André ARBUS was born 17 November 1903 to a family of Toulouse cabinetmakers. He joined his father, whom he succeeded on the latter's retirement. ARBUS himself never practised cabinetry, content to leave the execution of his sketches and maquettes to the firm's journeymen furniture-makers.

He made his début at the Paris Salons in 1926 and moved to the capital four years later, opening the gallery L'Epoque at 22 rue de La Boétie.

He showed his work in both annual Salons, paticipating also in the Salon des Tuileries. Collaborators included Marc SAINT-SAËNS (a painter and fellow Toulousian), ANDROUSOV (sculpted decoration in wood, terracotta and bronze), Paule MARROT (upholstery), Gilbert POILLERAT (wrought-iron), BELMONDO (bas-reliefs), BAGUES and VERONESE (lighting) and the sculptor Henry PARAYRE who became a friend and mentor.

The 1930s generated countless commissions and an unexpected bonus, the Prix Blumenthal in 1935. ARBUS seized every opportunity to exhibit : The Exposition de Bruxelles (1935), Exposition Internationale (1937), and the New-York World Fair (1939), being among the most prestigious. The post-war period brought an even busier schedule, the Ministries of Agriculture and Armaments joining an ever longer list of clients.

His inspiration was classical; in most part, Louis XVI, First and Second Empire. He rejected painting and marquetry, preferring to decorate furniture with a combination of finely grained veneers, parchment, lacquer and galuchat. The furniture's carcasse was often in sycamore, with key plates and mounts in metal. These materials generated the aura of sumptuousness that ARBUS intended.

A great deal of his finest furniture was created in the 1940s and 1950s. He remained in Paris until his death in 1969.