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c. 1935 Solveig and Francis Francis Jr. C H Â T E AU S O LV E I G G L A N D, S W I T Z E R L A N D

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H I S M O D E R N C O U N T RY H O U S E I S O N E O F T H E R A R E D O C U M E N T E D

examples of the work of the decorator Gaston Schwartz, who became president of Jansen upon Jean-Henri Jansen’s death in 1928. Schwartz embraced the modernism espoused by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925, and he apparently was the person who promoted forward design concepts at Jansen, such as mirrored glass veneering of traditional commodes, coffee tables, and paneling, actions that redefined the firm’s otherwise historically based, staid design vocabulary. A large house whose interiors had been conceived in a notably advanced style, Château Solveig was an important commission for Maison Jansen, and it was promoted among the firm’s satellite offices as an example for emulation. To the New York office’s director, Francis Chaillou, Schwartz sent a detailed description of the house’s most important rooms.1 The staff translated his survey of the Francis commission under the title “These Beautiful Modern Rooms in The Château de [sic] Solveig in Switzerland were Decorated by Jansen of Paris.”2 The glamorous modernism of this sprawling house reflected the youth and vitality of its owners. Educated in his father’s native England, and a grandson of a founder of Standard Oil, Francis Francis (1906–1982) was forced to resign from the Royal Horse Guard when he

OPPOSITE: FRONT DOOR

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Jansen: Decoration (excerpt)  

Jansen showcases 30 of the company's most alluring commissions, including rooms for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the Shah and Shahbanou...

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