Burgun & Schverer Enameled Cameo Double Baluster Vase

This vase is of double baluster form with short foot and a cylindrical neck. The grey-green glass is acid-etched and enameled with stylized small petals all enhanced with gold gilt. This vase exudes all of the quality expected of Burgun and Schverer.

This piece dates c. 1885.

Reference: A similar piece is detailed in Christie's South Kensington Cameo Glass Auction Catalog of July 1998, lot 1; in this case the colour differs (see photo)

Dimensions: Approximately 17 cm (6 ½ in) height

Signature: "B.S. & Co. Meisenthal" within the cross of Lorraine stamped on the base.

Condition: Very good, no chips, cracks or repairs. Wear consistent with age.

A Note About the Manufacturer:

Burgun and Schverer also known as Vérrerie d'art de Lorraine, traces its roots to the town of Meisenthal and the glassworks of the same name. The history of Burgun and Schverer is entwined in the lives of two of the most productive and talented glass makers of the École de Nancy: Émile Gallé and Désiré Christian.

Meisenthal is a town in the wooded northern region of the Vosges in Lorraine and on the border of Alsace. Since the later middle ages, this town was a center of glass fabrication. As such, the Meisenthal glassworks founded in 1711 benefited from an ideal environment for the production of glass: ample natural resources and a skilled work force trained over the ages. It was in 1824 that Meisenthal incorporated as Burgun, Schverer & Co.

In 1864 when Charles Gallé entered into business with Meisenthal, the glassworks were headed by Mathias Burgun who was reputed to be one of the most competent glass masters of the day. In 1867, Burgun approached Émile, Charles' son, to provide apprenticeship in glass decoration. Already Désiré Christian an extremely adept artist of the same age was practicing with Burgun.

At the beginning of war in 1870, Meisenthal found itself in the part of Lorraine annexed to Prussia. As a result Gallé had limited access to the glassworks. However under some secret arrangement glass blanks still found their way to Gallé and Christian for decoration while the items were marketed under the Burgun and Schverer brand.

In 1896 a fire at the glassworks convinced Émile Gallé to build his own facility in Nancy where he could control all aspects of fabrication.

As well as producing fine works of art, Burgun and Schverer was an important establishment in the production of conventional tableware and utilitarian glass, employing over a thousand workers at the time. Under the influence of Gallé and given the artistic quality demanded by him, Burgun excelled in the production of fine art glass. This is very well reflected in the beauty of their creations marketed under the "Verrerie d'art de Lorraine" brand.

In 1889, Désiré Christian and Antoine Burgun succeeded Mathias in the management of the company. At this time they intensified their collaboration with Gallé. It was in the same year that Gallé encountered significant success following the Exposition Universelle de Paris. However a downturn in the market forced a reduction in Gallé's output.

In 1901, ownership of Burgun, Schverer & Co. was restructured and shares were attributed to Burgun, Gallé and Christian. The majority ownership however fell to bankers in Metz who provided capital for the renovation of the glassworks. Soon after Antoine Burgun was relieved of his post and replaced by Émile Wanner in 1903 who also became a shareholder.

At this time the company lost its focus on art glass and Christian a master in his own right, left to form his own atelier, although he still procured blanks from Burgun.

Item ID: 4056

$5,400 USD

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