Flickr Widget

Friday, May 17, 2013

Maria Pergay

Maria Pergay (1930- ) immigrated to Paris from Russia when she was seven years old, just before World War II began, and eventually became a well-known designer of furniture and interiors. Interestingly, demand for her work has had a resurgence in this century, as interest in items produced in the 1960s and 1970s continues to grow.

Pergay started her career as a window dresser in Paris and gained recognition in the 1950s and early 1960s for creating modern objects in silver for customers such as Hermès and Christian Dior. She is best known for her collection of stainless steel furniture that she presented in Paris in 1968. The line was originally produced French manufacturer by Ugine-Gueugnon and was considered to defy the hard-edged, industrial image of steel.

Her work was never mass-produced. In fact, each piece was a limited edition, and only 40 or fewer were made. She had a loyal following among wealthy collectors such as fashion designer Pierre Cardin. He purchased her entire first collection and commissioned later work.

In 2006 her work was exhibited in New York at the Demisch Demant and Lehmann Maupin galleries. For those exhibits, she created a new collection of 17 limited edition pieces in stainless steel, bronze, wood and mother-of-pearl. The demand for her work was so great that Richard Wright sold a pair of her chairs at auction for $79,200, more than 10 times their estimated value.

In 1970, Pergay designed and built a modern 6,000 square foot home of hand-laid stone, white rubber floors and glass walls with her then-partner and collaborator, architect Pierre Baratçabal. She later married Marc Pergay and raised four children with him till their divorce.

In 2010, at age 79, she showed a new collection at the Demisch Demant gallery, at which time she said that since she started everything in 1957, her relationship with steel has been her best marriage.


Pergay home in St. Pierre de Vassols, France
with her Ring chairs and oversized lamps

Pergay living room, alternate view

Use of hand-laid stone and glass in Pergay home

Vague stool
Metal and wood tables


Side chair


Plateaux table



Flying Carpet daybed

Hanging lamp


  1. What extraordinary pieces! I'd never heard of her and now I think I've fallen in love with her work.

    1. I had never heard of her until my SIL bought a book about her work. I've particularly fallen in love with her pieces that combine wood and steel.

  2. Lots of great pieces, the side chair is my favorite.
    By the way, have you heard of the Filipino designer Kenneth Cobonpue? Here's his website: Angelina Jolie and a few other celebs are raving about his work.

    1. I checked his website, and I see why they're raving. Expect to see a post about him soon. :) Thanks for the information.

  3. Thank you Dana!! Beautiful pieces - so glad I am now aware of this remarkable designer!

    1. How she makes stainless steel look so inviting is a mystery, but I love her work.