Armand-Albert Rateau was born in Paris in 1882. After graduating from the Ecole Boulle, he joined the famous decorator Georges Hoentschel. At the age of 23 he became artistic director of Alavoine et Compagnie, one of the most important decoration companies of the time. In 1919 he set up his own business in his private mansion, which became the centre of his aesthetic choices, from which his style gradually emerged. One of his most striking achievements was the fitting out of Jeanne Lanvin's flat at 16 rue Barbet-de-Jouy in Paris, the former mansion of the Marquise Arconati-Visconti, most of the furniture of which is now preserved in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris following a gift from Jeanne Lanvin's daughter and her son-in-law, Prince Louis de Polignac. In the 1920s, Rateau developed a very particular style based on his interest in antiquity and the use of an original bestiary. His bronze furniture was in line with the trends of the time and appealed to the most refined aesthetes. His European and American clients were wealthy collectors, businessmen and aristocrats. Rateau died in 1938.