Thanks to the metalworker Émile Robert, decorative ironwork returned to fashion in the early twentieth century. It became very popular in the interwar period, with works by renowned artists such as Paul Kiss, Edgar Brandt and Raymond Subes.
Raymond Subes, born into a family of civil servants, studied the art of ornamental chasing at the École Boulle from 1906 onward, then trained with Charles Génuys at the École des Arts Décoratifs. In 1910, he worked with Émile Robert, who gained him admission into the Borderel and Robert firm. Subes became president of the firm in 1935, and directed it until his death in 1970. From 1919 onward, he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs, then in 1920 at the Salon d’Automne. He participated in all the international and universal exhibitions in Paris and abroad, notably those of 1925, 1931 and 1937. He worked with numerous architects, and decorators such as Ruhlmann, and designed many projects for the ships of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique: the SS Ile-de-France, the SS L’Atlantique, the SS Normandie, the SS Pasteur and even the SS France. Subes, a defender of hand-forged ironwork, also used new techniques and other materials such as sheet iron, copper, aluminum and even bronze. He expressed his art in different ways, creating swords for the members of the Académie Française, furniture, jewelry, rugs and decorations for the Sèvres factory. Keen to share his expertise with newcomers to his field, he published articles and books about his art, with reproductions of his own works and those of his fellow artists.