SCARCE Limited Edition 1930s French Opalescent Cracked Ice Glass Bowl by Sabino, Paris.


Not to be confused with the standard pattern ‘Shell’ bowl by Sabino, is this very scarce Limited Edition example, which was produced with different finish to the glass as can be seen from my photographs.

Very few of these examples were produced and they were reserved for the French market place only and not for export outside of France.

At first glance the glass appears to have been patterned using ‘acid’ to provide it with a textured surface, however closer inspection reveals that the pattern is moulded to produce a ‘faux frosting’ or a ‘cracked-ice’ effect to the underside of the bowl. The results are exceptionally eye-catching and appealing, and it propels this ‘shell’ pattern bowl into a league of its own.

The bowl was produced from a one-piece mould and then finished by hand to provide the top of the piece with a ground & polished finish. It is also fully signed to the inside centre using block capitals is raised relief: SABINO PARIS

Opalescent glass is produced by a slower cooling method to the thicker parts of a piece. This causes a crystallisation inside of the glass, which gives a more transparent opalescence to the thinner areas and a richer effect on the thicker surface areas. The creamy-whites, milk-blues and the golden-amber colours which can be observed are all subject to different light conditions. When these bowls for example are held up to a window and lit from behind, all of the opalescence disappears completely and the glass becomes entirely transparent with a subtle hint of golden-amber. Taken away from any direct light source they then display all of the luxurious qualities associated to opalescent glass. Each factory had its own recipe to produce the variety of opalescent examples that we see today. Very few factories still produce this glass type, due to the high levels of technical difficulty, cost of production and the poisonous ingredients which are necessary to make this glass, which included White Arsenic.

Collectors of Sabino glass in particular will recognise the importance of this Limited Edition piece, however this beautiful bowl also offers a wise opportunity for your investment at relatively little cost for an original example of French opalescent glass that was produced by one of the masters of the genre…

CONDITION REPORT: The glass is completely free of any damage and so it is in mint-pristine condition for your collection.

Diameter: 4.75 inches – 12cm Height: 2 inches – 5cm Postage weight: 1k 500g

Item ID: JJ1043

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