This is a rare Gallé crystal vase in a stylized fish form. This piece was moulded then cut and worked by hand. It is deep blue and includes enameling to highlight the eyes of the fish. This item was produced by Baccarat for Gallé.
This piece is dated 1889.
Reference: A similar piece is referenced in Giuseppe Capa's Le Genie Verrier de l'Europe, page 258 ; in this case the colour differs and the enameling is absent (see photo)
Dimensions: Approximately 15 cm (6 in) high.
Signature: "Emile Gallé emga Cristallerie Nancy, 1889" inscribed on the base.
Condition: Very good, no chips, cracks or repairs. Wear consistent with age.
A Note About the Manufacturer:
The famous French glass artist Emile Galle was born in Nancy, France in 1846 into a rapidly industrializing world. His father Charles Galle owned a ceramics and glassmaking factory, and in his early years Emile was exposed academically to botany, art, entomology, and chemistry, disciplines which were to serve him well in his later artistic career. In his teens, Galle traveled widely and in London he was fascinated by the enameling techniques seen in the oriental collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Galle began working for the Burgun & Schverer glass company in Meisenthal before establishing his own company in 1873. While he found experimenting with classical and enameled designs interesting, his aspirations were dramatically expanded when seeing the International Exhibition in Paris in 1878. There, he was exposed in particular to the cameo glass of Joseph Locke and John Northwood from England and the designs of Eugene Rousseau in pate de verre. Galle was about to combine his love of nature, his chemical training, and his artistic eye to the worlds of cameo glass, ceramics, and marquetry.
Galle opened a small woodworkers shop in 1885 where he began experimenting in marquetry designs in furniture, while he continued working at his father's factory. In 1889, Emile Galle displayed his new glass creations at the Paris International Exhibition, designs and colors not previously seen and causing an immediate sensation.
The new style of Art Nouveau had begun to appear, and Art Nouveau aesthetics and love of nature appealed naturally to the still young Emile Galle. Burgun & Schverer produced Galle's designs when he first established his studio, but in 1894 Galle built his own manufacturing plant in Nancy and began creating his own designs from inception through production. Galle personally created many of the designs, and he was known to actively make alterations and approve the designs of the talented team he employed at the "Cristallerie D'Emile Galle."
As a botanist, his designs are inspired by nature, like insects, flowers, and the minute details of leaves and vegetation. Galle won many awards throughout his life including the French Legion of Honor, and he enjoyed great popularity and lucrative commissions. He produced both complex, intricate glass designs that took days of painstaking effort to create as well as high quality art glass which was no less beautiful but was less expensive to produce.
Galle cameo glass was both wheel-cut and acid etched. Both techniques require fine craftsmanship. In either case, layers of multi-colored glass are progressively removed to create intricate and finely detailed designs.
Galle's work and cameo glass in particular has always been widely copied even during Emile Galle's lifetime. His style influenced many of his contemporaries including the Daum and Muller brothers, and many others in the region who became collectively known as the "School of Nancy" and of which Galle was elected the first President.
Galle died in 1904 from leukemia at the age of 58, and his widow continued to make Galle glass designs in the factory until the advent of World War I in 1914. These pieces were still produced with the Galle signature but a star was added to his name following his death.
After World War I, Paul Perdrizet, Emile's son-in-law, began producing Galle glass once again, even adding new designs but primarily making the multi-layer cameo glass with floral and landscape patterns. All Galle production eventually ceased in 1936.
Item ID: 4057
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