A Pair of Neoclassical Style Two-Light Wall Appliques
giltwood and gilt-metal, fitted for electricity
Height: 28 1/4 in. 72 cm. Width: 19 3/4 in. 50 cm.
These sconces formed part of the interior of the House of Rayne shoe boutique, Old Bond Street, London, designed by Oliver Messel in 1959.
Literature Thomas Messel, Oliver Messel In the Theatre of Design, London, 2011, p. 119
Patrick Kinmouth, 'Bowled Over' in: US Vogue, September 1992, p. 597, one of the pair illustrated in color
Famous in particular for his opulent and romantic sets and costumes, Oliver Messel was one of the leading lights of mid 20th Century English theater design and a well-known member of fashionable London society. His varied work also extended to other areas, most notably interior design and architecture, both of which he turned to later in his career. Messel's transformation of the House of Rayne, an exclusive shoe store on London's Old Bond Street, was described at the time as 'the prettiest shoe salon in the world', its silk lined walls and delicate chandeliers perfectly epitomizing tasteful 1950s glamor. The importance of Messel's legacy is now widely recognized, with London's Victoria & Albert Museum housing a huge archive of his designs and creations.