The furniture of

André Sornay

André Sornay (1902-2000) attended the École des beaux-arts (fine art school) in Lyon before taking over the family business following his father’s death in 1919. He completely revolutionised the company’s production line, moving away from period furniture to create resolutely modern pieces.

Influenced by Bauhaus and by the Stijl movement, which were both marked by the desire to synthesize art and architecture, Sornay belonged to a new generation of architects, artists and decorators who wanted to create new forms that were suited to modern life. The UAM (Union of Modern Artists) counted a number of avant-garde artists among its members, including Pierre Chareau, Francis Jourdain, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, all eager to break away from tradition and to democratise art.

André Sornay’s creations are characterised by pure geometric lines, harmonious proportions and great practicality. The materials he used reflect the traditional and the modern; they include precious woods, permatex, rubber, Duco lacquer and metal. The clarity of his vision regarding the use of space prompted him to become an interior designer for a number of his local clients.

André Sornay registered his first patent in 1932 during the depression. This concerned a new assembly technique he had developed:cloutage. This process involved attaching veneered panels onto a structure using small nails (clous). The alignment of these nails became both an element of decoration and a trademark. This patent led to the manufacture of limited series of furniture that remained financially accessible.

Other patents followed after World War II, including a patent for the Sornay rod (tigette), a ‘combinable and removable part for the furniture and construction trades’, in 1953.

André Sornay mainly exhibited his work at the autumn art fairs in Lyon although he did take part in two Parisian exhibitions. In 1925, at theExposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs Industriels et Moderneshis work was not fully understood. Many visitors were still drawn to more traditional artists such as Ruhlmann, Jallot, Sûe and Mare. Twelve years later, however, he was awarded the bronze medal for his personal study at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne.

Both form and technique became increasingly normalised in the 1950s and 1960s. During this period André Sornay often worked for local authorities, and his children gradually took control of the business.

André Sornay (1902-2000) attended the École des beaux-arts (fine art school) in Lyon before taking over the family business following his father’s death in 1919. He completely revolutionised the company’s production line, moving away from period furniture to create resolutely modern pieces.

Influenced by Bauhaus and by the Stijl movement, which were both marked by the desire to synthesize art and architecture, Sornay belonged to a new generation of architects, artists and decorators who wanted to create new forms that were suited to modern life. The UAM (Union of Modern Artists) counted a number of avant-garde artists among its members, including Pierre Chareau, Francis Jourdain, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, all eager to break away from tradition and to democratise art.

André Sornay’s creations are characterised by pure geometric lines, harmonious proportions and great practicality. The materials he used reflect the traditional and the modern; they include precious woods, permatex, rubber, Duco lacquer and metal. The clarity of his vision regarding the use of space prompted him to become an interior designer for a number of his local clients.

André Sornay registered his first patent in 1932 during the depression. This concerned a new assembly technique he had developed:cloutage. This process involved attaching veneered panels onto a structure using small nails (clous). The alignment of these nails became both an element of decoration and a trademark. This patent led to the manufacture of limited series of furniture that remained financially accessible.

Other patents followed after World War II, including a patent for the Sornay rod (tigette), a ‘combinable and removable part for the furniture and construction trades’, in 1953.

André Sornay mainly exhibited his work at the autumn art fairs in Lyon although he did take part in two Parisian exhibitions. In 1925, at theExposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs Industriels et Moderneshis work was not fully understood. Many visitors were still drawn to more traditional artists such as Ruhlmann, Jallot, Sûe and Mare. Twelve years later, however, he was awarded the bronze medal for his personal study at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne.

Both form and technique became increasingly normalised in the 1950s and 1960s. During this period André Sornay often worked for local authorities, and his children gradually took control of the business.

A sideboard  in Oregon pine with brass nails

Six chairs in Oregon pine with brass nails  and solid mahogany.

Bookcase in Oregon pine with brass nails. 

Two chairs in rosewood with brass nails and solid mahogany

Two armchairs in mahogany with brass nails and solid mahogany.

A pedestal table with two rosewood tops, walnut base and uprights.

A solid mahogany armchair and ottoman.

A double-sided bookcase in studded mahogany.

A coffee table with 3 mahogany tops.

Dinning table in macassar with brass nails with two extensions.

6 bridges in macassar with brass nails and solid mahogany.

Side table in red lacquer

A pairs of reading lights

Sideboard in macassar with brass nails

Sideboard in Oregon pine with brass nails

Red lacquer bookcase

An armchair in mahogany with brass nails

Mahogany and ash sideboard, blue interior.

A large coffee table in solid mahogany and blue lacquer.

An upright chest of drawers in beech and blue lacquer

Two coffees tables in solid beech

Two coffee tables in solid beech and white lacquered wood.

A cabinet / closet

Double-sided console

Four armchairs in chromed metal tube

bookcase / office

Dark side table

Table-console

A rolling table

Eight dining chairs

Eight chairs

Small chest of drawers

Display cabinet

Cabinet in zebrano

Pair of bookcases / doorway

Table – console in oak

Occasional table

Occasionnal table with one drawer

Rolling bar which transforms into a gaming table

Coffee table

Dining table in mahogany

Two beside tables in mahogany

“Bridge” armchair

Four “bridge” armchairs

Pair of side tables in oak

« Les trois Georges »

Pair of bedside tables in rosewood

Four bridge chairs in Zebrano

Coffee table with ‘log’ base

Desk with credenza and a pair of « bridge » armchairs

Sofa in mahogany

Bookcase-writing desk

Sideboard in rosewood

Cabinet in rosewood

Table lamp

Six chairs in Oregon pine and mahogany

Two armless chairs in mahogany

Three stools in mahogany

Four « bridge » armchairs

Four « bridge » armchairs

Six dining chairs.

Six dining chairs.

Eight chairs in mahogany

Pair of « bridge » armchairs in oak

Sofa-bed in oak

Desk ‘bridge’ armchair

Six chairs in Zebrano

Six chairs in Oregon pine

Mahogany slipper chair

Two armchairs in mahogany

Two « bridge » armchairs

Pair of « bridge » armchairs

Pair of armchairs in walnut

Stool in oak

Two positions stool

Ten stools in mahogany

Two ashtrays

Mirror in solid walnut

Cheval glass and its armless chair

Light column

Floor lamp in zebrano

Bar on wheels

A pair of bookcases

Bookcase with an integrated light

Bookcase in ash

Sideboard in Oregon pine

Vertical bookcase

Bookcase in mahogany