The Famous Jean Royère Polar Bear Sofa (Where to Buy Replicas)

The ubiquitous mid-century Polar Bear Sofa, or Ours Polaire sofa, was designed in the late 1940s by the renowned French designer Jean Royère. Royère was inspired by the idea of creating a piece of furniture that would be both comfortable and luxurious, as well as unique.

Jean Royere Polar Bear Sofa

The sofa was first unveiled at the 1949 Salon des Artistes Decorateurs in Paris, a decorating trade show. It featured two large, plush polar bear-shaped cushions with a chrome frame. The design quickly caught on, and the sofa quickly became a symbol of wealth and sophistication.

In the 1950s, the sofa was produced in limited quantities and became a highly sought-after piece of furniture. It was featured in many high-end French furniture stores, as well as in the homes of singers, celebrities, and the upper class.

In the mid-1960s, the sofa was re-released with modern upholstery. The original design was modified, with the polar bear cushion replaced with a more contemporary shape. The design was further updated in the 1970s, with a lower back and more angular lines.

Today, the Jean Royere Polar Bear Sofa is considered an iconic piece of furniture, and a symbol of timeless mid-century luxury. It continues to be a popular couch for fans of modernist furniture.

Who was Jean Royère?

Jean Royère (1902-1981) was a French designer, renowned for his innovative and eccentric style of furniture design. He began his career in the 1920s, working as an interior decorator for wealthy clients in Paris. He became well known for his use of bright colors and whimsical shapes, which were a stark contrast to the more formal, traditional designs of the period.

Throughout his career, Royère produced a range of furniture and lighting, as well as some textiles. He was particularly noted for his use of organic shapes and his preference for natural materials.

In the 1950s, he began to experiment with new materials, such as plastic, which he used to create some of his most iconic pieces. Royère’s designs remain popular, and his influence on modern interior design is undeniable.

Where to Buy a Polar Bear Sofa

According to Architectural Digest, Jennifer Aniston recently paid $754,000 for an authentic vintage Royère Polar Bear sofa. Kanye West has reportedly also snagged his own Polar Bear couch, too.

Another has sold for $995,000 at a Christie’s auction!

Jennifer aniston polar bear sofa Architectural Digest
Jennifer Aniston / Architectural Digest

So where can normal people buy one of these cool sofas? The best place to buy one is from Maison Royère itself, which manages the estate and legacy of the original designer.

Otherwise, you can find replicas at Eternity Modern and France & Son.

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