SOLD – Jean-Louis Berthet for mobilier international, executive desk and storage unit, circa 1983


What I like

I like the simplicity of the design of this desk and its storage unit: based on the shape of the Delta, the creation of this piece of furniture shows a monumental simplicity, with imposing dimensions, combined with a great elegance of the materials, the warm cedar burl veneer playing with the brilliance of black lacquered wood and chrome feet.

I like the quality of the manufacture of mobilier international, as in all of its furniture.

I like the fact that this desk is designed to be able to work at sea, with a piece of furniture to classify its files, combining a practical side with a strong insertion in the style of the greatest designers of the time.

And in fact, Jean-Louis Berthet is one of the great designers of the 1980s, multi-awarded, with emblematic projects.

Technical description

Jean-Louis BERTHET (born in 1940) for mobilier international

Office set consisting of:

-a “Delta” model desk consisting of a large delta-shaped top with sloping angles in cedar burl veneer in a black lacquered wood surround, a rectangular patinated black leatherette desk pad with sloping upper angles, two drawers hidden in the thickness of the belt; this tray rests on three strong cylindrical legs in chromed metal; slight wear;

-and its matching storage unit formed of a rectangular box opening by two doors revealing two shelves, with a cedar burl veneer front, flanked by two vertical side panels in black lacquered wood, all surmounted by a large Delta top, that is to say in a rectangle with folded front corners, in burl veneer surrounded by black lacquered wood. Bears the mobilier international label.; slight wear from use; small restauration to the burl veneer.

Creation in 1977 – edition from 1983.

Edition of the 80’s.

Dimensions and weight

Desk: Height: 75 cm – Width: 246 cm – Depth: 140 cm

Storage unit: Height: 75 cm – Width: 220 cm – Depth: 55 cm

Weight: 80 kg and 60 kg

Mix & Match

This is a desk set that will flourish in a vast space: on the walls, I would gladly recommend the “Composicion metallica” tapestry by Enrique Broglia, in warm colors combining beiges, chocolates and the gleams of brass. But we can also give a tonic side to the whole by hanging the tapestry Nuits d’Espagne by Daniel de Linière, with very dynamic aplats.

On the desk I would put without hesitation the imposing lamp one from the studio of Felice Antonio Botta in smoked glass and metal from the 1970s.

To give the room a real intellectual side, I would place the large patinated metal sculpture Colonnes by Guillaume Leunens, dating from the 1960s.

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To know more

The designer

Jean-Louis Berthet was born in 1940. Designer, interior designer, he graduated from the National School of Decorative Arts. Professor of interior architecture at Esag, president of the Society of Decorative Artists from 1974 to 1977, SAD that he greatly contributed, with his friend Jean-Pierre Khalifa, to recovering his former prestige through the organization of mega fairs at the Grand Palais (1983, 1985, 1990), member of the National Furniture Design Workshop, he has received numerous awards (Oscar du design 1989, Grand Prix du design 1990, Trophée de la Dalle d Gold 1992 (Netherlands), Local Authorities Trophy 1994, Gold Award 1999…). Among his achievements, we note the interior fittings of Baghdad airport, NRJ and Europe 1, the Fédération du Crédit Agricole, Evergreen, the clubhouses of the Pochun and Jeju Island golf courses, the Kyobo Book Center Seoul (South Korea), the Sporting d’Été, the Café de Paris in Monaco and the restructuring of the Montparnasse tower. Founder of the Bethet-Pochy agency in 1981 which opened branches in New York, Casablanca, London and Seoul. Jean-Louis Berthet is Knight in the Order of the Legion of Honor, Knight of Arts and Letters.

The editor

mobilier international (1957-1991)

1955: Creation of Arflex France by Michel Schulmann, in order to import into France the lady / Senior armchair from Marco Zanuso and creation of SICAF (Industrial and Commercial Company for the Development of the Home) whose corporate name is the import of furniture Scandinavian and Italian.

1957: creation of mobilier international, bringing together the entire collection for sale under the same logo.

Stilnovo, Poulsen, Dux are the lighting suppliers.

1959: import of the Supperleggera chair created by Gio Ponti in 1957.

IN 1960, Mr Fehlbaum, who concluded publishing agreements with Herman Miller, offered Michel Schulmann the manufacture and sale of Hermann Miller furniture designed by Eames, Nelson…

1960: equips major construction sites (Orly airport, Le Bourget, France liner, NATO, CNIT, etc.)

1962: the musée des Arts décoratifs organizes an Arne Jacobsen retrospective, the egg and the swan (created in 1958) are exhibited there.

1963, thanks to the development of new workshops in Tours (4000 m2). George Nelson and Robert Propst design Action Office 1 for Herman Miller

1964: all the buildings in Paris Bd Voltaire go up in smoke following a fire. Two weeks later, production resumed in premises found urgently in the 20th Ardt.

Installation of manufacturing workshops in TOURS. 60% of international furniture turnover comes from Herman Miller collections.

The Woodline and fourline armchairs by Marco Zanuso are offered for sale.

1965: production capacity is doubled compared to

1966: reopening of the showroom and Bd Voltaire management offices.

Exclusivity on the sale of Kaufeld furniture (990 sofa and armchair)

Presentation of Herman Miller office furniture, action office serie 1

1967: distribution of the 106 chair by Giancarlo Piretti (Castelli) and the Bobo armchair by Cini Boeri

1968: Herman Miller furniture has an exclusive showroom in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, at the request of its vice-president Europe Mr Steve Snoey.

2000 to 3000 106 chairs per month, designed by Giancarlo Piretti (Castelli), are ordered by international furniture to be sold in France.

International furniture equips the new University of Vincennes, also called Experimental University Center (we will notice on the photo of the cafeteria, taken in 1970, DAX Eames armchairs)

1969: import of the Baydur chair, designed by Verner Panton.

Edition of the CSS shelf, designed by George Nelson.

300 low chairs 9000 designed by Tito Agnoli per month come out of the Tours workshops.

Import of stackable chairs and tables (available in 9 colours) designed by Vico Maggistretti (Artemide edition).

Exclusive importer of the table designed by Angelo Mangiarotti, Skipper edition.

Import of the PLIA folding chair, designed by Giancarlo Piretti and produced by Castelli (5000 chairs sold per month)

1970: Passage of Charles and Ray Eames in Paris and presentation of the Soft Pad group designed in 1968. Extension of the Aluminum group series. (Seat, lounge chair, armchair, sofa)

1971: visit of Oscar Niemeyer, and production of the first prototype of his armchair. The range includes high and low back armchair and ottoman. The legs are in polished stainlesssteel blade, the seat is in leather or fabric.

Launch of action office 2, which promises to revolutionize the world of work.

1972: George Ciancimino creates for Mobilier International a set of furniture with the particularity of using an extruded aluminum profile as a base and as an interlocking system.

Collaboration with Pierre Paulin, creation of the Pacha range equipping public buildings (hospitals and Louvre museum)

Presentation of Oscar Niemeyer’s armchair.

Presentation of Oscar Niemeyer’s armchair.

Exclusive distribution of the Tizio lamp, designed by Richard Sapper and produced by Artemide

1973: move of the workshop located rue des landes to 15 avenue du Danemark (Tours) (larger workshop grouping together locksmithing/metalwork, cabinetmaking, upholstery) to meet increasingly large orders. The workforce of the workshop increases to 170 people.

Equips the European parliament in Luxembourg with Eames furniture, the courthouses of Nanterre, Lille…. hospitals, prefectures.

1974: renewal of the Herman Miller license for an additional 3 years. Observation that French designers are more open to the forms of modernity.

1975: The projection room at the Jean Claude Decaux head office is equipped with 45 Eames lounge Chairs.

1977: stop marketing the Fritz Hansen collections (breach of contract).

Presentation of the Vitramat 40 office chair designed by Wolfgang Muller (Vitra) and the fireside chair designed by Herbert O’line (Arflex edition).

Collaboration with Michel Mortier, Pierre Guariche, Jacques Grange, Roger Tallon, Jacques Capi, Gérard Gallet, Alain Richard, William Reyes., Jean-Louis Berthet

One-year extension of the Herman Miller furniture manufacturing contract.

1978: death of Charles Eames. A page is turned with Herman Miller.

OSAKA furniture, designed by Michel Boyer, completes the international furniture catalog (high and low tables, in wenge or oak)

The catalog is completed by a collection designed by Gérard Gallet, and the desk designed by Hans Von Klier (Skipper edition)

1979: Several important achievements including the collaboration with Pierre Guariche to develop the court of Créteil and the ENA

December 11, death of Theodore Schulmann.

1981 to 1983: edition of the OCTA range, designed by Bernard Govin (armchair, pouf, coffee table).

Broadcasts the De Nos collection designed by Angelo Mangiarotti (Skipper edition)

Distributes an executive desk designed by Afra and Angelo Mangiarotti (Maxalto edition)

Produces Claude Gaillard’s profil desk, Patrick Pagnon and Claude Pelhaitre’s ODIS range, Cine Boeri’s NOVO armchair.

Distribution of the mezzaluna lamp designed by Bruno Gechelin and Angelo Mangoarotti (Skipper) (2000 to 2500 lamps sold per year for a decade).

Edition of the Atlanta sofa by Claude Ponthus

1982: 5 designers intervene to redevelop the private apartments of the Elysée Palace. The dining room has been attributed to Marc Held, the living room to Ronald-Cecil Sportes, François Mitterrand’s bedroom to Jean Michel Wilmotte, the guest bedroom to Annie Tribel and Danielle Mitterrand’s bedroom to Philippe Starck. Mobilier international takes an active part in this by publishing furniture from Wilmotte and Ronald-Cecil Sportes

1983: the crisis begins to show up, requests for furniture decrease.

Edition of the Delta office of Jean-Louis Berthet which revitalizes the company.

1986: Rolf Fehlbaum, president of Vitra, which produces Hermann Miller furniture for Europe, organizes a retrospective of Eames at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.

1987: Marc Alessandri creates the interface desk range and Pascal Mourge designs a Tokyo desk for mobilier international. Comforto is sold to Vickers who then sells it to Haworth (50,000 m2 of workshop, workforce of 4,200 people).

Jean Louis Berthet creates the delta fireside chair.

1988: death of Ray Eames, 10 years after Charles.

1989: Marc Alessandri creates the Cosmos range and the Decade range.

Jean Pierre Vitrac creates the WING desk, edited by international furniture.

1990: death of J.D De Pree, founder of the Herman Miller company.

1991 – 1993: sale of mobilier international to Haworth (which also bought Ordo and Castelli). Haworth’s sole vocation will be the edition of office furniture. This means that the production of the Lounge Chair and its ottoman will stop in Tours (51,000 lounge chairs and 32,000 ottomans will have been manufactured in total by international furniture

A beautiful authentic executive desk and its storage unit at a fair price

This office set has been carefully selected for its aesthetic qualities, its originality and its fair price. Our choice favors above all the acuity of the design, of which the signature of Jean-Louis Berthet, is the guarantor, guarantee of a valorization of your new acquisition in your interior and of an ability to dialogue with your furniture, to agree and mix together to create a unique decoration.

Buying vintage furniture is surely a reasonable investment, given the new but already strong appetite for the 1980s.

Finally, buying vintage furniture preserves the resources of planet earth.

Additional information
Weight 140 kg




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Dominique de Paillerets is passionate about objects and art. He likes to combine Design furniture from the 70s and the 18th century, in the spirit Combining refinement and the spirit of the seventies

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