of this time known so far. A rare Hans Wegner “Crocodile” cabinet produced to a few copies only.

Which pieces do you think will generate the most interest and why?

Probably all the Axel Salto pieces. Because gathering such a collection is really hard and the quality is exceptional.


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You can view the full catalogue of the sale here

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– photos by PIASA –


  – Jaime Parladé : “This southern gentleman, with the disdain of a Dandy, enslaves his clients like a gigolo. He is the person that gives splendour to the houses of the powerful. Distilling the Spanish Country House Ideal at Alcuzcuz in Andalusia (Spain)” – Raul del Pozo, El Mundo, August 2007



If it wasn’t for Helen Cormack, A-Gent of Style must admit he wouldn’t have heard last week of the death of Jaime Parladé. Actually, if it hadn’t been for Helen herself citing Parladé as one of her favourite decorators in her interview on this blog almost two years ago, A-Gent of Style might not have come across the discreet Spanish decorator altogether. Shameful revelation. And Jaime Parladé deserves to be lauded.


Very little if hardly anything has been mentioned in the English press and social media about Parladé’s death a fortnight ago, and the only few tributes have been mostly from the Spanish press or tweets. If you Google Parladé’s name, there is little to be found about his death and not much information in fact about his life and distinguished career. There is however a short biography on his website but no photos of his projects.No mean feat for A-Gent of Style who was looking for clues to do his research for a feature celebrating the talented señor. There was however the brilliant monogram Jaime Parladé, A Personal Style that A-Gent of Style could rely ona must for every decorating aficionado.

Jaime Parladé, Marques of Apezteguia, who has been dubbed “the doyen of Spanish designers” by Architectural Digest magazine, and whose English wife, Janetta, has links to the Bloomsbury Group, decorated homes for the most distinguished families in Europe, including the Rothschilds, the Bismarcks and the Duchess of Alba.

Jaime Parladé’s interiors have somehow been a revelation to A-Gent of Style as they have proved to be a great visual exercise for relaxed, unpretentious yet considered decorating mixing English comfort, French refinement and ‘the grace and delicacy of Andalusia’. Whilst the rooms he decorated can seem exuberant at times, dare I say it overcrowded, they all provide a sense of comfort and calm, and they undeniably look like inviting, lived-in spaces. His talent laid in mixing an eclectic selection of furniture and objects accumulated through his lifetime and inherited from his ancestors. It would be fair to say that Parladé was also a master of colours, a daring one at that, who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at painting adjacent walls and furniture with bright, garish, contrasting colours, to great success. A-Gent of Style particularly relished his treatment of ceilings and the way he tended to paint beams in all sorts of vivid colours.

So, today we pay homage to a great decorator of the 20th century who, despite keeping himself ‘under the radar’ and coming from an ‘old school’ generation of decorators eschewing the limelight, is leaving behind him an inspiring, brilliant and colourful legacy.






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