This is a superb vase in a “Clair de Lune” pattern by Eugene Rousseau. The design is one of many strongly influenced by Eugene Rousseau who did some work for Baccarat. These patterns are referred to as “Japonisant” effectively depicting the strong Japanese influence on the arts and craft of the time. The crystal of this vase is bright blue and the finish is enameled in multiple colours with gilt gold finish. The pattern shows a bright gilt gold moon over which are superimposed branches of a flowering tree. Behind the moon enclosed in a fan-shaped frame are distant snowy mountains in an enameled white.
This vase dates c.1880 and has little to no loss which is impressive for a piece of this age.
Dimensions: Approximately 20 cm (8 in) height.
Signature: None, but does have an “S” or stylized “L” script on base.
Condition: Excellent. No chips, cracks, or repairs. Wear consistent with age.
Reference: A similar pattern is show on a blue Baccarat table setting page 179 of Giuseppe Cappa’s “Le Génie Verrier de l’Europe” and another on page 374 shows a similar signed Eugene Rousseau piece by Baccarat but in clear crystal glass (see photo).
A Note About the Artist:
Eugène Rousseau (1827-1890) was a pioneer of modern art glass by inspiring many of his designs from oriental patterns. He started his work in decorative arts and in particular created a Montereau porcelain tableware setting for Felix Braquemont using animal themes in the Hokusai “Magwa” manner. This tableware was successfully sold for a long period of time at the rue des Coquillères in Paris. The setting itself included over 200 pieces each of a different décor.
This early success launched Rousseau into the glass arts. Eugène Michel joined Rousseau in 1867 to work on wheel-engraved “japonisant” style tableware and vases. Rousseau studied both the decoration and coloration of glass. He developed his own techniques of layering patterns to provide subtle depth, a technique borrowed from the Venetians and itself practiced by the Chinese in the 18th century. He subsequently grew obsessed with the working of glass and using the manufacturing facilities of the brothers Appert in Batignolles, he developed both form and colours of a unique variety.
By 1885, Rousseau associated himself with his student and friend Ernest Leveillé (1841-1913) who continued the works of his master and subsequently became more audacious than Rousseau.
Although Rousseau was never conscious of signing his pieces prior to 1885, Leveillé was more assiduous in this matter and from 1885-1890 both signed their work.