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These fabulous pair of vases are exceptionally rare. They are by Léon Ledru, artistic director of Val St Lambert, from 1888 until his death in 1926, and were manufactured pre-1910.
Val Saint Lambert (VSL) was founded in c1826 in Belgium, and by c1928 had 5000 employees producing as many as 160,000 items each day, 75% of which were for export. However, In 1888 Léon Ledru was employed as Artistic Director which propelled the fortunes of the company significantly, designing contemporary shapes & styles of the period to rival and to compete with the likes of Gallé. and Daum of France. His development of designing glass to appear as gilded bronze metal was a major accomplishment of the Art Nouveau period.
To produce vases as these was a very time consuming and precise working process. The glass blank was blown into its required shape using (in the main) cobalt blue crystal. Once annealed to cool, the lengthy procedures of applying the metal coating could then begin. A wax resist was applied to the areas which were required to act as `windows' of glass, whilst a solution of copper was also applied to the areas requiring the application of metal, which was produced by electroplating.
Only once the above had been completed with absolute uniform precision could the metal application be worked upon. A further wax resist would be applied, and etched by hand into this would be the detailed patterns. There is no room for error here, as the entire piece would then be bathed in an acid bath which ate away at the metal that had been exposed beneath the wax. These vases would have been washed & rinsed and then submerged time & time again into the acid bath until the desired result was achieved. Only then could the results be witnessed once the wax had been melted away to reveal the acid-etched patterns beneath. It is due to this `melting away' of the wax, and also whilst attaching the bronze to base & neck, that many of these items (more often than not) have suffered from internal splinters or crazing to the glass. The crazing can mostly be found upon the necks of a piece, however seldom can they be felt and they can be difficult to locate until held in natural light. Glass and metal behave totally differently when subjected to heat change and the only reason that the entire glass vase has not shattered completely during the above working procedures, is the metal `cage' which protects it. I have seen and held several of these vase types, some of which appear to be internally `damaged' with a multitude of `cracks' to the glass, and yet each example is as brilliant as the next and as such it has become acceptable to collectors and investors alike, and rightfully so too.
One of these vases has the internal `splinters' as pre-described (one side to the neck) which although cannot be felt or worsen, are evident.
Please make no mistake, these vase examples belong in a museum (as some are) and they represent Val Saint Lambert of Belgium at its pinnacle best during the period of Art Nouveau...
Both are signed in raised relief: Val St Lambert BELGIQUE
Heights: 11.25 inches Base diameters: 4.5 inches Top diameters: 3.25 inches Postage weight: *3k *Postage Discounts are available for these items to overseas (outside of Europe) by request
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