Line Vautrin

Dubbed ‘the poetess of metal’ by Vogue in the 1940s, Line Vautrin (1913–1997) was a pioneering French artist, jeweler, and designer, renowned for her unique and whimsical creations that epitomise Parisian Neo-Romatic chic. Born in Paris into a family that owned a bronze foundry, Vautrin’s early exposure to metalwork and craftsmanship significantly influenced her artistic trajectory. She began experimenting with jewellery design in her teens, quickly developing a distinctive style characterised by playful, surreal, and intricate designs.

By the age of 21, she had designed her first jewellery collection. After a brief spell working for the studio of Elsa Schiaparelli, she began making boxes, ashtrays, powder compacts and paperweights, often inscribed with her signature allegories, metaphors, symbols and visual puns.

Vautrin’s witty and imaginative creations, spanning jewellery, boxes, mirrors, powder compacts and other gilt-bronze whimsies, are distinguished by their poetic, fanstical motifs and innovative use of materials, which allowed her to craft lightweight yet durable pieces with intricate details.

Over the course of her long career, Vautrin drew inspiration from a variety of sources, ranging from the ancient world to the palm leaves of Casablanca, where she moved with her family in 1949. She also continued to innovate, experimenting with materials, designs and techniques in a bid to blur the traditional genre boundaries of the decorative arts.

She worked in bronze, but also played with small fragments of mirror embedded in her own formulation of cellulose acetate resin, which she registered under the trade name Talosel. Her Talosel mirror frames proved a huge hit, enticing celebrities such as the writer Françoise Sagan, film star Ingrid Bergman and fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. In 2022 Christie’s Paris sold a unique Talosel mirror by Vautrin for €491,400 — a record price for her work at auction.

Vautrin’s iconic jewellery designs are notable for their charm and originality, frequently inspired by mythology, nature, and poetry. Her breakthrough came in 1937, when she took a booth at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. She showcased a wide range of gilt-bronze buttons and jewellery, including the celebrated Adam and Eve necklace, to the acclaim of critics and collectors alike. The presentation cemented her reputation as a singular, creative innovator, and launched her on the international stage. The following year she opened her first shop, on the rue de Berri, near the Champs-Elysées. Her necklaces, bracelets, brooches, earrings and belts quickly became bestsellers.

After closing her shop in 1969, she set up a craft school for women with her daughter, Marie-Laure Bonnaud-Vautrin. By the early 1980s, Vautrin had retired but continued to make pieces in her apartment. In 1997, Vautrin was awarded a prestigious prize by the Société d’Encouragement aux Métiers d’Art (the forerunner of today’s Institut National des Métiers d’Art) for her contribution to developing innovative decorative techniques. In 1999, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris held a retrospective of her work.

Christie’s has held several dedicated auctions as a tribute to Vautrin’s inventive designs, including her daughter’s collection in 2015 during which a figure-borded mirror from 1963, ‘Si tous les gars du monde, achieved a then record price of €421,500, and in 2022 showcasing the diversity of her production across mirrors, boxes, jewels and objects. More recently in 2024 Christie’s held a selling exhibition of a selection of mirrors and boxes in Paris.


LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir, pièce unique, vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Pentagone', le modèle créé vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

SI TOUS LES GARS DU MONDE

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Folie' ou 'Le Soleil à Rendez-vous avec la Lune', le modèle créé vers 1958

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Huitre', vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir, vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Folie' ou 'Le Soleil a Rendez-vous avec la Lune', le modèle créé vers 1958

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Huitre', vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

MIROIR 'ROI SOLEIL' VERS 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

IMPORTANT MIROIR 'SOLEIL A POINTES', VERS 1955

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

MIROIR 'ROI SOLEIL', VERS 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Rare ‘Solaire’ Mirror, circa 1950

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

MIROIR 'ROI SOLEIL', VERS 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Rare and Monumental ‘Soleil à Pointes’ Mirror, circa 1955

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

'Boudoir' Mirror, circa 1967

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Papyrus', vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

'SOLEIL À POINTE' A CONVEX TALOSEL RESIN AND GLASS MIRROR, 1960S

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Flamboyant', vers 1965

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Soleil doré' à torsades, le modèle créé vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

'Bayadère' Mirror, circa 1950

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Sequins', le modèle créé vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Rose des sables', piè ce unique, vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

LA FOLIE OU LE SOLEIL A RENDEZ-VOUS AVEC LA LUNE

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Étincelles', le modèle créé vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Chardon', le modèle créé vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

MIROIR 'SEQUINS', VERS 1961

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

'Soleil Torsade' Mirror, circa 1950

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

ROSE DES SABLES

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Romain', le modèle créé vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir, le modèle créé vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Boudoir', vers 1967

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Soleil torsadé', le modèle créé vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

'Soleil Torsade' Mirror, circa 1950

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

'ROI SOLEIL' A CONVEX TALOSEL RESIN AND GLASS MIRROR, CIRCA 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Chardon', le modèle créé vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Soleil à pointes N. 1', le modèle créé vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

MIROIR 'CRETE DE COQ', VERS 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Soleil à pointes N. 3', le modèle créé vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

'Soleil à Pointes' Mirror, Model No. 4, circa 1955

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Soleil à pointes n.3', vers 1955

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Soleil à pointes N. 3', vers 1955

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

MIROIR 'PISTIL', VERS 1963-1965

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir 'Cactus', le modèle créé vers 1960

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

'COMÈTE' Mirror, circa 1950

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

'Tudor' Mirror, circa 1950

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

Miroir, vers 1956-1957

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

'SOLEIL À POINTES NO. 3', A MIRROR , CIRCA 1955

LINE VAUTRIN (1913-1997)

MIROIR 'PISTIL', VERS 1963-1965